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VMware is a proprietary and commercial PC virtualization solution running on amd64 compatible cpus, since version 11. It allows you to run any x86 compatible OS in a kind of 'sandbox' - inside the VMware virtual machine you can run other operating systems like Windows, FreeBSD or some other version of Linux. Both Windows and a Linux versions are available.

VMware is not a true emulator, it doesn't emulate a CPU like Bochs does, it wraps CPU commands around... It does emulate various hardware devices like network-, graphic- and sound cards.

Installing VMware on Debian

VMware Workstation Pro/Player 16

VMware Workstation can be easily installed on Debian by downloading the required bundle and executing the following commands:

chmod +x VMware-Workstation-Full-16.0.0-16894299.x86_64.bundle
sudo ./VMware-Workstation-Full-16.0.0-16894299.x86_64.bundle

In order to run VMware Workstation 16 properly, you must install the required packages to build the VMware kernel modules:

sudo apt install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)

VMware Workstation Pro/Player 15/15.5

VMware Workstation can be easily installed on Debian Buster and Debian Stretch by downloading the required bundle and executing the following commands:

chmod +x VMware-Workstation-Full-15.5.5-16285975.x86_64.bundle
sudo ./VMware-Workstation-Full-15.5.5-16285975.x86_64.bundle

In order to run VMware Workstation 15 properly, you must install the required packages to build the VMware kernel modules:

sudo apt install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)

VMware Workstation Pro/Player 14

VMware Workstation can be easily installed on Debian Stretch, since VMware Workstation requires a kernel version <= 4.18, without any kernel patches kernel_patches, by downloading the required bundle and executing the following commands:

chmod +x VMware-Workstation-Full-14.1.7-12989993.x86_64.bundle
sudo ./VMware-Workstation-Full-14.1.7-12989993.x86_64.bundle

In order to run VMware Workstation 14 properly, you must install the required packages to build the VMware kernel modules:

sudo apt install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Converting existing machines to VMware

Physical Machines to VMware/Hyper-V to VMware using VMware Converter

You are able to convert any existing operating system to a virtual environment as a guest on Debian host using VMwareConverter.

VMware converter requires to be run on a Windows machine, since it has no Linux version

Windows

When you are converting existing windows you might need to activate you installation again. Windows will detect different hardware and will prompt you for a new/current activation key.

VirtualBox to VMware

Here is a tutorial on how to convert existing VirtualBox machines to VMware: VBox to VMware

Using VMware

License Keys

/usr/lib/vmware/bin/vmware-vmx --new-sn 123-123-123-123...123

Running vmware-netcfg (Virtual Network Editor) with VMware Player

VMware player by default does not give you the greater control over your network that vmware-netcfg used in VMware Workstation can provide.

The following commands will allow you to run vmware-netcfg

 cd /usr/lib/vmware/bin

ln -s /usr/lib/vmware/bin/appLoader vmware-netcfg

ln -s /usr/lib/vmware/bin/vmware-netcfg /usr/bin/vmware-netcfg

Credit to Michael Gr.

VMware guest additions install on a Debian guest

It is no longer required to install kernel-headers and run the vmware-guest-additions installer script, since the debian repos already include a version of the vmware-guest-addition openvm-tools. To install the guest additions execute the following command:

sudo apt install open-vm-tools

VMware, Debian Kernel Upgrade

Troubleshooting

GCC version is not found null after VMware Player 16 successful install on Debian Bullseye/Sid

In order to enable the VMware Workstation kernel you must compile them manually as root, using the following commands

    cd /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source  
    tar xvf vmnet.tar  
    cd vmnet-only  
    make  
    cd ..  
    tar xvf vmmon.tar  
    cd vmmon-only  
    make  
    cd ..  
    cp vmmon.o /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/misc/vmmon.ko  
    cp vmnet.o /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/misc/vmnet.ko  
    depmod -a  
    service vmware restart 

source: https://communities.vmware.com/thread/643016

vmware.service restart fail after running apt upgrade on Debian Bullseye/Sid

You must run the following commands as root to rebuild the kernel modules:

    cd /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source  
    tar xvf vmnet.tar  
    cd vmnet-only  
    make  
    cd ..  
    tar xvf vmmon.tar  
    cd vmmon-only  
    make  
    cd ..  
    cp vmmon.o /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/misc/vmmon.ko  
    cp vmnet.o /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/misc/vmnet.ko  
    depmod -a  
    service vmware restart


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