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This article provides instructions for importing OVA files into VirtualBox. An OVA file is an Open Virtualization Appliance that contains a compressed, "installable" version of a virtual machine. When you open an OVA file it extracts the VM and imports it into whatever virtualization software you have installed on your computer. The instructions below explain how to install an OVA file in Oracle VirtualBox, but a similar process can be used to import an OVA into VMWare Player or other virtualization applications.

Briefly, these steps are:


  1. Download and install VirtiualBox

  2. Download the OVA file you want and import it as a VM into VirtualBox

  3. Launch the VM and install and licensed any software you want to use in it

Step 1: 

If you have not already done so, install VirtualBox - https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads. You can find instructions on how to do this at the Installing VirtualBox wiki page. 

  1. For Mac users, select "OS X hosts". Run the file and follow the on-screen directions.
  2. You can launch VirtualBox from the Applications and "Keep in dock" if desired.

Step 2:

Obtain the OVA file you would like to use. Students can obtain a Windows OVA file in a couple of different ways:

  1. McCombs Computer Services distributes an OVA file to students at the SWAT Shop in the basement of the CBA.

  2. Students can also download this OVA file directly from https://utexas.box.com/v/msb-student-vms. (6.3 GB)
  3. Once downloaded, double click the OVA file to open it in VirtualBox (or whatever virtualization software you have installed). This will open a window similar to the one below that initiates an import process. Check the box marked "Reinitialize the Mac address of all network cards".

    You should not need to change any configuration settings for the VM to work, but feel free to change any that you would like such as the name of the VM or where you want to save it on your hard drive. If you choose to adjust the RAM settings, it is strongly recommended you do not allocate any more than 50% of the RAM that your computer has.

  4. Click Import to start importing the OVA file into your library. This process may take several minutes, depending on the size of your OVA file.
  5. You can delete the OVA file you downloaded. The virtual machine has been extracted to your user folder.

Step 3:

Once VirtualBox has completed importing the OVA file you should be able to see the virtual machine in your list. If desired, you can change the amount of RAM and CPU cores the VM will use when running. In VirtualBox, go to Setttings, System, and increase the RAM and/or CPU cores if you experience slowness in the VM. Please be aware that the more you give the VM, the less the main OS has to work with. When the VM is shut down, all hardware resources go back to the main OS. We recommend at least 1 CPU core and 2 GB of RAM but not more than 50% of the total for either. Select Start (or double-click the VM object in the list) to launch the VM.


Step 4:

The Windows OS in the student VM is Windows 10 Education and it is unlicensed. You will need to enter a Windows license key after launching it for the first time.

  1. Business School students can obtain a license for Windows through the Microsoft Azure program. To obtain a license, click the link below and log in with your EID: Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching
  2. Under Get software click "View All" and select Windows 10 Education, version 1809. Click "View Key" and copy the license key.
  3. Enter the license key in the Windows activation window.
    1. Right click on the start button and choose System.
    2. You should see a "Change product key...." link in the System Properties.
    3. Click the link and enter in (or paste) the key in the blank

You can also install Microsoft Office into the VM by installing it from Office 365. For more information about this please visit https://office365.austin.utexas.edu/

  1. Select "Office 365 Portal - Sign in to download Microsoft Office and use other Office 365 services."
  2. Sign in with your EID and EID password
  3. At the top right, you should see "Install Office 2016"

If you need Decision Tools, you can download it here - https://utexas.box.com/v/dtsinstaller. Run the installer after downloading. You do not need the SQL Express options.