How do solve VMware ESXi common problem: “Unsupported hardware family vmx-12” during OVF import.

If you were getting following error while importing the OVF/OVA in your VMWare ESXi server. 

This error is related to the virtual hardware version configured for the OVF template – it is not supported by the used vSphere version because you are using different version of VMWare ESXi version. Fortunately there are workaround to fix this issue. 

Solution # 1:

Download and install the OVFTool. Here’s a link for that.

Then run the following command.
ovftool <path of .ovf file> <path for converted .vmx file>
Then you will get a VMX file. You will have to edit the Hardware version in it. Change it to a version that is compatible with your hardware. Once you do this, save the VMX file.

Then you need to convert the VMX back to OVF.
The command for that is
ovftool <path of .vmx file> <path for converted .ovf file>
After this is done you can deploy the OVF.

Solution #2:

To avoid wasting time extracting/rebuilding with OVF tool you can just edit the OVF file, change the line that says “VMX-XX” (as per your requirement) whatever version works with your ESXI. Then use a hashing utility to calculate the SHA-1 of the edited OVF file and replace the corresponding SHA-1 hash in the “.mf” file.

Step 1 – edit the ovf file:

  • open the .ovf file with an editor
  • find the line <vssd:VirtualSystemType>vmx-12</vssd:VirtualSystemType>
  • change vmx-12 to eg. vmx-19 (or another hw-version working with your ESXi) as you are using  VMWare ESXi 7.0.2 version so the virtual hardware version should be 19, for more detail please see the article.  
  • save the changes

Step 2 – Calculate SHA-1 and change .mf file:
Now you have to replace the corresponding SHA-1 of the edited OVF file in the .mf file:If you have a hashing utility, calculate the SHA-1 of the edited .ovf file and replace the hash in the .mf file.
Then the import of the OVF Template should work without any problems/errors.If you do not have an hashing utility, download one. You can use eg “HashmyFiles” from NirSoft if you want.

In this article we have have gone through couple of solutions to fix the OVF import issue in VMWare EXSi.

Sajid Ali
Sajid Ali
Linux & Windows Server Administrator | Cloud Architect: I possess 10 years of professional experience with administration of different hosting provider’s Linux and Windows based servers on a large production level.


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