Older versions of ESXi IIRC allowed for the direct export to ova. I recently came across a process that is not supported; however, is supposed to allow for the copy of ovftools over to a Proxmox and ESXi servers. There exists an extracted version of VMware ovftool on github. However, it is version 4.1.0 and expect to encounter issues with curl and SSL connect errors even with –noSSLVerify in use. This was corrected in version 4.3.0. The latest version of ovftool is 4.4.0. After some testing and configuration tweaks, I have successfully demonstrated that ovftools can run on an ESXi and Proxmox servers and perform a couple tasks.
After downloading the latest, VMware-ovftool-4.4.0-15722219-lin.x86_64.bundle onto a CentOS Linux 8 box, change it to an executable and run.
chmod +x VM*bundle ./VMware-ovftool-4.4.0-15722219-lin.x86_64.bundle --extract ovftools
Follow the prompts and be done.
Then navigate into that directory ovftools and tar up the vmware-ovftool directory.
tar czvf vmware-ovftool.tgz vmware-ovftool/*
Copy over to the datastore of an ESXi server or a Proxmox server and extract the tar, then modify a bash script from /bin/bash to /bin/sh and chmod two files.
tar xzvf vmware-ovftool.tgz cd vmware-ovftool/ chmod +x ovftool ovftool.bin
Then run it. Example that worked for creating an ova.
./ovftool --noSSLVerify vi://usergoeshere:passwordgoeshere@IP.AD.DR.ESS/rocky84 ../rocky84.ova
An example that worked for creating a directory of the same name with the .vmdk .nvram .ovf .mf files.
./ovftool --noSSLVerify vi://usergoeshere:passwordgoeshere@IP.AD.DR.ESS/rocky84 ..