Import VMs From OVF/OVA


XenCenter 2023.x.x is currently in preview and is not supported for production use. Note that any future references to production support apply only when XenCenter 2023.x.x and XenServer 8 go from preview status to general availability.

You can use XenCenter 2023.x.x to manage your XenServer 8 and Citrix Hypervisor 8.2 CU1 non-production environments. However, to manage your Citrix Hypervisor 8.2 CU1 production environment, use XenCenter 8.2.7. For more information, see the XenCenter 8.2.7 documentation.

You can install XenCenter 8.2.7 and XenCenter 2023.x.x on the same system. Installing XenCenter 2023.x.x does not overwrite your XenCenter 8.2.7 installation.

You can import virtual machines (VMs) that have been saved as OVF/OVA files using the Import wizard. The wizard takes you through many of the usual steps needed to create a VM in XenCenter: nominating a home server, and configuring storage and networking for the new VMs, plus some additional steps required as part of the OVF import process, including:

  • Specifying security settings if the OVF package includes a certificate or a manifest.
  • Specifying Operating system fixup settings if importing VMs that were built on a hypervisor other than a XenServer server.

For an overview of the steps involved in creating a VM, see Creating a New VM.

Imported OVF packages appear as vApps when imported using XenCenter. When the import is complete, the new VMs appear in the XenCenter Resources pane and the new vApp appears in the Managing vApps dialog box.


It might not always be possible to run an imported VM that was exported from another server with a different CPU type. For example, a Windows VM created on a server with an Intel VT CPU, then exported, might not run when imported to a server with an AMD-V CPU.


  • You need an RBAC role of Pool Admin to import OVF/OVA packages. The Import wizard performs checks to ensure that you have a Pool Admin role in the destination pool before allowing you to continue. For more information about RBAC roles, see RBAC overview.
  • When importing an OVF Package that was compressed or contains compressed files, extra free disk space is necessary on your XenServer host to decompress the files.

To import an OVF package

  1. Open the Import wizard: on the File menu, select Import.
  2. On the first page of the wizard, locate the package you want to import (with a .ovf, .ova or .ova.gz file name extension), then select Next to continue.
    • If you select a compressed OVA file ( *.ova.gz ), on clicking Next, the file is decompressed to an OVA file and the old *.ova.gz file is deleted.
    • If you enter a URL location (HTTP, HTTPS, file, FTP) in the Filename box, on clicking Next, a Download Package dialog opens. Use this dialog to specify a folder on your XenCenter host where the package is to be copied.
  3. Review/accept EULAs. Accept the EULAs and then select Next to continue.

    If no EULAs are included in the package, the wizard skips this step and moves straight on to the next page.

  4. Specify the VM location and home server. On the Location page, choose the pool or standalone server where you want to place the VMs you are importing from the Import VMs to list. Optionally, assign the VMs a home server:
    • To nominate a home server for a VM, select the server from the list in the Home Server column. XenServer always attempts to start up a VM on its home server if it can. For more information, see Home Server.

    • If you do not want to nominate a home server, select Don’t assign a home server from the list in the Home Server column.

      Click Next to continue.

  5. Configure storage for the imported VMs. On the Storage page, select one or more storage repositories (SRs) where the disk images for the imported are to be placed, then select Next to continue.
    • To place all the imported disk images on the same SR, select Place all imported VMs on this target SR and select an SR from the list.

    • To place the disk images of incoming VMs onto different SRs, select Place imported VMs on the specified SR targets. For each virtual disk, select the target SR from the list in the SR column.

  6. Configure networking for the imported VMs. On the Networking page, map the virtual network interfaces in the VMs you are importing to target networks in the destination pool. The Network and MAC address shown in the list of incoming VMs are stored as part of the definition of the original (exported) VM in the export file. To map an incoming virtual network interface to a target network, select a network from the list in the Target network column.

    Click Next to continue.

  7. Specify security settings. If the selected OVF/OVA package is configured with security features such as certificates or a manifest, specify the necessary information on the Security page. Select Next to continue. Different options appear on this page depending on which security features have been configured on the OVF package:

    • If the package is signed, a Verify digital signature check box appears here; select this check box if you want to verify the signature. Click View Certificate to display the certificate used to sign the package. If the certificate appears as untrusted, it is likely that either the Root Certificate or the Issuing Certificate Authority is not trusted on the local computer.

    • If the package includes a manifest, a Verify manifest content check box appears here. Select this check box to have the wizard verify the list of files in the package.

    When the packages are digitally signed, the associated manifest is verified automatically and so the Verify manifest content check box does not appear on the Security page.


    VMware Workstation 7.1 produces an OVF appliance with a manifest that has invalid SHA-1 hashes. Choosing to verify the manifest when importing an appliance from this source causes the import fail.

  8. Enable Operating System Fixup. If the VMs in the import package are built on a hypervisor other than the XenServer server, select Use Operating System Fixup. Choose an ISO SR where the Fixup ISO can be copied so that XenServer can use it.

    If the ISO library you want is not listed, select New ISO Library to create an ISO SR. For more information, see ISO Storage.

    Click Next to continue.

  9. (XenCenter 8.2.2 and earlier) Configure Transfer VM networking. On the Transfer VM Settings page, configure the networking settings for the temporary VM used in the transfer.

    • Select a network from the list of network interfaces available in the destination pool or standalone server.
    • To use the automated Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) to automatically assign networking settings including the IP address, subnet mask and gateway, select Automatically obtain network settings using DHCP.
    • To configure networking settings manually, select Use these network settings and enter the IP address, subnet mask and gateway.

    In the latest version of XenCenter, a temporary VM is not used and this step is not required.

  10. On the Finish page, review all the import settings, and then select Finish to begin the import process and close the wizard.

    The import progress is displayed on the status bar at the bottom of the XenCenter window and also on the Events view under Notifications.

    The import process can take some time. The import time depends on the size of the imported virtual disks, the available network bandwidth, and the disk interface speed of the XenCenter host. When the import is finished, the newly imported VMs appear in the Resources pane and the new vApp appears in the Managing vApps dialog.


After using XenCenter to import an OVF package that contains Windows operating systems, you must set the platform parameter:

xe vm-param-set uuid=<VM UUID> platform:device\_id=0002

xe vm-param-set uuid=<VM UUID> platform:viridian=true

Errors when trying to start an imported VM

If you cannot boot the VMs imported from an OVF package, try importing the package again without using the Operating System Fixup feature: in the OS Fixup Settings page of the Import wizard, clear the Use Operating System Fixup check box. For more information, see About VM Import and Export.

Import VMs From OVF/OVA