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VMWare Workstation Player

Jarret B

Well-Known Member
Staff member
May 22, 2017
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Virtualization can be a very good tool for computer users. Especially those who want to install many Operating Systems, but do not have multiple systems.

It can be a hassle to keep reinstalling different Operating Systems on a system and keep having to erase the precious one.

Most people may use VirtualBox by Oracle, but there are alternatives. One alternative is VMWare Workstation Player.


When I wrote this article, the current version of the VMWare Workstation Player was version 16. The download is found at https://www.vmware.com/go/getplayer-linux. Once you click on the link, the download should start. The link is for Linux and not Windows. The file name is ‘Vmware-Player-Full-16.2.4-20089737.x86_64.bundle’, but could change is the software has a newer release version.

Download the file and save it to a readily accessible location.

I installed the Workstation Player on an Ubuntu 22.04 system, but it should work on and that is based on Ubuntu, Red Hat or SUSE. The instructions are for Ubuntu, but you can modify the necessary commands for your distro.

To start, you need to install a few packages that are necessary:

sudo apt install gcc wget linux-headers-generic build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r) -y

Make sure you perform an update and upgrade of all packages before you continue.

In a terminal, go to the folder where you saved the Workstation Player file that was downloaded. It will be needed to make the file executable so it can be run. Once you get to the folder where the file is located, perform the command:

sudo chmod +x Vmware-Player-Full-16.2.4-20089737.x86_64.bundle

Change the filename accordingly.

Now, all you need to do is start the installation:

sudo ./Vmware-Player-Full-16.2.4-20089737.x86_64.bundle

Again, change the filename as needed.

You should be prompted to compile some necessary files for the Workstation Player. Click on ‘Install’ to perform the compiling. You’ll be prompted for your password to perform the installation with elevated privileges.

The next screen that appears will ask you to read and accept the Terms of Use (Agreement). Click on ‘Next’ when done.

You should next be prompted to check for updated software. If you just downloaded the package, then you shouldn’t need to check for an update. If you have kept the file and are installing it much later, then you may want to check for an update. Click ‘Next’.

Next, is a prompt to join the Customer Improvement Experience. You can select either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ and then click on ‘Next’.

You should now be prompted for a license key or you can choose to continue with a non-commercial use license. Click ‘Finish’ and enter your password again for sudo privileges.

The package should now install your system. Once the installation is completed, the program should open, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 01.JPG


It is now time to create a virtual machine.

Creating a Virtual Machine

Click on ‘Create a New Virtual Machine’ to begin.

A window similar to Figure 2 should appear. Here you can choose to boot from a physical disk, an ISO or to choose to Install the OS later. It may be best to always choose to install an OS later.

Figure 02.JPG


You can configure more yourself rather than allow the system to set some defaults (which you can change anyway).

Click ‘Next’ and you can specify which OS and version you will be installing, as shown in Figure 3. Click ‘Next’ once you make your choice.

Figure 03.JPG


The next window allows you to give the Virtual Machine a name and a location to store the files that are generated. The location should default to ‘$HOME/vmware/(machine name)’.

The next screen let's you specify a max size for the Virtual Machine hard disk. Also, you can select whether to use a single file or split the machine into multiple files.

The final screen, Figure 4, shows all your choices and lets you customize the hardware, which is a good choice to do, as well as starting the machine when you click finish.

Figure 04.JPG


If you choose ‘Customize Hardware’, you should see a new window like Figure 5.

Figure 05.JPG


You can set values for the Memory, Processor, CD/DVD (ISO), Network Adapter, Sound Card, Printer, USB Controller and Display. These settings are all very similar to VirtualBox, but some allow different settings. For example, the Display settings allow you to use your RAM as GPU RAM up to 8 GB. You should get a message at the bottom of the screen if you set the value too high for the amount of RAM your system contains.

Make your settings and finish the machine creation.

Once you are back out, the machine will auto start if you set the option. If not, select the machine and the click on ‘Power On’.

NOTE: If you need to get out of the Virtual Machine and access the Host system, press the left CTRL+ALT keys.


There seem to be some different options in VMWare than in VirtualBox, such as attaching to a physical storage device, that makes the Workstation Player seem a better choice for some machines you may need to create.

Give the Workstation Player a whirl and see what you can do with it.
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