VirtualBox supports the OVF (Open Virtualization Format) and the OVA package (an single archive format).


You can import an .ova archive through File → Import Applicance (C-i). The wizard allows to discard attached peripherals and “reinitialize the MAC address of all networks cards”. This latter option is important in the case you are importing to the same VirtualBox the .ova comes.

The same can be achieved from command line with:

$ vboxmanage import <file>.ova

This does not require to previously start the virtualbox application.


Click File → Export Appliance (C-e) and choose the machine you want. If you click the “Hide Description” button then several metadata may be edited and set destination path.

And the same can be done from command line:

$ vboxmanage export <machine-name> -o <file>.ova


To clone an existing virtual machine, select it in the main window and click Machine → Clone (C-o). In the wizard, set the destination machine name, choose if you want a independent machine (full clone) or create a virtual disk only with differences (linked clone). Source machine snapshots can be cloned too. Do not forget to set “reinitialize the MAC address of all network cards”.

And the command line way:

$ vboxmanage clonevm <source-machine-name> --name <target-machine-name> --register

blog comments powered by Disqus