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Can VMWare deployment package with .ova extension be converted for Parallels Desktop?

  • Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac Home Edition
  • Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac Standard Edition
  • Parallels Access


I have VMWare deployment package with the extension .ova (Open Virtual Appliance, standard format for virtual machines).

It contains my virtual machines.

I would like to switch from VMWare to Parallels Desktop.

Can I use the same package (.ova) for deploying VMWare to Parallels Desktop. or it should be converted?


.ova is an archive. It usually contains description file (.ovf) a manifest file (.mf), and virtual machine disk files (.vhd or .vmdk)

Currently, conversion directly from ova/ovf is not supported by Parallels Desktop.

What needs to done in this particular case:

  1. Download the ovftool from VMWare official site and install it on your computer.

  2. Once this is done, you can convert the .ova to .vmx format:

    • Run Terminal (/Finder/Applications/Utilities/ and execute the command:

      /Applications/VMware\ OVF\ Tool/ovftool --lax VM_NAME.ova exploit.vmx

    NOTE: You need to specify the exact path to .ova file instead of "VM_NAME.ova".

    The best way is to simply Drag'n'Drop this file in Terminal window after enterning ...--lax

    • (There should be a space between ...lax and /path-to-vm...).
  3. Now, you have a .vmx file that you can open and convert to Parallels Desktop virtual machine (.pvm):

    • Please make sure you deleted previous tools from your virtual machine (old Parallels Tools or VMware tools, etc.)

    • Fully Shut down your virtual machine - do not suspend the virtual machine and do not put it in hibernate mode.

    • Open Parallels Desktop (in the Applications folder) and choose File > Open.

    • Select the .vmx file you want to import, then click Open.

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