Install VMware Workstation Player on Ubuntu 20.04 - Step by Step Process ?

VMware Workstation Player is a desktop virtualization software that allows you to run multiple, isolated operating systems on a single machine.

Virtualization technology has been around for quite a while and has gained popularity over the last decade with enterprises and even individuals making the most of it. 

In virtualization, a hypervisor is installed on a physical machine (host) and used to deploy virtual machines (guests) which are isolated from the host.

Each virtual machine is allocated a share of resources such as memory, CPU, disk space, video drivers, and network adapters all in a virtual format. 

The concept of virtualization comes in handy when you want to deploy multiple systems but with limited resources. It's cost-effective and allows users to try out various operating systems without purchasing physical PCs.

Since its inception, VMware has revolutionized virtualization. VMWare workstation player, a product from VMware, is a popular hypervisor that is mostly used for home/desktop environments. It comes as a good alternative to VirtualBox and KVM.

Here at LinuxAPT, as part of our Server Management Services, we regularly help our Customers to perform related VMware queries.

In this context, we shall look into how to install VMware Workstation on Ubuntu 20.04.

How to install VMware Workstation on Ubuntu Linux?

Before proceeding with this installation procedure, ensure that you have an instance of Ubuntu 20.04 with a GUI (Graphical User Interface) and a stable internet connection for updating and downloading packages.

Then follow the steps given below.

1. Update system repository

A couple of packages are required before diving into the actual installation of the VMware Workstation. Firstly, update the package index:

$ sudo apt update

2. Install prerequisite packages

Then install the essential software packages such as GCC and Linux-headers as follows:

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

3. Download VMware installer bundle

With the essential packages in place, the next step will be to download the installer bundle that we will execute to install VMware Workstation Pro. 

We will install VMware Workstation Pro 16.1.0 which is the latest release.

i. So, head out to VMware's product section.

ii. Click on the 'Download Now' link located in the 'WorkStation 16 Pro for Linux'  section.

iii. The pop-up dialogue will prompt you to choose what you'd want to do.

iv. Click on the 'Save file' option and hit the 'Ok' button. 

v. This downloads the file in your 'Downloads' folder located in your home directory.

The installation bundle is about 500MB in size. So ensure your internet connection is fast and reliable.

vi. Once the download is over, you can confirm that the bundle is in place as expected by navigating to the 'Downloads' directory and confirming its presence using the ls command.

4. Run the VMware installer bundle

Thereafter assign execute permissions to the VMware installer bundle.

So, use the Linux chmod command:

$ sudo chmod +x VMware-Workstation-*.bundle

Confirm the assignment of the execute permissions using the command:

$ ls -l

Now, proceed and run the installer:

$ sudo ./VMware-Workstation-*.bundle

This command will perform the extraction of the installer bundle and install VMware. 

5. Launch VMware and complete the setup

Now, we will launch the installer and complete the setup graphically.

i. Click on the 'Activities' tab on the far left corner and search for VMware. 

ii. Click on the VMware icon pointed by an arrow.

iii. Accept the VMware License Agreement and hit the 'Next' button.

iv. Again, you will have to accept the EULA agreement, this time for the VMware-OVF Tool component for Linux. Then click 'Next'.

v. In the next step, feel free to determine whether or not you would like VMware to check for updates on boot-up. 

In our case, we have selected VMware to check for updates once we boot up my system.

You can decide to be a part of the customer experience program or simply decline. 

This is set to 'Yes' by default. If you don't feel like it, select 'No'.

VMWare workstation is a proprietary tool. 

Thankfully, you can evaluate it for a 30-day window after which you will be required to purchase a license. 

vi. Therefore, select the second option to try VMware for a one-month period and click the 'Finish' button.

vii. Enter your password to authenticate and hit the 'Authenticate' button.

viii. Finally, Click on the 'Ok' button to complete the installation of VMware WorkStation Pro.

Now you can start creating virtual machines and making the most of the wide range of features that it provides.

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This article covers how to install VMware Workstation on your instance of Ubuntu 20.04. With a virtual machine application like VMware, you can run another operating system inside your current operating system.

To Install VMware in Ubuntu:

1. Install required build packages

Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and use the command below to install required build packages and Linux Kernel headers:

$ sudo apt install build-essential

2. Download VMware Workstation Player

Next step is to download the VMware Workstation Player from their website.


3. Install VMware Player

4. Use the command below to make the file executable:

$ chmod +x ~/Downloads/VMware-Player*

5. And then run the installation file:

$ sudo ~/Downloads/VMware-Player*

This will open an installation window.

To Uninstall VMware Player from Ubuntu:

If, for some reasons, you want to uninstall VMware Player, use the following command:

$ sudo /usr/bin/vmware-installer -u vmware-player

Press "Enter" and VMware Player will be removed from your system.