Virtualization is a process that allows you to create a simulated version (virtual) of something. In computing, Virtualization is the technology that allows you to create virtual machines over an existing operating system, hardware, server, desktop, storage device, or network resources. The most common form of virtualization is operating system-level virtualization which allows you to run multiple operating systems on a single device while sharing resources. The physical device on which we create a virtual machine is called a Host Machine and the virtual machine is known as a Guest Machine.

Types of Virtualization

  • Desktop Virtualization is also known as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure(VDI). It lets you run multiple desktops operating systems on the same computer.
  • Network Virtualization involves the management and monitoring of an entire computer network as a single administrative console. It abstracts the hardware elements into software running on a hypervisor.
  • Storage Virtualization manages the storage from multiple sources and treats it as a single storage pool. It facilitates easy backup, archiving, and recovery tasks by consuming less time.
  • Server Virtualization is the most common type that involves partitioning a physical server into a number of small, virtual servers to serve multiple functions across the system.
  • Application Virtualization allows a user to run an application on a connected server without installing it on the system. This uses fewer resources and attempts to separate applications programs from Host OS which has conflicts.

VMware Workstation Player

VMware Workstation Player is a virtualization platform that allows one to easily run multiple operating systems as virtual machines on your computer. It is available for Windows and Linux Operating systems. Workstation Player uses VMware vSphere Hypervisor technology to provide a simple and secure local virtualization solution. It can be used in Education to help students try out the different OS and Business premises to embrace the Work from Anywhere architecture.

VMware Workstation Pro

VMware Workstation Pro is a standard desktop hypervisor for running virtual machines on Linux or Windows PCs. It is mainly designed for professionals who rely on virtual machines. It runs on standard x86-based hardware with 64-bit Intel and AMD processors and on 64-bit Windows or Linux host operating systems. It is mainly used by IT Professionals to Design, test, and demo software solutions for different devices.

Both Applications provide the same services with few differences in their features. Below is a table showing the comparison of the two tools.

VMware Workstation ProVMware Workstation Player
Trial Licence of 30 days and a commercial licenseFree for Personal use with Commercial License
Support UEFI Secure BootUEFI Secure Boot not supported
Support SnapshotsDoes not support Snapshots
Create/Manage Encrypted VMCannot create/manage encrypted VM
Run Multiple VMs simultaneouslySelect one VM only at a time.
Create Linked ClonesDoes not support Linked cloning
Sharing Virtual Machine as a serverNo sharing VM features
Connect to vCenter server, ESXi host, or Workstation serverConnect to VMware Horizon FLEX Server only
Encrypt VMCannot create an encrypted VM
Advance Networking with Virtual Network EditorNo Virtual Network Editor

This guide will show you how to Install VMware Workstation Pro / Player 16 on CentOS 9 / RHEL 9.

Install VMware Workstation Player 16 on CentOS 9 / RHEL 9

Update your system packages.

sudo dnf update -y

Install dependencies needed to build tools on your system.

sudo dnf install kernel-headers kernel-devel gcc 

To install VMware Workstation Player First, download the installer package bundle for Linux from the Downloads page.

Alternatively, you can use the wget utility to download the bundle.

wget https://download3.vmware.com/software/WKST-PLAYER-1624/VMware-Player-Full-16.2.4-20089737.x86_64.bundle

Add executable permissions to the file

chmod +x VMware-Player-Full-16.2.4-20089737.x86_64.bundle

Then install the application with the following command. Enter the system service scripts directory. The recommended one is /etc/init.d

$ sudo ./VMware-Player-Full-16.2.4-20089737.x86_64.bundle
System service scripts directory (commonly /etc/init.d).: /etc/init.d

Installing VMware VMX 16.2.4
    Configuring...No rc*.d style init script directories were given to the installer.#######################################                           ]  61%
You must manually add the necessary links to ensure that the vmware
service at /etc/init.d/vmware is automatically started and stopped on
Installing VMware Player 16.2.4
    Configuring...
[######################################################################] 100%
Installation was successful.

Launch the program from the Application launcher.

Access the License agreement to continue with the installation.

Choose to use VMware Player for free for non-commercial use.

The installation is successful and the Player opens.

Create VM on VMware Workstation Player on RHEL 9|CentOS 9

The dashboard appears as shown below. To create a Virtual Machine on Vmware Workstation Player, click on Create a New Virtual Machine to start the process.

Choose the ISO image downloaded to be used as the guest Operating system. It will use the Easy install Process which is a quick and easy process of installing the Guest OS without providing information during the installation.

