How to use Virtual Machines / VMWare / Virtual Box - Free Online Tutorial

A Virtual Machine (VM) is an emulation of a particular computer system. Virtual machines operate based on the computer architecture and functions of a real or hypothetical computer, and their implementations may involve specialized hardware, software, or a combination of both.

Various different kinds of virtual machines exist, each with different functions. System virtual machines (also known as full virtualization VMs) provide a complete substitute for the targeted real machine and a level of functionality required for the execution of a complete operating system. A hypervisor uses native execution to share and manage hardware, allowing multiple different environments, isolated from each other, to be executed on the same physical machine. Modern hypervisors use hardware-assisted virtualization, which provides efficient and full virtualization by using virtualization-specific hardware capabilities, primarily from the host CPUs. Process Virtual Machines are designed to execute a single computer program by providing an abstracted and platform-independent program execution environment. Some virtual machines, such as QEMU, are designed to also emulate different architectures and allow execution of software applications and operating systems written for another CPU or architecture. Operating-system-level virtualization allows the resources of a computer to be partitioned via the kernel's support for multiple isolated user space instances, which are usually called containers and may look and feel like real machines to the end users.

VirtualBox (Freeware)

VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. See "About VirtualBox" for an introduction.

Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4, 2.6, 3.x and 4.x), Solaris and OpenSolaris, OS/2, and OpenBSD.

VirtualBox is being actively developed with frequent releases and has an ever growing list of features, supported guest operating systems and platforms it runs on. VirtualBox is a community effort backed by a dedicated company: everyone is encouraged to contribute while Oracle ensures the product always meets professional quality criteria.

VMware Workstation (Paid Software)

VMware Workstation is a hosted hypervisor that runs on x64 versions of Windows and Linux operating systems (an x86 version of earlier releases was available); it enables users to set up virtual machines (VMs) on a single physical machine, and use them simultaneously along with the actual machine. Each virtual machine can execute its own operating system, including versions of Microsoft Windows, Linux, BSD, and MS-DOS. VMware Workstation is developed and sold by VMware, Inc., a division of EMC Corporation. An operating systems license is needed to use proprietary ones such as Windows. Ready-made Linux VMs set up for different purposes are available.

VMware Workstation supports bridging existing host network adapters and sharing physical disk drives and USB devices with a virtual machine. It can simulate disk drives; an ISO image file can be mounted as a virtual optical disc drive, and virtual hard disk drives are implemented as .vmdk files.

VMware Workstation Pro can save the state of a virtual machine (a "snapshot") at any instant. These snapshots can later be restored, effectively returning the virtual machine to the saved state, as it was and free from any post-snapshot damage to the VM.

VMware Workstation includes the ability to designate multiple virtual machines as a team which can then be powered on, powered off, suspended or resumed as a single object, useful for testing client-server environments.

Configure a Virtual Machine

To configure a Virtual Machine, first we have to install any of the Virtual Machine Software on our PC. Then we should create a new Virtual Hardware on the PC on which we are going to install a new Operating System which is called a Guest Operating System. The guest OS is completely independent of the Host OS (The Currently running OS on which Virtual Machine is being Set-Up). Which means we can setup any platform on the Virtual Machine (Windows, Linux, Mac, Unix etc). Now let us do this with VMWare Workstation...

Install VMWare Workstation on your PC as usual and open the application. Now click on Create a New Virtual Machine. It will create a new Virtual Hardware for you...


Now, on your new Virtual Machine Wizard, select I will install operating system later so that we can configure the OS later as we do it on the usual Desktop/Laptop. Then select the platform and the OS as which you are going to use on your Virtual Machine.


Now select the location where you would like to save the Virtual Machine files, and give a name for your Virtual Machine here. Then it will create a default hardware configuration for the selected OS. You can customize it by clicking the Customize Hardware button here or later by clicking the Settings on the virtual Machine context menu. Now click on Customize Hardware to insert the CD as an ISO file.


Now click on the CD/DVD option in the Hardware Setup and select Use ISO Image file, then click on Browse to select the OS ISO Image on your PC. So that, it means you have inserted your OS CD on the new Virtual Hardware. Now close this window and click Power on this Virtual Machine to power on the virtual hardware. Now you can continue installing an Operating System on the Virtual Hardware as you do like on your actual Desktop or Laptop PC. Enjoy...


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