Installing Ubuntu in VMware Player on Windows

I’ve been having issues with my Ubuntu / VirtualBox set up. My original virtual box had almost run out of space, which I assumed is why it was running so slowly. So I decided to create a new one with twice the space – 16GB. I also installed the latest version of Ubuntu 12.04. Guest additions wouldn’t install properly. It ran hideously slowly, to the point of being unusable. A bit of late night Googling revealed that this is a known and unsolved issue. Not ideal.

In a previous life I’ve used VMware for Windows Guests and Hosts so I decided to give it a whirl with Ubuntu. I’m so glad I did. I can’t tell you how long it actually took to get Ubuntu running because as I set the installer running inside a VM and went to bed. Definitely less than two hours though, as that’s how long my laptop will wait before going to sleep.

So anyway, here’s how I got Ubuntu 12.04 running on Windows 7 (64bit) using VMware player.

Installing Ubuntu in a VM on Windows

  1. Download the Ubuntu iso (desktop not server) and the free VMware Player.
  2. Install VMware Player and run it, you’ll see something like this:
  3. Select “Create a New Virtual Machine”
  4. Select “Installer disc image file” and browse to the Ubuntu iso you downloaded.
    VMware Player Virtual Machine WizardYou should see that it will use Easy Install – this takes care of most of the hard work for you. Click next
  5. Enter your full name, username and password and hit next
    VMware Player linux set up
  6.  Select the maximum disk size and type. Unless you’re planning on some really CPU intensive work inside the VM, select the “Split virtual disk into multiple files” option. Hit next when you’re happy with the settings.
    VMware Player disk setup
  7. This brings you to the confirmation page. Click “Customize Hardware”
    VMware Player setup confirmation
  8. In the hardware options section select the amount of memory you want the VM to use. In this instance I’ve gone for 1.5GB out of the 8GB installed in my laptop. Leave everything else as it is and click Close.
    VMware Player hardware setup
  9.  This brings you back to the confirmation page. Click Finish this time
    VMware Player setup confirmation
  10.  You will probably be prompted to download VMware Tools for Linux. Click “Download and Install” to continue
    VMware Player, download Tools for Linux
  11.  Wait for it to install
    VMware player updates
  12.  Ubuntu will then start to install, so keep waiting (or do what I did and go to bed!)
    Ubuntu 12.04 installing in VMWare Player
  13.  When all is done you’ll be presented with the Ubuntu login screen. So enter your password and you’re on your way.
    Ubuntu login screen in VMware Player
  14.  Click the clock in the top right to set your time and date settings
    Ubuntu time and date settings
  15.  Once you’ve set that up, you’re up and running with Ubuntu in VMware Player on your Windows machine. Congratulations and enjoy!