Deploy an OVF template stored on a local ESXi datastore

In a branch office I recently had the demand to deploy an OVF template that is stored on the local datastore of an ESXi host.

If you try to deploy the ovf template using the webclient/vSphere Client, you can specify a location accessible from your computer (hard drive, share, CD drive,…) or a URL to the ovf file.

Specifying the path to a local source on your computer is easy: start the “Deploy OVF Template” wizzard, click “browse” and select the path to your ovf file:


But how can you identify the path to an ovf file stored on a local ESXi datastore?

Here is the how to:

Open a browser and enter the following address: https://IP_of_ESXi_Host/folder
Probably you will now see a link to “ha-datacenter”:


Select “ha-datacenter” to get a list of the local datastores:


Now select the datastore and if necessary the folders until you can see the ovf file in your browser:


Copy the URL path to your ovf file displayed in your browser and note the OVF filename itself, too (eg: AAA01.ovf):


In a last step you have to merge the filename (eg. AAA01.ovf) into the URL path:

Now you can use the “Deploy OVF Template” wizzard to deploy your ovf file from the local ESXi datastore. Just enter the URL from above and follow the wizzard:

URL from example above would be:



Of course you can also use this method to deploy an ovf file stored on the local datastore of another (remote) ESXi host if you want.


  1. bhawani

    I am deploying the OVF file from following process, but getting error “The remote server returned an error: 503 server unavaiable”.

    Could you suggest for it.

  2. Dois Koh

    I’m getting the same problem!! “The remote server returned an error: 503 server unavaiable”.

  3. Guru

    This information was very useful.

  4. Jenni B.

    Thank you! This did the trick.

  5. Joshua Laferriere

    it worked at first, until I tried to use an ovf file…

  6. Joshua Laferriere

    if getting error 503, this article said to reboot (or patch), which worked for me:

  7. al

    Thank you a lot for the article, really helped.

    Also would appreciate if you can show how do we export the VM to OVF template and save on a local ESXi datastore.

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