Ticket #10305 (new defect)

Opened 6 years ago

Last modified 20 months ago

OVA/OVF import ignores virtual machine name

Reported by: diegows Owned by:
Priority: minor Component: OVF
Version: VirtualBox 4.1.8 Keywords:
Cc: Guest type: other
Host type: other


I've created an OVA/OVF file using Vmware Workstation and I found that VirtualBox is ignoring the virtual machine name when I import it. Virtualbox is using the "ovf:id" attribute of the "VirtualSystem" tag instead of the "Name" element inside the "VirtualSystem" section.

I'm setting "ovf:id" with the "Name" element value as workaround, but I think that VirtualBox should use the "Name" element if it exists.

Vmware Player/Workstation imports the name correctly.

Change History

comment:1 Changed 20 months ago by leedega

I see this defect / improvement request has been outstanding for quite some time. This seems like such a trivial fix. Is there any plans to implement this any time soon?

comment:2 Changed 20 months ago by leedega

I probably should add some more information to this defect report that may help in clarifying the problem case and hopefully help justify the effort to fix this.

From what I can tell, virtual appliances exported by VMWare Workstation always have their ovf:id attribute set to "vm". The original name of the VM as found in the IDE is then encoded in the Name subelement under the VirtualSystem node as mentioned in the description. Further, it would appear that Virtual Box ignores the Name element and simply looks to the ovf:id attribute for populating the default machine name for the appliance during import. As a result, anyone importing a VM into Virtual Box that has been exported from VMWare Workstation will always have the exact same appliance name by default: "vm". This is extremely tedious for users of the shared appliances as they have to constantly rename their VMs on import.

As alluded to in the defect description, there is a very simple "hack" one can do to the .ovf file associated with the virtual appliance which is to modify the ovf:id attribute after the export and changing it's value to match the value found in the Name element. This is quite tedious to do from a maintenance perspective because then there is always at least one extra step that one needs to do to hack the XML.

In our case we also prefer to share compressed archives (.ova) rather than the separate OVF files since copying a single file around to share the appliance is much easier than trying to keep the separate uncompressed files together while they get moved around. To facilitate this not only do we have to export our appliances first to OVF to facilitate the hacking of the XML, but then we have to re-convert the appliance to an OVA file afterwards. This is a tedious step at best.

Ideally there would be a way to export virtual appliances from Workstation in a single step while still producing appliances that behave similarly in both Virtual Box and Workstation. I have been looking for other support tools that may be able to achieve this result but I have not yet found any. OVFTool, a command line tool provided by VMWare for managing VMs, does allow one to customize certain attributes in the virtual appliance but the ovf:id is not one of them (or so it seems anyway - the online help is somewhat unclear in this regard).

I probably could write a tool / script to do the conversion process or to hide the 3-step process a bit, but that seems overkill for what should be a very simple change to the implementation of Virtual Box such that it looks to the Name element instead of the ovf:id attribute for the default machine name.

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