I will show you exactly how to create a virtual machine and edit a virtual machine in Vmware Workstation, I will also show how to make snapshots and how to manage snapshots and clones. It will be very easy to follow step by step with clear images. If you want to see how to do the same in Hyper-V or Oracle VM VirtualBox, let me know in the comments below and I will do it.
What is a Virtual Machine?
A Virtual Machine is a software that enables you to run a second Operating system on top of your original OS, let’s say you have a windows 10 computer but you want to try out Ubuntu (Linux), if you have Vmware, you can install it on a Virtual Machine and use it as you would use a regular Ubuntu computer.
Why would you do that?
A Virtual Machine is the most used in the business world and it used for servers, I will not go into that in this tutorial because it is a completely different topic. But it has good benefits for anyone to use a Virtual Machine, let’s say you see a good software online but you are not sure if it is safe to download maybe it has a virus if you have a Vmware and a Virtual Machine installed, No problem download the software to the VM and test if it is good, even if it has a virus nothing will happen to your original computer. Or people use it just to test out different Operating Systems like Linux or Fedora. So you can use it for a testing environment or just to play around with different OS types.
Step 1: Download and install Vmware Workstation.
I will not go through the installation. Hopefully, you know how to install a software in your computer, if not I don’t think this article is for you. Go ahead Download and install Vmware workstation follow the link and it is a very easy process just like any software.
There is also a free software from Vmware wich is VMware Player. You can use that if you want but it has some limitations and you won’t be able to do everything like the Workstation, for the most part, you will be able to follow along with this tutorial.
Step 2: Select an Operating System.
I selected for this tutorial the Ubuntu-lts OS. Ubuntu is the most popular Linux OS, and LTS is the small version of it, the full version comes with a much larger skin and a lot more things pre-installed, the LTS comes with a small skin and only the minimum installed. Here you can download Ubuntu-lts OS. Save it to your Desktop or where you will remember.
- Note: whatever Operating System you choose the file always need to end with xxx.ISO this is the special file extension to launch it as a Virtual Machine.
Step 3: Launch Vmware create Virtual Machine.
You installed VMware Workstation (or Player) and you have download an ISO file, now it is time to start creating the Virtual Machine. Launch Vmware and select the first option Create a New Virtual Machine.
This will open a new wizard where you will select your ISO file (Operating System) and all other hardware options.
There are 2 options One is Typical Install and the other is a Custom Install. For this tutorial, i will select the Typical install which is recommended. It is also what you will use most of the time, and all important things can also be changed later on, it makes just a lot easier the installation. So leave Typical selected and click next.
In this screen, you have 3 options. Option 1: Installer Disc. If you have a CD of an Operating System, you can insert the CD and select this option to install from CD. Option 2: Installer Disc image file (iso), this is what we will use to install from an ISO file. Option 3: Install Operating System later. You can first create the virtual machine and later mount an operating system to it, (will not go into that now). Since we have an ISO file, make sure option 2 is selected then press on browse button near it.
Navigate to your ISO download and select it. You can see in the image the installer detected that this an Ubuntu OS and it will use Easy install. This means it will be a much easier installation, you won’t need to input anything only a username and password. Click Next.
Step 4: Username Password and Configuration.
At the next screen, you will prompt to enter your name and select a Username and password.
Put in your Username and Password and click Next. Where you will name the Virtual Machine and select the location.
I have created a folder under documents called Virtual Machines where I put all my VM’s. This is the location where it is extracting the ISO file.
- Note: It does not matter where your ISO file is located, this has nothing to do with the ISO file,
ones Vmware is finished with the installation it does not use the ISO file anymore.
Step 5: Customize hardware.
When you click Next it will open a dialog that will review all the settings and options. You will see at the bottom a button to Customize Hardware.
You can just click finish here and start the VM, but I will first click on the Customize Hardware. This will open a dialog with a lot of options.
By default, for Ubuntu, the installer gave 1gig of RAM. Since I have enough RAM I like to add at least 2gig of RAM by simply dragging the blue Corsair to the 2 GB mark. Another thing what I do is to add another core to the Processer. The second option in the dialog is Processor and it has a 1 near it which indicates that this machine will only use one Processor of the system.
