How to Install Ubuntu Linux on VMware Workstation Guest Machines

If you’d like to test the Ubuntu desktop, the quickest way is to install it on virtualization software like VMware Workstation Pro or VirtualBox.

To do that on VMware Workstation Pro, continue with the steps below.

If you own a Windows or Linux computer and would like to experience Ubuntu, then installing it on a VMware Workstation software as a guest machine is a fastest and most cost-effective way to go.

When you’re ready to run the VMware Workstation guest machine with Ubuntu, the below steps should be a great place to start.

This should also be a great way to test the upcoming Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, as it might be the best Ubuntu distribution yet. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS returns to the GNOME Desktop environment, defaults to Xorg as the graphics server, and brings new themes and many more enhanced features.

Create Ubuntu Desktop Guest Machine

To run Ubuntu Desktop on VMware Workstation software, you’ll have to first create a guest machine. follow the guide below to create a Ubuntu desktop guest machine.

To do that, click File –> New Virtual Machine from VMware Host software. This should open the guest machine creation wizard. Use the screenshots below to help.

When the wizard opens, choose Typical (recommended) machine configuration and click Next.

vmware workstation guest machine

Then select the option to install the operating system later. This will create a blank virtual machine without the OS. You will be able to add the OS later after creating it.

vmware workstation guest machine

Next, select the guest operating system type. For this post, we’re going with Ubuntu. Click Next to continue.

vmware workstation guest machine

Then create a new virtual machine and location to store it. The default is fine.

vmware workstation guest machine

Next, set the maximum disk size to use and click Next.

vmware workstation guest machine

Finally, click Finish to complete the guest machine creation.

vmware workstation guest machine

After that, a new guest machine should be ready to install the operating system of your choice.

vmware workstation guest machine

Install Ubuntu Desktop

You may likely get the Ubuntu Desktop ISO image file.… Ubuntu comes in either 32-bit or 64-bit arch, however, for newer editions. only 64-bit is available… Whichever version you have, make sure to copy the ISO image on the host computer running VMware Workstation software…

Now that you’ve downloaded the image and created a new guest machine, add the ISO image to the guest machine to boot from it. To add the ISO image, select the guest machine and select and click VM –> Settings from the host software menu.

Then select CD/DVD (SATA) from the device list and to the right, select the option to Use ISO image: Then browse the select the ISO image and Save. Power on the guest machine and in most cases, you should see the Ubuntu installation wizard screen.

Save the settings and start the virtual machine…

When the virtual machine boots up, you should see the Ubuntu installation screen as shown below….

ubuntu 18.04 install

Click the Install Ubuntu button to begin the installation. You could Try Ubuntu without making changes to your computer. but your goal is to install Ubuntu. so click Install Ubuntu to continue.

ubuntu 18.04 inmstallation

Next, select your Keyboard layout. Ubuntu installation picks the US Keyboard layout by default. this is a good place to change it if it’s not your default. Click Continue to move on.

ubuntu 18.04 install

The installation should be prepared to install Ubuntu packages. on this screen, you’re given an option to Download updates while installing Ubuntu which saves time after the installation. and to install third-party software for graphics Wi-Fi devices and media codes.

You do not have to select these boxes. I believe installing the software packages is the best way to install Ubuntu. Ignore these choices and continue.

Ubuntu 18.04 lts installation

On this screen is where you select the installation type. the first option to Erase the disk and install Ubuntu is the easiest of them. This option deletes everything on the hard drive and installs Ubuntu on it.

Option #2 Something else — is to perform a custom installation. for advanced users.

You can choose to encrypt Ubuntu and use other advanced settings. but for new users and students, select the first option and continue.

ubuntu 18.04 lts install

Accept that the installation will erase the hard drive and install Ubuntu on it. click Continue to move on.

ubuntu 18.04 lts setup

On this screen is where you choose your timezone. type a city name you live in and click Continue.

ubuntu 18.04 lts install

The next screen is where you type the first user account. Type your name, your username, and password, and choose whether you want to type a password to sign in always. when you’re done, click Continue.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS installation

Wait for the installation to complete. this should take about 7 mins depending on the speed of the computer. when the installation is done, you’ll be prompted to restart.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS installation

This is the last screen and the installation is complete. all you have to do is restart your computer, remove the disc from the drive and log back in.

After logging back into Ubuntu, your first task should be to update Ubuntu. press Ctrl — Alt — T on your keyboard to open the terminal. then run the commands below to update Ubuntu.

sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade && sudo apt autoremove

Restart once more and you should be set.

Install VMware Tools Software

To install the VMware Tools on Ubuntu virtual machine operating systems, select the VM from the WMware Workstation application menu and click Install VMware Tools…

VMware Guest Tools

This should mount a virtual CD/DVD drive inside the Ubuntu guest machine. When that happens, open the Ubuntu terminal and run the commands below to extract the content from the CD/DVD drive to the /tmp drive by running the commands below.

tar -xvf /media/$USER/"VMware Tools"/VMwareTools*.gz -C /tmp

Next, run the commands below to install the guest tool using the default configuration.

sudo /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib/

VMware Tools suites of utilities are the official tools for VMware Workstation guest machines. When you run the commands above, you’ll get a series of prompts during the installation.

Do you still want to proceed with this installation? [yes]

Answer Yes to begin the installation and continue answering [Yes] and pressing the Enter key to accept the default directories to install all features and modules… when you’re done restart and you’re all set! ~

If you run into issues that the installation is unable to find the ifconfig commands, run the commands below to install net-tools.

sudo apt install net-tools

Then start the installation over… this time it should go through.

This is it. a new Ubuntu guest machine should be ready to use