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COT (the Common OVF Tool) is a tool for editing Open Virtualization Format (.ovf, .ova) virtual appliances, with a focus on virtualized network appliances such as the Cisco CSR 1000V and Cisco IOS XRv platforms.

COT’s capabilities include:

  • Add a disk or other file to an OVF/OVA
  • Edit OVF hardware information (CPUs, RAM, NICs, configuration profiles, etc.)
  • Edit product description information in an OVF/OVA
  • Edit OVF environment properties
  • Display a descriptive summary of the contents of an OVA or OVF package
  • Embed a bootstrap configuration text file into an OVF/OVA.
  • Deploy an OVF/OVA to an ESXi (VMware vSphere or vCenter) server to provision a new virtual machine (VM).


Displaying a summary of OVA contents:

> cot info --brief iosxrv.5.1.1.ova
COT detected platform type: Cisco IOS XRv
Product:  Cisco IOS XRv
Vendor:   Cisco Systems, Inc.
Version:  5.1.1

Files and Disks:     File Size  Capacity Device
                     --------- --------- --------------------
  iosxrv.vmdk        271.59 MB   3.00 GB harddisk @ IDE 0:0

Hardware Variants:
  System types:             vmx-08 Cisco:Internal:VMCloud-01
  Ethernet device types:    E1000

Configuration Profiles:   CPUs    Memory NICs Serials Disks/Capacity
                          ---- --------- ---- ------- --------------
  1CPU-3GB-2NIC (default)    1   3.00 GB    2       2  1 /   3.00 GB
  2CPU-4GB-8NIC              2   4.00 GB    8       2  1 /   3.00 GB
  4CPU-6GB-10NIC             4   6.00 GB   10       2  1 /   3.00 GB

Adding a custom hardware configuration profile to an OVA:

> cot edit-hardware csr1000v.ova --output csr1000v_custom.ova \
      --profile 1CPU-4GB --cpus 1 --memory 4GB

Customizing OVF environment properties:

> cot edit-properties csr1000v.ova --output csr1000v_custom.ova \
      --properties mgmt-ipv4-addr= \