install vmware in ubuntu

If you need Windows on your system but don’t want to dual boot, or there’s some distro you want to try out, desktop virtualization solutions are your best bet. VMware Workstation is one of the best cross-platform options for this purpose.

It’s a type-2 hypervisor that’s available in Pro (licensed) and Player (free for non-commercial use) versions. We’ll cover how you can install and get started with Workstation Player in this article.

Before You Begin

Most modern systems will easily meet VMware Workstation’s hardware requirements but you may want to check out the host OS compatibility table if you’re using an old Ubuntu or Workstation version.

Aside from these factors, you’ll also want to ensure hardware virtualization is enabled from your firmware settings.

Press the BIOS Setup key shown on the screen when booting. If your machine boots too fast for this, you can hold Shift (legacy BIOS) or press Esc a few times (UEFI) when booting to access the GRUB menu. Select the Firmware Settings option there.

In the Advanced or CPU tabs, enable the Virtualization option. (AMD-V, SVM, Intel VT-x, VT-d, etc.) Then, press the key shown on the screen to save the changes and exit (usually F10).

After booting, run the following command in the terminal to install the required dependencies.

sudo apt install gcc build-essential

Download VMware Bundle

Assuming all the requirements are met, you can go ahead and download the VMware bundle.

Then, go to the Downloads directory and extract the installer like so

cd ~/Downloads
sudo bash VMware-Player-Full-17.0.2-21581411.x86_64.bundle

Set Up VMware Workstation

Launch VMware Player from the applications menu to begin the installation.

You’ll be asked to accept the end-user license agreements and configure preferences related to updates and CEIP. After these are configured, either enter a license key or choose to use VMware Player for non-commercial use.

Creating a Virtual Machine

To get started, click on Create a New Virtual Machine.

  1. Select the OS source. You can choose a physical disk (e.g., DVD drive), ISO image, or create the VM with a blank disk and install the OS later.
    vmware workstation os source
  2. Configure the preferences like username, password, VM location, disk size, etc.
    vmware personalize linux
  3. Review the configurations and click on Customize hardware if you need to change anything. 
    vm hardware settings vmware
  4. Then, click on Finish.
    customize hardware vmware

After launching the VM, you’ll have to install an OS onto the virtual disk. Then, you can start using whichever OS you set up.

Uninstalling VMware from Ubuntu

The steps to remove VMware are a bit unique. First, navigate to the /usr/bin directory.

cd /usr/bin

Then, use the vmware-installer script with the uninstall option to remove VMware Player or Workstation Pro as shown below:

sudo vmware-installer -u vmware-player
sudo vmware-installer -u vmware-workstation
Anup Thapa

Senior Writer

Anup Thapa is a Linux enthusiast with an extensive background in computer hardware and networking. His goal is to effectively communicate technical concepts in a simplified form understandable by new Linux users. To this end, he mainly writes beginner-friendly tutorials and troubleshooting guides. Outside of work, he enjoys reading up on a range of topics, traveling, working out, and MOBAs.