As a response to point two under "6.2 Recommendations specific to WPII-III" in the Review no.4 report ("Consider virtualization") we're proposing to create a virtual machine image of a fully functional system with a "default" configuration.


We'll make an OVA package: an archived (zipped) OVF with a VMDK virtual disk. This should be sufficiently compatible -- VMWare's virtualization systems are (probably?) most common and other systems should have good support for converting VMDKs into whatever format they prefer. Also, Citrix provides the Project Kensho OSS tool that can help in importing these kinds of packages to other environments (such as Microsoft's Hyper-V).

We can do this by creating the virtual machine image in e.g. VMWare Workstation (Windows; needs license), VMWare Fusion (OS X, needs license) or VMWare Player (Windows, free) and using their OVFTool to convert the 'native' VMX image into OVF and then package it into an OVA.

  • When installing the OS for the virtual machine image, pick a common OS (Linux distro) and make sure it has wide driver support installed by default
  • Do not install any "VM Tools" (e.g. VMWare Tools) apps onto the virtual machine (these are specific to individual virtualization solutions)

Notes About Formats

OVF (Open Virtualization Format)

VMDK (Virtual Machine Disk)

  • VMWare's format
  • Info: Wikipedia
  • Support:
    • VMWare (all products?)
    • VirtualBox 1.6

VHD (Virtual Hard Disk)

  • Microsoft's format
  • Info: Wikipedia
  • Support:
    • VMWare ESX
    • VirtualBox 2.0
    • Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V

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This page (revision-5) last changed on 18:24 25-Mar-2017 by AliRantakari.

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