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VMware OVF Tool Release Notes

OVF Tool 4.5.0 for vSphere 8.0 | 11 October 2022 | Tool Resource on
Initial Availability became GA on 8 November 2022 | Document updated 13 December 2022
Check back for additions and updates to these release notes.

What's in the Release Notes

These release notes cover the following topics:

About the OVF Tool

The OVF Tool 4.5.0 release coincides with vSphere 8.0. The previous OVF Tool 4.4.3 release was for vSphere 7.0 Update 3.

VMware OVF Tool is a command-line utility that allows import and export of OVF packages to and from virtual machines running on VMware virtualization platforms. OVF Tool gets called internally by many VMware products.

Before You Begin

You can download the OVF Tool for installation on Windows 64-bit or 32-bit, Linux 64-bit or 32-bit, and Mac OS X 64-bit. The OVF Tool landing page provides a link to the downloads for each release.

OVF Tool 4.5 supports the following operating systems:

  • Windows 11 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64)
  • Windows 10 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64)
  • Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1, 32-bit and 64-bit
  • Windows Server 2022, 2019, 2016, and 2012 R2
  • MacOS versions including 11 Big Sur and 12 Monterey
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) recent releases
  • Recent releases of CentOS and Fedora
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) recent releases
  • Ubuntu Linux and variants, recent releases
  • VMware Photon OS and Oracle Linux

See the OVF Tool 4.4.x Release Notes for previous system requirements and a summary of new features in each release.

What's New?

In this release, Zip archives are provided for five platforms, as an alternative to MSI, DMG, and bundle installers. Windows and Linux have both 32-bit and 64-bit Zip archives, MacOS 64-bit only. Simply unpack the Zip into a directory and run ovftool from there.

A new Pull mode feature allows much faster deployments of OVF packages. The --pullUploadMode flag introduces a new mode for HTTP(S) sources where ESXi directly copies the files from source to itself. Restrictions: the ESXi host must have access and permission to view the source, ESXi might require the source server's security certificate (or a thumbprint) and source must be HTTP(S) based rather than filesystem based.

A new upload validation feature adds the option to check and validate the SHA1 digest of a file transferred to a VI Target against the SHA1 digest of the source file being transferred. File upload validation occurs when you specify the --verifyViTargetManifest flag. If you specify the verify flag, SHA1 takes effect for SHA calculations; of course this can happen only on hosts that support SHA1. This option is not compatible with the Pull mode feature above.

The OVF Tool User Guide describes various ways of adding a virtual TPM (vTPM) into an OVF file. Support for vTPM in the vSphere Client is expected in an upcoming release.

Support for vCloud Director (VCD) 10.4 has been added. OVF Tool 4.5 was tested with VCD 10.2, 10.3, and 10.4.

For this release, the c-ares DNS library was upgraded to version 1.17.2, the Open SSL library was upgraded to version 1.0.2zf, and the Curl library was upgraded to version 7.83.1.

Compatibility Notices

When customers try to install vCenter Server 7.0.x from a browser on MacOS 10.15 Catalina, or Mac OS 11.x Big Sur, a popup dialog appears saying “vcsa-deploy.bin cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified” and installation fails with error “ovftool cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified.” This is due to greater security in MacOS and OVF Tool not being notarized for Apple. See KB 79416 for workarounds.

Resolved Issues

These issues were fixed in OVF Tool 4.5:

  • Optimized VI target network lookups.

    Some customer environments contained thousands of networks in their inventory, so OVF Tool took several minutes looping through to validate target networks. Network validation has been optimized for this release.

  • Chunking feature for image files such as NVRAM.

    The chunking feature did not always work for image files, so if chunksize is mentioned, OVF Tool fixes the size of NVRAM and other image files in the rewritten OVF file.

Known Issues and Workarounds

These issues were reported by customers or discovered during testing:

  • New: Error: No common hosts found.

    When deploying to a vCenter Server and selecting a vSphere Cluster in the target URL, if the target network specified in network mapping has many hosts attached to it, OVF Tool might return the error “No common hosts found” mistakenly. (See “Setting OVF Network Maps When Deploying to vSphere” in the OVF Tool User Guide.) A fix has been identified and will be available in a future release. For now, the workaround is to specify, after cluster name, a host with access to both the desired network and datastore. For example, replace the first line below with the second line. You can also specify a standalone host (one not in a cluster) as in line 3.

    vi://vCenterServerAddress/DatacenterName/host/ClusterName/HostName vi://vCenterServerAddress/DatacenterName/host/HostName

  • Network services library required.

    OVF Tool calls the network services library libnsl but Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 and Fedora 27 removed this library. Export fails and message “export failed: unknown error” appears. The solution is to install libnsl and restart the system, as detailed in VMware KB 89515.

This issue remains from previous OVF Tool releases:

  • DMG installer for MacOS not notarized.

    VMware did not notarize the MacOS installer, so security override is required. An alternative is to unpack the Zip file and run ovftool out of the working directory.



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