Apps and tools built by our engineers that are intended to be played with and explored.




With vSphere 4, we introduced a set of new features for managing and configuring virtual appliances, namely: vApps, OVF properties, and the OVF environment. A vApp is a container for a distributed, multi-VM software solution. It has power-on operations just as a virtual machine, and can be imported or exported as an OVF package. The OVF properties and OVF environment provides a flexible mechanism for parameterizing guest software inside a VM upon deployment. Using the OVF properties, it is possible to both configure OS level properties, such as IP settings, and application level parameters, such as IP addresses of external servers.

Until now, these features have been exclusive to vSphere 4, but with VMware vApprun, these features become available to both Workstation and Fusion users. The vApprun tool implements the same vApp/OVF feature set as the vSphere 4 release. Thus, Workstation/Fusion can be used as a development environment for advanced OVF packages, and it can be used to evaluate and test OVF packages on your desktops and laptops.

Along with the vApprun tool, we will shortly release a technical preview of VMware OVF Tool 2.0. One of the new features is support for vApprun workspaces as both a source and target. Thus, OVF packages can be deployed and run directly on Workstation and Fusion, even when they use advanced features such as OVF properties or contain multiple VMs. Furthermore, the vApps and VMs that are created using vApprun can be exported as OVF packages, deployed to vSphere installations, or even into vCloud accounts.

Features Overview

  • vApps that contain multiple VMs and nested vApps.
  • For a vApp, the start/stop sequence of the child entities can be configured.
  • Start/stop/shutdown of vApps.
  • Create OVF properties and access the OVF environment from guest software.
  • Supports ISO and guestInfo OVF environment transports.
  • Supports fixed, transient, and DHCP IP allocation modes and IP pools.
  • Import OVF packages and run it with vApprun (using OVF Tool 2.0).
  • Export vApps and VMs created with vApprun to OVF packages (using OVF Tool 2.0).
  • Command-line, workspace-oriented user interaction.
  • Cross-platform – available for Windows/Mac/Linux.
  • VMware vSphere 4 compatible.

Learn More

Use the following references to learn more about vApps, the Open Virtualization Format (OVF), and virtual appliances:

System Requirements

The following software must be installed:

  • Python 2.5 or Python 2.6  (download from www.python.org)
  • VMware Workstation 6 or later (Windows/Linux)
  • VMware Fusion 2 or later (Mac OS X)

VMware vApprun is supported on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.


  1. Create a directory for installing vapprun. For example:
    • mkdir c:\vapprun (Windows)
    • mkdir ~/vapprun (Linux / Mac OS X)
  2. Unzip the downloaded zip file into the chosen installation directory
  3. Follow the remaining installation steps in the README document that is included in the zip file.
  4. The README also contains a brief getting started guide, and the doc/ directory contains a user guide.


Change Log


Rene Schmidt

Management Platform
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11 thoughts on “vApprun

  1. deek wad

    Ah yes like all the other junk like this , the version ends and no further updates or any substantial help or product into …sigh!!

  2. Yoga

    I would like to know the steps, how to use the existing VM template into v-studio and also eager to know is vapp support exe’s based installer.
    If so please guide, since the developer guide doc are much deep and detailed.

  3. Mark Norman

    I would like the vapprun functionality, but with the ability to manipulate vapps on a remove VCenter or ESX
    I noticed neither of the tools which access remove VCenters (VSphere CLI or vmrun ) can act on vapps.
    So, looks like I have to use vCloud API. I didn’t look too far into VIX API, but it appears it does not work on vapps
    either. Thanks for any clarification.

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  5. Nik Tetteh-Lartey

    ok. I see zimbra have changed things and you have to get a personalized version … seems to be in the .ovf/ova formats. Thanks

  6. Nik Tetteh-Lartey

    Hi Rene, Watched your vmworld session on ovf, yesterday and followed through to this link. The zimbra ovf at the link you reference in step 3 above, appears not to work. It’s a bummer because I’d like to run this example all the way through. Any suggestions/fixes soon?

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