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

And convert to a format appropriate for qemu/kvm:

# List the available formats
$ qemu-img -h | tail -n1
Supported formats: vvfat vpc vmdk vdi sheepdog raw host_cdrom host_floppy
host_device file qed qcow2 qcow parallels nbd dmg tftp ftps ftp https http
cow cloop bochs blkverify blkdebug

# Do the actual conversion (I chose qcow2 here)
$ qemu-img convert -O qcow2 MyAppliance-disk1.vmdk MyAppliance.qcow2

Have a look at the .ovf too, for information on expected machine configuration / resources (eg. memory and cpu).

After the conversion, simply create a new VM and make it use the newly created disk as the primary harddisk.


I had some issues converting the image using the qemu-utils version 0.12.5 shipped with debian squeeze/stable (the resulting image was just some megs of garbage); I had to upgrade it to version 1.1.2 from wheezy/testing, which worked just fine.

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