KVM: Importing an OVA appliance

Submitted by erick on Sat, 08/19/2017 - 19:40

KVM: Importing an OVA appliance

First of all, the .ova format is nothing more than a tar archive, containing an .ovf and a .vmdk files, respectively the VM configuration and disk.

So, you can simply extract the files:

tar xvf MyAppliance.ova


Convert the vmx (VM's settings) to xml (requires vmware2libvirt tool found in virt-goodies package)

 vmware2libvirt -f <source.vmx> > target.xml

import the xml:

 virsh -c qemu:///system define file.xml


  1. re-add the disk as a qcow2 disk:
    Shame on me, I did it through the GUI:
    1. Run virt-manager
    2. You should see the new VM now, cool! Open it.
    3. From the view menu, switch to 'details' mod
    4. Remove the existing (VMDK) disk, and re-add the qcow2 disk instead:


      1. Find the disk and remove it from the VM. Your probably want to make sure the checkbox for deleting the data is unchecked.
      2. Add Hardware -> Storage -> Select "managed or other existing storage" -> Browse -> choose your qcow2 file
      3. At "device type" select box, choose the proper type (IDE worked for me)
      4. At "storage format" select box, choose 'qcow2'.
      5. Click "Finish"
  2. Uninstall vmware

A few notes:

  • I used a very simple VM configuration (e.g. Linux, single harddisk, NAT networking, no sound)
  • I guess I lost the original snapshots