Installing Ubuntu Operating System onto a VMware Machine
Virtual machines allow you to open files, run programs, or even launch separate operating systems that you wouldn’t want or be able to run on your primary system. Many people use a program known as VMware to manage and configure these virtual machines since there are so many ways to customize their settings. You can have any operating system you want on your virtual machine, no matter what kind is on your physical computer.
So, how does it work, and how can you install Linux Ubuntu onto a virtual machine of your own? This article is going to cover both of those points, so continue reading for a complete installation guide.
The following article will discuss:
- What is VMware?
- What are the perks of having Ubuntu as a virtual machine?
- How to install Ubuntu with VMware Workstation.
- How to install Ubuntu with VMware Player.
What is VMware?
Here I’ll give a quick crash course on what VMware is and what it does. If you’re up to speed on everything about the software, feel free to skip this part of the article. Otherwise, here’s a quick refresher:
VMware is essentially your captain’s control panel when dealing with virtual machines. It allows you to configure just about anything with your secondary devices, all from your primary one. It uses your physical computer as your ‘hub’ in a sense. From there, you can seamlessly interact and communicate with all other secondary devices.
VMware makes managing just about everything about your virtual machine setup much easier. Installing operating systems becomes much quicker, and moving and running files becomes painless. Almost any other function has some sort of VMware compatibility to make it more streamlined.
There are multiple versions of VMware to choose from. These mostly change things like the layout and configuration options, but the general function is the same across all versions. This guide is going to walk you through installing Ubuntu onto two different VMware editions: VMware Workstation and VMware Player.
Ubuntu and other Linux systems are among the most common to use with virtual machines. Linux is generally accepted to be one of the more complex operating systems to use and configure, but it’s also one of the most limitless in terms of what you can do with it. While most users don’t want to have to wrestle with it for their daily use, there’s a burning curiosity for its capabilities that causes many to want to try it with a virtual machine.
Ubuntu is a highly customizable operating system. Unlike Windows and Mac, it’s completely open-source and offers a much higher degree of personal privacy. It’s also accepted to be the most user-friendly of all the Linux-based operating systems.
If all of this already looks a bit complicated, don’t worry. VMware and virtual machines may seem like a pretty technical concept, but in reality, they’re actually not that difficult to get working. The installation process should be no sweat if you follow along with this guide.
We’re going to cover two separate installations: the Ubuntu installation process for VMware Workstation and the Ubuntu installation process for VMware Player. Make sure you have downloaded the version of VMware that you want to use, as well as an installation of Ubuntu from the Ubuntu website.
Installing Ubuntu on VMware Workstation Pro
Unlike VMware Player, VMware Workstation Pro is typically used for more professional virtual machine uses. It allows for more customization over virtual networks, and generally gives you more control over how your virtual system runs and how it’s handled by users. However, just because it provides more advanced options doesn’t mean that the installation process needs to be a pain in the neck.
Follow along with this full guide on how to install these products.
First, make sure that VMware Workstation is already installed and that you have downloaded the Ubuntu ISO file.
When setting up a new virtual machine, you will be given the options of ‘Typical’ and ‘Custom’. If you want to have total control over the initial setup, you can go with Custom. For the sake of this guide, we’ll be following the steps with a Typical setup.
Open VMware workstation and click New Virtual Machine. Choose the setup option that says Typical (Recommended), and then click Next.
Now, go to Installer Disc Image (ISO), click Browse, and then select the Ubuntu ISO file that you downloaded. Click Open and then Next.
Here you will enter your full name, as well as a username. Then, create a password. After you’ve finished, click Next.
Here you can change the name of the virtual machine if you’d like, or leave it as the default. Now, choose a location to store the virtual machine. Click Browse and place it wherever you’d like. After you’ve found a suitable location, click OK and then Next.
For maximum disk size, Ubuntu recommends that you allocate at least 5GB of space, but more is always preferred.
For the best performance, choose Store Virtual Disk as a Single File and click Next.
Choose Customize and then navigate to Memory to allocate more RAM to the virtual machine. 1GB is recommended, but once again, more is better if you have the RAM to spare.
Go to Processors and select Number of Processors. Choose 1 for normal computers. Under Number of Cores Per Processor, select 1 for a single core, 2 for dual-core, etc.
Finally, click Close and then Finish to begin the installation process.
Once the installation completes, congratulations! Ubuntu should now be fully functioning for VMware Workstation.
To create other forms of virtual machines besides a Linux Ubuntu one, you can find alternative installation methods here.
Installing Ubuntu on VMware Player
This process will be very similar to the one for Workstation, with a few minor differences. However, if you follow along, it should be just as easy to get yourself a fully functioning installation of Ubuntu on your virtual machine in no time.
Just the same as before, make sure you’ve got VMware Player installed and set up. Ensure that you’ve downloaded the ISO file for the version of Ubuntu that you want to use.
First thing’s first, open up VMware Player. On the Home tab, click Create a New Virtual Machine.
Click Browse to look for the ISO that you downloaded. Once you select it, click Open and then Next.
Enter your full name, a username, and a password. Once you’ve done all that, click Next.
Then, name your virtual machine or leave it as default. Then click Next.
Enter the maximum disk size. Once again, Ubuntu recommends at least 5GB, but more is preferable. For the best performance, choose Store Virtual Disk as a Single File and click Next.
You can customize the virtual machine just like in the Workstation installation guide, or you can leave it with its default settings and just click Finish.
After that, the installation process should begin. If you are prompted to download VMware Tools, click Download and Install.
The installation process should now be complete. Wait for the Ubuntu desktop to launch at the end of it, and then congratulations! You’ve successfully installed Ubuntu on VMware Player.
If you want alternative methods for installing different operating systems on VMware Player, you can find guides here.
And just like that, you should be all set up! As you can see, VMware Workstation and VMware Player both have very similar installation processes, with a few small differences here and there.
Regardless, hopefully this article helped you navigate through the installation process, and you now have yourself a fully functioning Linux Ubuntu virtual machine. Workstation and Player share many key functionalities, with Workstation Pro simply going a bit more in-depth on customizability and specific configurations.
No matter which you choose, VMware offers a robust set of tools for running a virtual machine. You should now have the controls at your fingertips to customize, interact with, and communicate to all virtual machines you create!