One way to move a virtual machine or just as a backup solution is to create a copy of your virtual machine as an appliance. This appliance can then be imported back to VirtualBox or other compatible virtualization platforms such as VMware or QEMU.

VirtualBox's virtual machines can be exported to the Open Virtualization Format appliance format into a folder (ovf) or an archive file (ova).

Steps to export VirtualBox VM to appliance:

  1. Launch VirtualBox.
  2. Make sure the virtual machine is powered off.
  3. Right-click on the virtual machine and click on Export to OCI.
  4. Click on the select box for Format.
  5. Select the OVF version that you want to export the virtual machine to.

    Newer version is usually better but might not be compatible with older virtualization software.

  6. Click on the folder icon.
  7. Enter the target filename, select target location and click on Format dropdown list.
  8. Select the format that you want to export the virtual machine to.

    .ovf exports to multiple files within a folder (each for disk, metadata etc) while .ova exports to a single file of a compressed .ovf format folder.

  9. Click on the Save button.
  10. Review the settings and click on Export.
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