Got VMware Workstation for Xmas - How to get started?

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by Jo Ann, Dec 29, 2007.

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  1. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    My most interesting Christmas gift was a copy of VMware Workstation. I've never used virtualization software before and while I plan to read the user-guide, I would appreciate some helpful tips on getting started...

    ....like how to install a virtual OS (Vista); and once installed, can Vista, running as a virtual machine, be updated via MS' update site? :doubt:

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    Get started :)
    Yes, if you enable networking.
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    What I did was first decide on the hardware configuration. I allocated 1gb for ram, allowed for 2 processors as I have a dual core, and also allocated 1 20g hard drive, subsequently added another. Clearly what you do here is a function of your resources.

    Once that was done I did a brand new XP Pro install. It was exactly like doing it for real. Then I proceed to install software I wanted.

    You have an unbelievably powerful tool in your hands. Its a bit to get past the learning curve, but what you can do with it is amazing.

    Feel free to keep on asking questions.

    As an add on thought. Hardest thing to wrap you mind around is you are literally working with another computer. Seen BSOD's on you machine, you can see them on a vm. There is also something oh so cool to watch a machine boot in a window on your computer. One of the things I've loved is when I am going to do something like experiment with partitions or other potentially hazardous stuff, I can try it on the vm machine first and see what happens. Also in the workstation product you have snapshot ability similar to Rollback on steriods. For example you can take a snapshot and then format the drive. Go back to the snapshot, and everything is back. Mind boggling.

    Pete
     
  4. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Thanks Lucas, and especially Peter for those tips. Before installing VMware, I should understand what it actually means 'to allocate resources' (to VMware)?

    -How do I determine what will be needed - are there 'rules of thumb' that I can apply?
    -When allocating disk space, do I have to first create a dedicated partition?

    I'm sure that many other questions will pop-up, so thanks for offering me support. ;)
     
  5. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    You determine what you need same way as when you buy a computer. I know it's hard to conceive, but it just like a real computer. You will select a disk size. Then just as with a real computer, when you install vista/windows you will format the disk and do the install. Same way when I added the 2nd disk to my machine, one I added it, and booted, windows found "new hardware". Then I had to go into disk management, and initialize and format the disk. I know this is hard to grasp. See screenies below.

    Note, once you get the first build, it's easy after that. You can clone them and use the new one for different purposes.

    Pete

    Notice it used my real audio driver, so I can play cd quality music in the machine. Since I have multiple monitors, i can also use multiple monitors in the vm machine. Internet access is no sweat.
     

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  6. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Can I use a hard drive or partition other than C: to allocate disk space to VMware? -- so that other than the VMware program itself, which would reside on C:, my Virtual Machines would exist on somw other hard drive or logical partition?
     
  7. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    Yes, the VMs are simple files in the host :)
     
  8. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    I got it too after reading this thread, but I won't use it during the year 2007, next year perhaps. ;)
     
  9. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    While that's very good news (as I don't have much room left on my C-partition), it seems strange that I could have another 'active' OS residing on a drive/partition other than C: :gack:
     
  10. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Good, then maybe I won't be the only one asking VMware 'noobie' questions! ;)
     
  11. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Jo Ann

    You can specify the location of the vm machines anywhere you want. I don't have any in my c: either, they are too big. One on d: and two on external drives.

    Pete
     
  12. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Ask away. This is the coolest thing since sliced bread.
     
  13. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Pete, thanks for being there. I've been running WinXP Pro on my PC for the past 5 years and I would like to 'explore' Vista by installing it as a virtual machine. Then I would install some virtual apps onto virtual Vista to see how well they get along with one another... Doable?

    If so, and if everything works well (virtually), does it then follow that all should work just as well if actually installed on my C-drive?
     
  14. rendez2k

    rendez2k Registered Member

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    I've got a quick VM question - Can I take my an image of mu existing machine as it stands now and put it into VMWare? I thought I'd read you could somewhere?
     
  15. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    In theory yes, and you can spot software conflicts, but there can be "hardware" differences that come into play. I do like to test new stuff in the VM machine first.
     
  16. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I know you can with Shadowprotect. I've never tried though, because of difference in hard drives. I have image the VM machine creating an image on the VM machine's 2nd drive.
     
