Learn Virtualization On Your Pc With Vmware Player

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I was not really sure where to place this topic.

My topic concerns the best method for optimizing hardware resources, so the topic should be in the hardware subforum.

However, this method is based on a software environment, so it can be in a software forum.

Today, Virtualization is the key concept in hardware infrastructure technology.

However, rather few people can really feel what “virtual” means in the computer world.

This text will help you learning and touching with your own fingers what virtualization is.

Today we will install two virtual machines, a Linux one and a Windows one, in a single computer box.

Our hardware computer box is a Windows PC, and the virtualization environment is the free version of vmware player.



First of all, Install the software


For our training purposes, we will use vmware player, the free version of the vmware virtualization suite.

Get vmware player from :




It's free for personal learning purposes.


Mware Workstation Player is an ideal utility for running a single virtual machine on a Windows or Linux PC. Organizations use Workstation Player to deliver managed corporate desktops, while students and educators use it for learning and training. 

The free version is available for non-commercial, personal and home use. We also encourage students and non-profit organizations to benefit from this offering. Commercial organizations require paid licenses to use Workstation Player.

Need a more advanced virtualization solution? Check out Workstation Pro.

Click on the downloaded installation file, that’s all.

Now you are ready, start the software, you reach the welcome screen




Create your first partion.

Click « create a new machine »

Let’s do it simple today, do not choose « I will install the operating system later », install from a disc or from an iso file. Her you see that I want to install from the Centos iso.




Click « next », the Easy Installation wizard detected that you are installing CentOS, and asks you the username as well as the root user passwords.



Choose the machine name, choose or create the location on the disk where you want everything been stored



Press Next, you will be asked for the disk size, and then comes the final summary, you can accept it or click « customize hardware » if you want to change something




Today we will accept all these settings, click « Finish ».

You will se the automatic install starting, the machine will boot on the installation media




The automatic install will continue with the packages installations



Go and have a coffee (if you want one) while the install continues.

At the end of the installation you see the login screen for the user you created, named “The Big Boss”



Forget about the vmware tools install error, you will be able to install them manually.

Log in with the password previously defined. In order to check that you obtained a full functional machine, click the firefox icon, and you will be able to connect to the Xisto forum !





Installing our second machine.

Let’s do something less simple for the second machine.

Open vmplayer again (now we have two instances of the player running)




On the new window we see the name of the first running machine. Click « Create a New Virtual Machine » and choose « I will install the operating system later »




We want to install a Windows 7 machine.

Choose the name and the location of the machine




Now comes the interesting part. In the Disk Capacity menu, I don’t want the suggested 60 Gigs size , I change it to 15



I accept the other suggested values, and I click « Finish »



The new system is now visible on the main screen. We still need to define the installation media, so click « Edit virtual machine settings », and choose the install media. After that, choose « Play Virtual Machine ».




As soon as you click « Play Virtual Machine », you see the standard Windows install process starting, saying « Windows is loading files » for instance.




Simply wait until the end of the installation, asking the standard questions if needed. After the last reboot you will have a full functional Windows system.

Summary and conclusion.

You have learned how to install two virtual machines inside your home computer using vmware player, the vmware environment free for private use.

This is a spectacular method for saving hardware : instead of buying three different computers, you now have three computers inside the same box : your home computer, for word-processing usage and looking at movies, a CentOS computer for database testings, and a Windows computer for testing purposes when you simultenously need two PC’s. A single hardware computer for three usable systems, that’s the miracle of virtualization, and you have learned how to master it.

You have seen with your own eyes how you save cpu, memory, and money, when you install several virtual machines inside the same physical server, instead of buying several boxes. You will even be able to copy inside this box the appliances preopared by your friends or colleagues.

In order to go further, you will need to switch to the more advanced (unfortunately not free) environment, the vmware workstation server. This will give you the ability to use a lot of useful features, for instance :


  • The ability of cloning your virtual machine, and create templates for massive deployments.
  • The ability of converting a physical compute to a virtual machine, for migration purposes.
  • A single console for all your virtual machines.
  • The « Unity » mode, where all the windows of your virtual machine are opened on your single physical screen, no need to switch from one machine to the other one.

The differences between the free player and the paid pro versions are listed here :


And when you will have finished prospecting everything you can train yourself concerning the virtualization with vmware, you can switch to the competing scenarios, for instance the ones based on kvm…






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And of course, once you know how to use the free version of vmware player, you will be able to use the professional versions, and will be able to work on real professional virtualized servers! Creating and administrating partions on esx systems using vcenter work the same way.

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