Enter Easy install credentials to be used to install the guest operating system.

You can change the name of the Guest OS which will be used to identify it.

Specify the disk capacity of the Guest OS. You can also choose to store the virtual disk as a single file or split it into multiple files.

Then a summary will be shown below. If you would choose to change any of the hardware settings like Memory, You can press the Customize Hardware button to edit.

Once you install the Guest OS, it should open as shown below.

Install VMware Workstation Pro 16 on CentOS 9 / RHEL 9

Install the dependencies required to build the kernel module.

sudo dnf install kernel-headers kernel-devel gcc 

Download the Workstation Pro Trial that will run for 30 days from the downloads page.

Then click on Download for Linux.

Alternatively, you can use the wget utility to download the package.

wget https://download3.vmware.com/software/WKST-1624-LX/VMware-Workstation-Full-16.2.4-20089737.x86_64.bundle

Add executable file to the permission

chmod +x VMware-Workstation-Full-16.2.4-20089737.x86_64.bundle

Install the Program with the following command. Enter the directory for the system service scripts and press Enter to continue with the installation.

$ sudo ./VMware-Workstation-Full-16.2.4-20089737.x86_64.bundle
System service scripts directory (commonly /etc/init.d).: /etc/init.d

Installing VMware VMX 16.2.4
    Configuring...No rc*.d style init script directories were given to the installer.################################                                  ]  51%
You must manually add the necessary links to ensure that the vmware
service at /etc/init.d/vmware is automatically started and stopped on
Installing VMware Workstation 16.2.4
    Configuring...
[######################################################################] 100%
Installation was successful.

Launch the Program from the Application Launcher

Accept the License Agreement to continue with the installation.

Select the trial option to use VMware Workstation Pro for 30 days.

The installation finishes and the application opens as below. You will receive a prompt that alerts you of the trial days you have.

Create a VM on VMware Workstation Pro on RHEL 9| CentOS 9

The dashboard is as shown below. To create a Virtual machine, click on Create a New Virtual Machine to start the process.

Select the type of configuration you would like to use to create a virtual machine.

Select the ISO image you want to use to install the guest operating system.

Add the easy install information to install the Guest OS.

Specify the name of the virtual machine which will be used to identify it.

Specify the Disk capacity of the virtual machine and choose whether to store it as a single file or split it into multiple files.

A summary of the virtual machine settings will be shown. If you wish to change the settings like Memory, click on the Customize Hardware button

The Guest Operating system installed appears as shown below.

Networking Configurations

VMware Workstation Pro incorporated a virtual network editor that enables one to view and change networking settings, add or remove virtual networks, and also create custom virtual networking configurations.

There are 3 types of Network

  • Bridged Virtual Network enables you to configure multiple bridged networks for a host system that has multiple network adapters.
  • NAT Virtual Network configures the virtual machine and the host system to share a single network identity that is not visible on the external network.
  • Host-Only Virtual Network that allows you to set up multiple host-only virtual networks.

To access it, Go to Edit then select Virtual Network Editor.

Alternatively, you can start it from the Application Launcher.

Opening the virtual network editor requires administrative rights. You can add a Network, Remove a network or change the settings of an existing network.

Click on Add Network to Add a Network. Select the type of network you want to add, Let us say NAT that lets virtual machines share the Computer’s IP address. You can change the network name or leave it as default then click Add.

You can manually add a subnet or let the Editor automatically generate one. Click on Save to save the settings.

Then you can configure your VM to use that network. Go to Network Adapter option.

Then click on Custom to select the network you added. Then click Save to lock the settings.

Your VM will now use the newly added network adapter.

Install VMware Tools on RHEL9 |CentOS 9

VMware tools allow a VMware virtual machine to integrate seamlessly with the Host. Some of the settings that are improved include, Shared Clipboard between the Host and Guest operating system, Better Graphics support, Shared Folders in virtual machines, auto-resizing virtual machine windows, etc.

Install VMware Tools using the following command.

sudo dnf install open-vm-tools open-vm-tools-desktop

Then restart your Guest OS.

reboot

The VMware tools will be installed.

Conclusion

We have successfully Installed VMware Workstation Pro / Player 16 on CentOS 9 / RHEL 9. VMware Workstation Player is excellent for Home users for creating and running VMs as well as editing basic VM settings. Workstation Pro is a powerful application designed for a wide range of IT professionals including; IT enthusiasts, System developers, system administrators, testers, programmers, and other specialists. Choosing the right hypervisor is important for achieving the expected results of the work you are doing.

Similar guides for RHEL 9 based systems:

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