Introduction to Virtualization

Virtualization is a technique, which allows the sharing of a single physical instance of a resource or an application among multiple customers and organizations.

Virtualization solves the problem of underutilized hardware resources by creating a virtualization layer between the hardware components and the user. This creates virtual machines which are generally virtual computers that can run in multiples on a single set of hardware.

What is VMware Player?

VMware Player is a free desktop application that lets you run a virtual machine on a Windows or Linux PC. 

What is VMware Workstation?

VMware Workstation is an application that lets users run virtual machines, containers and Kubernetes clusters.

Differences between VMware Player and Pro

VMware Workstation ProVMware Workstation Player
Allows you to run multiple VMs by switching in between tabs in a windowDoes not offer tab interface, thus select only one VM at a time or open multiple VMs on multiple windows
It allows you to create multiple snapshots where you can delete or revert to a previous sessionDoes not support snapshots
Has Clone features that allows you to clone  a VM from a current VM state or from a snapshotDoes not possess the cloning feature
Allows sharing of VMs with other usersDoes not have the sharing functionality
You can edit virtual networks by either changing subnets, IP addresses, etcDoes not have a virtual network editor
Enables VM encryption to prevent authorized access. It has the control feature of creating and disabling the encryptionCan Open encrypted VMs with a password but cannot edit or disable the encryption set by Vmware Workstation Pro
Buy OnlineFree
VMware Workstation Pro/Player Differences
  • In this guide I will show you how to;
  • Install both VMware Workstation Player 16 and VMware Workstation Pro 16 on Windows 10|Windows 11
  • Run Alpine Linux on VMware player 16 on Windows 10|Windows 11

Install VMware Workstation Player 16 on Windows 10|Windows 11

Go to vmware.com then under resources find downloads to get to the VMware Workstation Player download.

You can also type on the search box of your browser Download VMware Player.

Click on Download for free, you will be taken to a new tab with the link to download the setup.

Then another window opens which has the setup for different Operating systems. Choose the one for Windows and click on Download Now.

The download starts immediately.

Find the setup from your download to install it. The window below appears as the start of the installation.

Then the installation wizard opens

Follow the instructions throughout the wizard till the last bit of install as below.

Once the installation is done, a new window prompt for restart displays. Click on Yes to restart.

After restart you can open the VMware from your desktop shortcut or from the start menu. Once you open a prompt for choosing to use it for non-commercial use appears. Select the non-commercial use.

Click Continue to Open the VMware workstation player 16.

The installation is successful.

Installing VMware Workstation Pro on Windows 10|Windows 11

Go to vmware.com and under resources find downloads then get to VMware Workstation Pro. Or you can just type in your search box Download VMware Workstation pro.

The VMware Workstation Pro is not a free software but you can download a trial version that runs for 30 days.

Find the setup from your downloads and run it for installation.

Then the installation wizard appears as below.

Follow the steps until the installation is done that later displays the window as below. As the setup is a trial version you select the second option and click continue.

The VMware workstation Pro 16 now opens as follows.

The installation is successful.

Installing Alpine Linux via VMware Workstation Player 16 (Testing it works)

Before this, you should install the Alpine Linux disc image that will be used for installation.

Go to alpinelinux.org 

Click on Downloads then a new window opens and go to the Standard Column option to download the software, based on your machine specifications.

In my case I chose the x86_64 and the download starts immediately.

Once that is done, Open the VMware Player installed.

Then click on Create a New Virtual Machine.

Then the next window opens where you choose the OS you want to install.

Click on browse then select the Alpine Linux Disc Image that you previously downloaded.

Click on Next to choose the Operating system for Alpine which is obviously Linux.

After that, a window opens as below,

The first step will be to put in the localhost login. Type in root  which is the default login for Alpine Linux then press Enter.

  • The next step is to set up Alpine, type in setup-alpine then press Enter.
  • It will ask you for the keyboard layout first. By default I will go with us then Enter.
  • It will ask you for a variant, I will still go with the default us then Enter.
  • Next is the system hostname, I will still go with the default localhost so press Enter.
  • It then asks for the IP address which I will still go with the default and press Enter.
  • You will be prompted to create a new password for the host. So, type in your preferred password and confirm the password.
(Note: The password is not visible because of security reasons while typing so be sure of what you are typing)
  • Then input the time zone, I did EST due to my time zone in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • For the Proxy URL press Enter to go with the default.
  • Then still Press Enter for the NTP client.

Now the next step is installing alpine tools. It shows different mirrors which you can select. I went with r to select a random mirror that is suitable with my system.

The next step is to choose the SSH which I will still go with the default openssh hence press Enter.

The next option is to select the disk to be used by the alpine, I will select the sda option that I allocated while installing the VMware Player.

The next step will be to select the type of drive you want to use alpine as, I want to use it as a conventional OS. Type in sys then press Enter.

Alpine begins installing which might take a while, Then a reboot is required.

Shut down the virtual machine then open it again to reboot.

You will be asked for the login again and type root.

Then for the password, input the password you typed while installing.

The installation is successful as seen in the screenshot above.

You now have an Alpine Linux OS running on VMware Workstation Player running on Windows OS.

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