Where the red box is, select 2 cores. Both of this things will make your Virtual Machine much faster. Now you can click close, and Finish
- Note: Only do these things if you have enough RAM and a lot of Processing power.
if not it will make your original computer very slow.
Step 6: Efter you press finish – be patient!
Efter you finish all the settings and configurations, it will start the installation of your Virtual Machine. It is Extracting the files from the IOS file to the location where you chose in the beginning. You will see the Ubuntu Logo (if you installed Ubuntu).
This process can take some time depends on your computer’s capabilities, just be patient.
Step 7: Installing Vmware tools.
When the installation will finally be finished and your Ubuntu will boot up you entered the username and password.
You can see it is a very small screen. The Ubuntu installation does not take advantage of the full screen. The solution to this problem is to install Vmware Tools.
- Note: Vmware Tools is a special software what the Vmware team developed that creates a communication between
your host OS and your Virtual Machines. When you create a VM, the VM does not know anything about your computer.
For your VM to work perfectly on your PC it need to have the screen drivers, the sound drivers, etc.,
When you install the Vmware Tool it let’s know for your VM all the important thinks. It also enables Copy past and Automatic mouse detection.
When you install an Operating System like Ubuntu what it is very popular the installation is very easy. There are 2 ways of doing it. The second method is more complicated than the first.
Install Vmware Tools – First Method:
Press on the first Icon on the left sidebar of your screen, it will bring up a search option. Type in Terminal.
Click on the Terminal and type in this command
- sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools
You will need to enter your password, and it will review what it is going to do and how much space it will require.
It will ask if you want to continue press Y and enter, and it will install Vmware Tools.
When the installation is finished, Reboot your system and you will get a full big screen…
Install Vmware Tools – Second Method:
When you install Ubuntu you may get a message that it has installed the Vmware tool package. That does not mean that it has it actually installed, what it does, it downloads the package as a CD and mounts it to the CD drive of your new OS, then you need to manually extract the files and install it.
Here is how you do it. Click on the CD drive where it should say Vmware Tools, it will open the file manager and show all the files.
You can ignore all other files just look for the file called “VMwareTools-xxx-xxx.tar.gs” which is a compressed file. Drag the file onto your Desktop.
Now when you have the main file on the Desktop. Click on the first icon from the left side of the screen, it will bring up a search option. Type in the word “Terminal” and search.
Click on the first icon and it will open a terminal window, where you will need to put in some commands.
The first thing you need to do is get Root permission by typing the command
- sudo -i
It will ask you to enter your password, (it will not show anything on the screen while you type the password) just type on your keyboard then press enter. if it worked you will see your username will change to Root@ubuntu.
The next thing is you need to navigate to your desktop because there is where the folder of VMware Tools is. Type in the in the Terminal
- cd /home/YOUR-USER-NMAE/Desktop
Replace YOUR-USER-NMAE with your real username in my case it’s ubuntu. Notice that the only uppercase letter is the D from Desktop, you need to pay attention to that because in Linux it is very sensitive.
It will show you the folder we placed earlier onto the Desktop.
If everything worked until there go ahead and type
- tar -xvzf VMwareTools-xx.x.xx-xxxxxxx.tar.gz
Replace all xx with the numbers of your Vmware tools version, you can copy the full name from in the council. or you can start typing the first few words then press the Tab button and it will automatic fill in the full file name.
Press enter and let it do its think. When it is finished extracting the files, type
- chown username:ubuntu vmware-tools-distrib/
Replace username with your real username and press enter.
Now you need to navigate to the distrib folder
- cd vmware-tools-distrib/
Press enter and type again
And enter, you will see a file called vmware-install.pl.
That’s the file we need to install, the final command will be
- perl vmware-install.pl
That will install Vmware Tools. One last thing you need to do, Reboot the VM. and you will benefit from a full screen and the mouse will automatic switch from in your VM to your original PC and much more thinks.