Opening VDF files

Have a problem opening a .VDF file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what VDF files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .VDF file type?

Primarily, the .vdf filename extension denotes the Avira Virus Definition File (.vdf) file type used by the Avira anti-virus software from Avira Operations GmbH. Named after the "vbase[nnn].vdf" pattern in which [nnn] is a 3-digit numerical index, each .vdf file contains threat signature definitions in a proprietary binary format. Such .vdf files provide the base for the Avira anti-virus scanner and realtime protection mechanism to detect and neutralize viruses, trojans, and other malware. Normally, all Avira products update themselves automatically on a schedule, retrieving virus definition updates (.vdf) directly from the Avira servers.

To manually update an Avira product, one can create a consolidated ZIP archive ("vdf_fusebundle.zip," referred to as a 'fuse bundle') with the most recent Avira scan engine and virus definition updates (.vdf). Such archives are created with the free Avira Update Tool, also known as the Fusebundle Generator.

Additionally, the .vdf extension represents the Valve Data Format (VDF) used by Valve Corporation's Source Engine to program different aspects of game scenarios in such Source-based games as Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike, and others. A .vdf file contains plaint-text source code in one of the VDF languages (e.g., Actbusy). Such files may be freely opened in any text editor for viewing or editing. Custom VDF files are widely used in Half-Life 2/Counter-Strike modding. For instance, the popular modding tool MetaMod:Source uses the "metamod.vdf" file for its game server configuration.

Another association of the .vdf extension belongs to the Gothic/Gothic II Virtual Disk File (.vdf) file type/format used in Gothic and Gothic II, the first two role-playing games of the Gothic series from Piranha Bytes. In Gothic/Gothic II, all game resources are stored in Virtual Disk File System (VDFS) containers (.vdf) located in the "Data" subfolder of the game installation directory. Each .vdf container holds an internal directory tree with data files of different types—for instance, textures are stored in "Textures.vdf." Gothic/Gothic II modders manipulate the contents of such VDF containers using tools like GothicVDFS.

With reference to VirtualDub, an open-source video capture, manipulation, and editing utility for Microsoft Windows by Avery Lee, the .vdf extension represents the VirtualDub Filter (.vdf) file type. Here, the .vdf file is a Microsoft Windows (PE32) executable in the form of a dynamically linked library (DLL) that implements the video filter's functionality. To be recognized by VirtualDub, such filter files (.vdf) are to be placed into the "plugins" subdirectory of its installation folder.

In relation to VAPOR, a cross-platform 3D-visualization and data analysis tool from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the .vdf extension belongs to the VAPOR Data Collection (VDC) Metafile (.vdf) file type. A VDC is a standard data entity in VAPOR, consisting of several netCDF data files (.nc0, .nc1, .nc2) and a single metafile (.vdf), which is a regular XML document describing the entire data set. Each VDC must have its .vdf file, and creating one is required for data conversion into a VDC.

Software to open or convert VDF files

You can open VDF files with the following programs:
Notepad++ by Notepad++ Team
WinRAR by win.rar GmbH

Popular formats