VMware - Noob Question

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by Wendi, Nov 30, 2012.

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  1. Wendi

    Wendi Registered Member

    Aug 8, 2008
    NY, USA
    I hope this question doesn't make me appear stupid, but here goes.....

    I just installed VMware Player in order to run trial software without messing up my 'real' system. Must I first install Windows as a VM before I can do that? o_O

  2. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

    Nov 6, 2009
    Yes, you have to install Windows within the Virtual Machine.

    Since Player doesn't have snapshots, you need to copy the virtual drive (.vmdk) somewhere else to backup its clean state.
  3. The Shadow

    The Shadow Registered Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    Hi Wendy,

    Yes and once your OS is installed you can begin using the vm as your test environment. Then you can test trial and even beta versions risk-free! You can even dare to try out features you're not sure how to use without fearing any consequences! By the way, when the trial of an OS or app expires, just delete the vm, the recreate it and start the trial over again. ;)

  4. Wendi

    Wendi Registered Member

    Aug 8, 2008
    NY, USA
    Thanks, that's what I thought. However your 2nd comment confuses me; would you please elaborate on that?

  5. Wendi

    Wendi Registered Member

    Aug 8, 2008
    NY, USA
    TS, thanks for the confirmation and for your other comments about testing trial and beta software without incurring risk. That's the main reason I installed VMware! :thumb:

    Btw, as a I'm a VMware-noob can you guys point me to any easy-to-follow tutorials?

  6. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    OK, I'll put a hand up ;)

    Dont worry its easy , really, easy to get started.
    The free VMware tools will serve you well.
    This might be the start of a beautiful relationship: you and VMs !!
    SO, we better do it right.

    How much detail do you want?
    I dont want to patronising or rude.
    If you are at the point of doing this, most tutorials and web pages will assume you have a more than basic user understanding of files, partitions, HW configs etc.
    You dont have to be a beardy, but you do have to be confident.

    AS per replies above; there are a number of peeps here who are seriously hot VMers.
    MAny will have multiple Win OS VMs, Linux VMs, test beds etc etc
    There is plenty of help and advice here.

    I'm not one of the pros, but have come to regard VMWare as one of the best purchases ever.

    Need some background info re current system:
    Disc size(s) and used portion/empty space, partitions ?
    DO you have split system/data setup?

    Need some simple planning that will become second nature.

    Have to have space for VMs to occupy, enough cpu/ram for them to run.
    VM disc size can be tailored to 'Fixed' or 'grow' : they can grow to be very large.
    If you want a "copy" of your current system, do you want data ??

    In the very remote possibility that you might do some damage to your native setup, are you familiar with imaging for backup?

    Simply: Virtual machines are software emulations of complete operating systems, existing as files that can be operated by other applications to mimic a fully operational sytem.

    The VMs exist as files in a folder
    ( see attachment of CentOs Linux VM as files)


    The .vmx file is the configuration file the other files are HD emulations log files, snapshot files etc.

    So, you want to creat a new virtual machine to "experiment with".
    Ok: Use your current machine as a template.

    Do a P2V ; physical to virtual of your own machine:
    Get VMWare converter standalone
    ( might have to register: no problems there: go ahead )

    >> if you are nervous, now is the time to make an image <<

    Go ahead and install: take the defaults.
    Nothing challenging there.

    Read about P2V

    Read the manual for VMWare Converter: easy to understand.

    Dont get bogged in the fine print: the Converter can create a virtual copy of your system, stored as files in a folder that you can run with VMPlayer.

    I think this is the easiest tutorial ihave seen for simple p2v of own system to vm on own HW
    Converting a physical machine into a virtual machine using Converter Standalone

    There are a host of other links there.
    Dont worry about server, exi, vsphere stuff.

    Make a target folder for your VM: Default is primary drive.
    Can be network if you know how, external drive, second internal HD, other partition on primary HD.
    "My first VM" :)
    Think about read write speed before deciding: some options slow..e..r.
    Not sure what others do, but, all my VMs are on extra internal drives, or separate partitions.
    (Its superstition for me, but I dont create VMs onto my primary system drive.)

    When you're ready: launch VMConverter and roll on: just take defaults (unless you have skipped ahead of me :) )
    Name the VM as you go through ...

    When conversion is finished you will have a "VM" inside your target folder.

    Open VMPlayer and "point" the Player to your .vmx file.
    "Open" and off we go.
    You will likely not have to renew/reactivate your Win registration
    ( i never have )
    And when/if you have a Win VM up and running, it can be moved to a different box as the "HW" goes with it and can be opened by Player or WStation on that other box subject to HW limits.

    Just operate the VM as any "computer"

    See, easy.
    The VM Ware GUI is intuitive and simple to follow at this level.
    Heh: nearly always a "Back" button there.

    When you 'close' the VM in player: just exists as files, as you left the VM. Any changes you made retained.
    You can "suspend' the VM and reopen to where you left off.

    When the player is closed, the VM ( as files in folder) can be copied and kept anywhere at any time.

    VMPlayer has some limited functionality compared to workstation, snapshots per se are not created in the app, but as noted the files can be copied, moved, erased, renamed etc as you require.
    Can keep a "time line"
    Keep one or two "base systems"
    ( easier in Workstation with Snapshot option)
    Copy files to another folder> New Name > point player to that folder: Voila: another VM ... and another ..and another...
    Can have many "different" VMs "made" from 1st VM.
    Each new (or old) VM can be stored wherever you want.

    The VMs may not be small files and some care needs to taken with planning if space is an issue. See attachment.

    As time goes on you will apprteciate the almost limitless aspects of VMs and VMWare as likely the 'best' option.

    When you get around to it, you will be able to create empty VMs ( even from Player) with HW as you like and install any OS you wish.

    I hope this has helped.
    Sorry if I have droned on a bit.
    Any q's?
    You will have fun.

    Argh: Sorry forgot about VMWare Tools: read about them: might be an auto install option in Converter ?
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  7. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

    Nov 6, 2009
    Sorry for the late reply.

    Anyways, the .vmdk file is a virtual machine's hard disk, which is stored in the folder of that machine.
    Copying it will ensure a clean slate for you to restore by copying back. I think that's easier than recreating everything (OS included).
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