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Sunday, 5 April 2009

VMWare Player - Have a second operating system & create your own appliance

Hey,

If you want to try different Operating Systems before actually committing to a complete switch, you might have come across Virtual Machines. A Virtual Machine is essentially an emulated computer system inside your running Operating System.

As far as I know, there are two major virtual machine products on the market:
  1. Virtual Box - Which I tried, but had some problems getting some of my hardware working with... And:
  2. VMWare - Which has three product offerings: Server, Workstation and Player...
VMWare Player is free and there are versions for Windows and Linux available for download. There are also some 'applications' - pre-build virtual machines available for download...

However, you will discover that there is a small hurdle to overcome: You can't create your own machine and if you do want to run Microsiff operating systems, you need to create your own appliance. This is where this site: EasyVMX is coming in handy. Simply fill in the information and download the empty virtual machine. This you will then be able to use to install your favourite operating system...

One last step:
Once you installed the Operating system, you will need the VMWare Tools to connect your Virtual Machine to your regular Operating System to allow things like file sharing... Again, these do not ship with VMWare Player. You will need to download server or workstation's LINUX version.
In the tar-ball are the tools... Have a look for any additional *.iso files. Normally the name gives them away 'Linux.iso', 'WinXP.iso'... something like that.

Either mount the iso in your virtual machine as a CD or you burn it and actually put in the CD...
If you do want to use an ISO as a Disk in your virtual machine, this can be very easily achieved with these settings in the *vmx file:

# Settings for physical CDROM drive:
ide1:0.present = "TRUE"
ide1:0.deviceType = "cdrom-raw"
ide1:0.startConnected = "TRUE"
ide1:0.fileName = "auto detect"
ide1:0.autodetect = "TRUE"

# Settings for iso as CD:
ide1:0.present = "TRUE"
ide1:0.fileName = "office.iso"
ide1:0.deviceType = "cdrom-image"
ide1:0.autodetect = "TRUE"

Have fun with your new virtual machine and let me know if you found this post useful...

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