VMware Workstation Pro is paid virtualization software that lets you run another operating system inside your current one. Want to use Linux for some situations but you’ve only got a Windows 10 computer? No problem — use VMware Workstation on Windows to install Ubuntu.

This program even lets you run multipleoperating systems at the same time. If all you have is Windows 10 but you liketo play old Windows XP games and also use a few programs that only work on aMac, just load up the XP or Mac virtual machine, make it full screen, and useit just like you would if it were the only OS you had.

The process to install a new operating systemin VMware Workstation is fairly straightforward because the setup wizard makesthings super easy. Below are step-by-step screenshots showing everything youneed to know, from the initial setup screen all the way to booting into the newoperating system.

Tip:Also be sure to read the section at the very bottom of this page for somefirst-install tips.

Install New OS in VMware Workstation

Step 1: Go to File > New Virtual Machine.

Step 2: Select Typical (recommended),and then press Next.

Step 3: Pick how to install the operating system.

Select Installerdisc if the operating system is in the disc drive. Otherwise, choose Installer disc image file (iso) if youhave a file that contains the OS, like a Windows 10 ISO or an ISO for macOS.

Step 4: Choose precisely where the OS files are located.

If you selected to install the operatingsystem from a disc, choose the correct disc drive from the drop-down menu. Foran ISO install, select Browse andlocate the ISO image.

Step 5: Press Next to proceed tothe screen where you name the new virtual machine and pick where its filesshould be stored. Fill out that information and then select Next again.

Important:Be sure to pick a location that can handle the possibly ultra-large filescreated by the operating system as you use it. You might end up needinghundreds of gigabytes if you use this VM heavily. Storing it on an externalhard drive is a good idea if your local hard drive doesn’t have the space.

Note:For some operating system setups, you’ll be asked to enter the product key usedto activate it. You should be able to skip through that step if you want toenter the key later.

Step 6: Define how storage should take place with this virtual machine, andthen press Next.

You can change the maximum size of the virtualhard drive from the small box. From the bottom of this window are two options: Store virtual disk as a single file andStore virtual disk into multiple files.

Pick the second option if you think you mightone day move the VMware hard drive to a different computer, but take note ofthe text on that screen that mentions a possible performance reduction of usingmultiple files with a large hard drive.

In other words, if you plan to store lots ofdata in this VM, select the “single file” option, otherwise go with “multiplefiles.”

Step 7: Select Customize Hardwareand make any necessary changes. You can change details about the memory,processors, disc drive, network adapter, USB controller, sound card, printer,and display.

For example, the Memory section is how you specify how much physical RAM the virtualmachine is allotted. If you later decide that you’ve given too little memory tothe VM, it might perform slowly. Similarly, if you give too much, your hostcomputer will perform sluggishly and will have a difficult time even using theVM.

VMware Workstation recommends a specificamount based on how much you have installed, but you can adjust the memory toanything you like (though it’s best to stick to the recommended level).Different operating systems require different amounts of memory (e.g., Windows10 needs more than Windows 2000).

NetworkAdapter is an important component here that you mightend up having to adjust later if your virtual machine doesn’t have internetaccess. There are multiple options, and some may or may not work properlydepending on how your host computer is set up and how the guest OS (the VM)works. You can skip this for now to have the default option chosen for you.

Step 8: Choose Close to exit the Hardware screen, and then press Finish.

VMware Workstation will create the virtualdisk you specified in Step 6 and then turn on the virtual machineautomatically. This process might take a while, but you can watch the progressbar for an estimation of when it will finish.

Step 9: Follow any on-screen prompts to begin the OS installation. Forexample, if you see Press any key to bootfrom CD or DVD, do that to start the OS setup.

Step 10: Follow the directions for your specific operating system install toadd the OS to VMware Workstation.

Things to Remember

The VM >Snapshot option is how you “freeze”the current state of the VM so that you can return to that same state againlater. You might need to do this if the operating system fails later on, youget lots of viruses that can’t be cleaned, or you simply want to start overfrom a fresh install.

We recommend making a new snapshot the moment the operating system is fully installed and you get logged in, but before you make any changes to the VM.

However, even after that, consider installing all the operating system updates and any of your necessary programs, like your favorite web browser and antivirus software, Adobe Flash, etc., and then make another snapshot. Restoring the VM back to a state that includes those items will save you time not having to reinstall all of them.

Once the operating system has been installedand is running, go to VM > Settings to adjust any hardwaresettings you changed or didn’t change from Step 7. Some options are onlyeditable when the virtual machine is off.

At any time when the VMware virtual machine ison, you can shut it down or restart it from the VM > Power menu. Thisis also how you suspend the VM, which means to pause it so that you can resumeat that exact same point the next time you access it. This is different frompowering it on from an off state where you have to log back in again, openprograms and files, etc.