Home > Linux, Mac administration, VMware > Converting JAMF’s NetBoot/SUS Appliance to VMWare

Converting JAMF’s NetBoot/SUS Appliance to VMWare

I was really excited to see that JAMF released a new Ubuntu-based VM that hosts Reposado and diskless NetBoot today. I was less excited to see that the VM was in VirtualBox’s Open Virtual Appliance format. Nothing against VirtualBox, but I’ve already got VMWare installed and prefer to use that instead.

Fortunately, it is possible to convert from .ova to .vmdk pretty easily using VMWare’s OVF Tool. See below the jump for how you can convert the file and use it in VMWare Fusion.

1. Download and install the VMWare OVF Tool for Mac OS X from this site: http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/server/vsphere/automationtools/ovf

2. Open Terminal and run the following command (fill in paths as appropriate):

/Applications/VMware\ OVF\ Tool/ovftool /path/to/NetSUS_1.0.ova /path/to/NetSUS_1.0.vmx

You should see output like this:

hostname:~ username$ /Applications/VMware\ OVF\ Tool/ovftool /path/to/NetSUS_1.0.ova /path/to/NetSUS_1.0.vmx
Opening OVA source: /path/to/NetSUS_1.0.ova
Opening VMX target: /path/to/NetSUS_1.0.vmx
Writing VMX file: /path/to/NetSUS_1.0.vmx
Disk Transfer Completed

The manifest validates
Completed successfully
hostname:~ username$

Once the conversion finishes, you should have two files.

Screen Shot 2012-02-06 at 4.25.10 PM

3. Next, open VMWare Fusion and have it set up a new VM. When prompted, choose Continue without disc.

Screen Shot 2012-02-06 at 4.25.21 PM

4. Select the Use an existing virtual disk: option and select the NetSUS_1.0.vmdk file. I chose to make a separate copy of the virtual disk for my new VM.

Screen Shot 2012-02-06 at 4.25.36 PM

5. The .vmdk format is seen by VMWare Fusion 4.x as an older format, so I chose to convert it for maximum compatibility.

Screen Shot 2012-02-06 at 4.25.44 PM

6. Once the NetSUS_1.0.vmdk file was converted, I was taken back to the Virtual Machine Assistant. I hit Continue at this point.

Screen Shot 2012-02-06 at 4.25.50 PM

7. VMWare correctly identified it as a Linux VM running Ubuntu, so I left these selections alone and hit Continue.

Screen Shot 2012-02-06 at 4.25.53 PM

8. Final step in the creation process. I was fine with the default options, so I hit the Finish button.


Screen Shot 2012-02-06 at 3.59.43 PM

  1. gjglobaldawnGareyh
    February 8, 2012 at 11:12 am

    thanks for this, very helpful!

  2. Clif
    March 30, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Any idea how to do same on Parallels Desktop? 🙂

  3. May 23, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I managed to convert the OVA to VMDK. Any chance you how to import that file into Amazon EC2? I am getting an error about compression when using the command line tool to import.

  4. May 23, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I managed to convert the OVA file to VMDK. Im trying to install the Netsus appliance in amazon EC2. Im trying this using the command line tools and getting an error about the source compression. Any ideas?

  5. Kostas Backas
    September 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Can you please tell me how to expand the vm disk of this?



  6. Jeremy D
    May 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Hi Rich,

    Is this ovftool still required for NetSUS_1.02.ova and Fusion 5.0.3? I was able to import the .ova directly into Fusion, and get the guest up and running.

    My challenge has been getting the NetSUS_1.02.ova into Vcenter.
    I’ve got vm running in Vcenter, but have network issues. Not to hijack this thread, but here’s output from various network commands…

    ip addr show
    1: lo: mtu 16436 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN
    link/loopback […omitted…]
    inet scope host lo

    2: eth3 mtu 1500 qdisc noop state DOWN qlen 1000
    link/ether [v MAC addr] […omitted…]

    ifconfig eth3
    eth3 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr [MAC addr]

    Again, don’t mean to hijack; I just imaging you’ve tried (and succeeded at) the same thing.

    Thanks as always for you contributions to this community!
    — Jeremy D

  7. June 13, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    @Jeremy D: As you’ve seen, I believe VMWare Fusion 5.x and above will import directly from OVA, no conversion needed. Works perfectly in Fusion 6.x here.

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