Installing second OS on the same system using VM Ware

By neokrates, written on May 4, 2008


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You would like to have more than one operating system on the same hardware. There are plenty of reasons to have it, i.e. to be able to use the power of Linux and usability of Windows.

Whatever the reasons are, here is how you can have multiple OS’s using VM Ware. Result will give you two systems in one box, nice performance, mobility, and for beginners, it also costs nothing (with VMWare Player Edition).

Example. Windows on Linux

I will use my Kubuntu as a host and install the Windows XP on it.

Software you need + Licensing
  • Kubuntu is free Linux distribution
  • VMWare Workstation has 30 days trial(will be needed to create an image)
  • VMWare Player is free (it can run the created image of OS)
  • Tools for VMWare Player/WS. It is essential to use them, makes virtual OS enough and generally more usable.
  • Windows XP. You can use whatever image or distro you like. You will just need an official License Key.
If your are working for enterprise, chances are you have the key with your PC Hardware. Just look for The Certificate Sticker on the PC Case.
Installation time

⭐ registering the VMWare takes 5 min.

⭐ downloading it will take 3 min on average-speed DSL.

⭐ installation of VM Ware Workstation 5 min.

⭐ mounting Win XP distribution, tuning, entering serials etc … is 5 min.

⭐ installing Windows XP under VM Ware about 30min. That is, if you system is fast.

Step-by-step guide


Register and get your VM Ware Workstation

(Currently under

  • Register and get to the page named “VMware Workstation for Linux Product Evaluation License and Download” (name may change).
  • Get 30 days license key: go to your email box and click on “Activate your VMware Workstation Evaluation”. Then save the product key.

  • Download the VMWare and decompress it where you want it to be. Important: choose the version for your processor and Linux type. Linux 32-bit or Linux 64-bit.
You may also take an .rpm or a .tar archive. I used .tar because .rpm automatic process may run into troubles sometimes. But that’s you choice.


Install VM Ware Workstation

In your VMware Root start install script.
vmware# ./

There will be 100 questions, I might just keep pushing enter for most of them but the first (where the binaries will be).
It is possible to run installation in automatic mode ./ -d


Start VM Ware workstation, enter serial, start Windows Installation

Goto vmware/bin and run ./vmware .

Take the serial you got from vmware website and enter it in Help> Enter Serial Number

Now choose New>Virtual Machine.

Choose from where to install the Windows XP. If distribution is not on standard media, use option of this particular virtual machine to add new media. I used the .iso image as a source.

Size of the hard disk is set to 8 GB and it is a good idea. This way the system is truly portable. It is always possible to mount additional huge drives for storage.

Start the system (Green ‘run’ arrow button) and make sure it finds the windows distribution first.


Go through with the installation

The installation is like any standard windows installation and takes about 30 minutes. Complex cases of running behind the firewalls, tuning NAT tables, etc.., are not discussed here.
You will also be required to activate the system which works fine.


First run, install the Tools for VMWare

Now you can work with your Windows but system probably works somewhat slowly. Go to the start menu of your newly installed windows xp and start the executable from Tools for VMWare program group.

Starting, stopping, pausing the windows

There are many amazing things which vmware can do for you. It can actually pause the execution of programs you run and start from that point wherever you use this system again.
Just consider, that changing the location of your system, network you are located in, external configurations etc… could cause the Virtual OS to ‘get lost’.
Just restarting the virtual OS normally resolves all the problems.

After trial time of VM Ware Workstation expires you can download the player version. It is bit slower but works fine too.

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