  17. jfd15

    jfd15 Registered Member

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    quick, possibly dumb question....i have Vista on my machine, do i re-install Vista in the VM with the real Vista recovery CD's or i thought i heard they have some virtual apps that you download from their site? you could run XP in the VM even if you dont have XP??
     
  18. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Not sure what you mean by Vista Recovery CD. There's the real Vista CD from Microsoft, and a recovery CD which your computer manufacturer supplied. Not the same. Depending on hardware the recovery CD might be an issue, but also when it comes to installing vista in the vm, check the licencing. You will have to activate, and it won't see it as your computer.

    Pete
     
  19. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Pete say this can be done with SP.

    Mustang helped me do it with Ghost 12. Here are his instructions and I hope they apply to SP...

     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2007
  20. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Hey Jo

    VmWare workstation is undeniably kewl. What a great gift idea.! :)
    I never even read beyond a couple of "getting started" guides: that's how easy it is.
    Google about for "how tos"..... even this little thread has a couple of gems of info (as usual here )

    I cant address the Vista q's as I really have no interest as yet, but if you have install discs VMWare has a machine for you. :D

    What i have been doing is ( and I ..may.. have gone a bit overboard : see screeny) is learning Linux and BSD.
    And a couple of XP test beds.

    I have been able to install multiple Linux Distros and BSD variants without screwing with boot loaders or sharing primary partitions.
    All these VMs are on an external HD.
    They can take a fair whack of space depending.

    Go to vmware appliances: look around all free ..:D
    http://www.vmware.com/appliances/
    Experiment to hearts desire
    This is another nice little site for 'appliances' : http://bagside.com/#fifth

    Your eyes will light up.

    MrK has a nice intro to Linux page if you are interested.
    http://www.dedoimedo.com/computer_software.html#linux


    Imaging apps as noted above Ghost and SP and also Terabyte of course :D can be used to create new vms but there ..may.. be activation issues. ;)
    http://www.bootxp.com/kb/idx.php/0/...-Existing-Image-Under-VMware-Workstation.html

    This may help with getting current machine to VM if you want
    http://www.petri.co.il/virtual_conv...to_virtual_machines_with_vmware_converter.htm
    http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/

    Google "physical to virtual"
    http://www.google.com/search?&q=physical to virtual

    Read the WS6 manual for cloning and how to: full v linked clones when you have your Vm set up.

    Each instance of "new" Windoze VM may require activation. but copies of MS vms can be created as "new" vm's without breaching licensing agreements.

    VmWare may not be perfect for somethings and can be as complex as you want it to be with large server based set-ups, but , on a desktop you can extend yourself easily and safely.

    -Dont forget to have a good base image back-up
    -Make snapshots of VMWareVMs as you go if you are testing.
    -The VMs themselves .vmx, .vmdk etc are just files in folders, and like any directories they can be copied from disc to disc.

    Regards

    Ps: and yes I like Xfce ( especially in slackware distros :) )
    For any interested parties Pardus is very very good.

    Good New Year to you all.


    @Brian and HairyCoo with any luck I'll be out the back at Nth Av this week : deep breath first: big big swell running.
    :thumb:
     

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    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  21. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Hmm, you guys sure make this stuff sound fantastic. Like Jo Ann, I too would like to play around with Vista - like it or not, that's MS' main OS for the next several years (and I suspect before too long XP will be but a memory for most of us)!

    I really don't want to replace XP on my system drive at this time (even though I have confidence in restoring backup images), nor can I set up a dual-boot arrangement, so virtualization sounds like a truly 'magical' solution!

    Of the free virtual programs, which (if any) would be best to accomplish this?

    Happy New Year to All
     
  22. rendez2k

    rendez2k Registered Member

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    Give VirtualBox or MS's own Virtual PC a shot.
     
  23. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Can those virtualize an OS? - I hear that some only work with apps.
     
  24. rendez2k

    rendez2k Registered Member

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    Both for OS's. I believe Virtual PC is good for a MS OS such as XP or Vista (not surprisingly I guess!)
     
  25. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    Both are WMware-like applications. VirtualPC is free, Virtual Box is free and open source. VMware has some liteware (VMware Player and VMware Server) with some features disabled.
    Another option (paid) is Parallels.
     
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