MichaIng
Contributor
Contributor

Format of OVA manifest file depending on OVF or VMX version?

Hey guys,

we try to generate an OVA appliance for VMware Player/Fusion as well as ESXi/vSphere. We build the OVA manually, using an OVF based on an ovftool resp. ESXi export, a VMDK and a manifest (.mf) file with SHA1 hashes for the other two files, then adding those three into into a gzipped tarball with ova extension.

Our first attempt was with an OVF generated via ovftool from a VMX that we successfully used on VMware Player before. This OVA could be imported into VMware Player successfully, but it failed to be imported in ESXi directly or via vSphere, throwing an error about a mismatch between manifest file and content. The manifest file looked like this:

SHA1 (<name>.ovf) = <sha1>
SHA1 (<name>.vmdk) = <sha1>

We compared it with an export from ESXi and found the spaces around the filename parenthesis to be missing. Removing them from the one above (generated by ovftool), allowed the appliance to be imported in ESXi.

We then generated a new OVF with some tuned hardware settings based on an ESXi export, where the spaces were missing expectedly. It imported fine on ESXi and vSphere, but fails with the manifest mismatch error on VMware Player. Interestingly, adding the spaces did not solve it. We tried to compare with another ovftool VMX conversion with newer VMX version, which then as well didn't contain those spaces anymore, but SHA256 hashes instead. Trying to use SHA256 hashes within the other appliance (of course with correct hashes for the two files, double checked), with or without spaces still failed.

This all makes me think that the exact format as well as the used hashing algorithm highly depends not only on the VMware product, but also on the used OVF and VMX version strings defined in the OVF file: The latter is defined within the OVF as well, e.g. via <vssd:VirtualSystemType>vmx-13</vssd:VirtualSystemType> which indicates hardware version 13.

Is there an overview of the exact expected/functional manifest file format and supported hashing algorithm for each product, depending on OVF version, VMX version?

Best regards,

Micha

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scott28tt
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Expect your thread to move to the OVFTool area now I’ve reported it.


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Although I am a VMware employee I contribute to VMware Communities voluntarily (ie. not in any official capacity)
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MichaIng
Contributor
Contributor

Probably it fits better there, but it is not dedicated to or a question about the ovatool, but more about which OVA-contained .mf file format VMware products expect depending on OVF and VMX versions.

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scott28tt
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

It is more likely to get the right eyes on it now compare to where you created it in the first place.

 


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Although I am a VMware employee I contribute to VMware Communities voluntarily (ie. not in any official capacity)
VMware Training & Certification blog
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