Importing OVA assistance

Jason Morris

Member
Jun 20, 2017
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Hello All,

I have been having issues importing OVAs into my Proxmox cluster. I had given up completely on being able to do this and built a ESXi box for all my OVAs but I am determined to make it work now. This is what's going on.

I am the SAN admin at my company and use various tools from EMC to support my environment one of them is EMC's Data Domain Management Center. It comes in a zip file with a ovf, mf and vmdk file. When imported into ESXi it creates a server with a 40GB OS disk and a 200GB data disk. It works fine. I create a similar VM in Proxmox and run:

qm importdisk 103 ddmc-6.1.2.20-606786-disk1.vmdk prox5400 -format qcow2

and it imports my disk but when I start the VM it tells me that there is no bootable disk and I get stuck in an endless loop at that point. I cannot stop the VM, can't delete it or anything. Totally locked. The only option at that point that I have found is to attach an ISO to the VM and install an OS on top of it. Then I can stop and remove the VM.

I've been using Proxmox for a while and had the same experience about 2 years ago when I first attempted this. That was by converting the vmdk to a qcow2 file. I tried raw also with no better results.

I wish there was in import ova/ovf native feature in the GUI. It would make using Proxmox exclusively an option.

Anyways if anyone can assist I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you
 
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vshaulsk

Member
Oct 24, 2017
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Toledo OH
I would like this feature in the GUI as well ..... I find importing of vm's not intuitive
- I have a couple of VM's that I would like to import, but because it is not easy ...... I have been waiting until I have time to sit down and figure it out
 
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Jason Morris

Member
Jun 20, 2017
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I would like this feature in the GUI as well ..... I find importing of vm's not intuitive
- I have a couple of VM's that I would like to import, but because it is not easy ...... I have been waiting until I have time to sit down and figure it out
It seems like such basic functionality. I'm amazed it doesn't already exist.
 
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Jason Morris

Member
Jun 20, 2017
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Minor update. I was able to get the VM to boot with using qm importovf but it won't create/recognize the second disk still so the system just blows up. I have gotten it to this point before by manually converting the vmdk. Such a bother.
 

WhiteStarEOF

Member
Mar 6, 2012
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The way I've done this, granted has always been done with OVA files, is to just extract the VMDK from the OVA file. IIRC, the difference between OVA and OVF was whether or not compression was enabled? It's been a while since I rolled VMs in ESXi.

tar xvf somefile.ova

Once I have the VMDK file, I use the qemu-img command to convert it to qcow2, as I've had a lot of problems with VMDKs working for 1 boot in Proxmox, and then becoming corrupted.

qemu-img convert -f vmdk -O qcow2 disk-image-0.vmdk vm-100-disk-0.qcow2

Once that's done you can either create a VM with the appropriate number of disks in qcow2 format, and then copy your freshly converted virtual disks over the ones that Proxmox creates. Or you can manually add entries in the VM's configuration file. I highly recommend the former.

Don't forget to check your boot order just to make sure that it's selecting a valid virtual disk as the first boot option. Boot options don't change automatically.
 
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Jason Morris

Member
Jun 20, 2017
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WhiteStarEOF,


Your process is how I have done it in the past. For single disk VMs I seem to have fairly good luck but for multiple disk ones it's a crapshoot. I need a process that's simple enough for some of our less technically skilled engineers to import OVA/OVFs without having to jump threw a bunch of hoops.


UPDATE:

I just tried that method again (fairly desperate for a fix) and now I get an error 17 when booting. That's new. On a positive note I figured something out. When this happens I cannot shutdown or stop the VM. Which is very annoying. If you delete the lock file you can stop and delete the offending VM. That's a handy trick and much faster than installing Centos on it so I can get to a point where I can shut it down.
 
Last edited:

vshaulsk

Member
Oct 24, 2017
60
6
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36
Toledo OH
I have successfully added an OVA VM into proxmox yesterday. I unpacked the OVA file which contained the .vmdk disk.
I than created a VM in proxmox with the appropriate configuration.
Created two .vmdk disk in the local directory, which puts the files in /var/lib/vz/images
- Copied my .vmdk file for the VM into the directory /var/lib/vz/images ....... renamed them to match the already created .vmdk proxmox vm file.
- Finally through the GUI I moved the .vmdk disk to my thin-lvm
- Under the VM options, I changed the boot order to start from the correct disk

The VM started and is working !!!!!

I think you would be able to follow this method with a multi disk OVA as well, but I don't have one to test on
 

spirit

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Apr 2, 2010
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Created two .vmdk disk in the local directory, which puts the files in /var/lib/vz/images
- Copied my .vmdk file for the VM into the directory /var/lib/vz/images ....... renamed them to match the already created .vmdk proxmox vm file.
- Finally through the GUI I moved the .vmdk disk to my thin-lvm
this is exactly the same than using "qm importdisk". (move disk or qm importdisk , use both qemu-img to convert vmdk to dest storage)
 

Jason Morris

Member
Jun 20, 2017
10
4
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46
I've tried all the suggestions here and nothing has helped. It doesn't look like improved OVA/OVF functionality is even being considered which is unfortunate. I can keep running both platforms but why when I can just run ESXi and do everything (well sort of).
 

tom

Proxmox Staff Member
Staff member
Aug 29, 2006
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That is good to know ..... I was a bit on clear regarding what needed to be done.

I still think it should be a simple import within the GUI
This can never work reliable, as we run our GUI in a browser. VM images are much too big, so there is technical limit here.
 

Sven Jörns

Member
May 23, 2017
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I often get an appliance as VMware Zip. There is then an ovf file, a vdmk file and an mf file.
A full procedure could at least work well on the console.
1) Upload the zip file with e.g. WinScp into the backup area. This makes sense if you work with a cluster-FS and there is not so much space on the proxmox-host itself.
2) then start the import with a console program. This program first tests if the SHA1 are correct, sets up a VM according to the specifications of the ovf file and converts the vmdk file if necessary.
Is such a tool already available?
 

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