VMware Workstation is a professional virtualization solution and offers many settings for your virtual machines.
The purpose of this article is to introduce you to all the settings available for VMware virtual machines and what these options are for.
To get started, open the settings of your virtual machine by clicking on : Edit virtual machine settings.
Depending on the guest OS installed, more or less devices will be available.
Nevertheless, you will most certainly find these :
Allows you to set the amount of RAM to allocate to the virtual machine.
The amount of RAM to allocate to your virtual machine will depend on :
Allocating more RAM can enable a virtual machine to be smoother and more efficient.
But, if you allocate too much RAM, the host OS may not have enough RAM to function properly.
In this case, the host PC will slow down and the virtual machine will finally slow down and maybe even crash.
If you don't have a lot of RAM, you will have to find a happy medium. And preferably, put less RAM for the virtual machine to prevent your host PC to slow down.
Note that VMware always tells you :
Note that a part of this RAM will be used as video memory (VRAM - Video Random Access Memory).
This amount of video memory is defined in : Display.
For each virtual machine, you will be able to define how many processors and cores you want to allocate to this virtual machine.
This is useful for increasing the performance of a virtual machine, but also for the virtual machine to meet the requirements of some operating systems or virtualization servers (such as VMware ESXi for example).
Also, note that you can allocate 2 cores of your physical processor so that they are visible to the guest OS as 2 separate processors.
For this, you will need to select :
Finally, the virtual machine will see 2 separate processors with 1 heart each.
For virtualization options, you will be able to :
Allows you to know the location of the virtual hard disk on the host PC.
To know its current size, its maximum size, to map it on the host PC, ...
For more information about these options, see our tutorial : Manage virtual hard disks (map, defragment, expand, clean up, ...).
For the virtual CD/DVD drive, you will be able to choose :
In addition, you will be able to choose :
By clicking Advanced, you can also choose the type of connection to use (SATA, SCSI or IDE), as well as its position.
For the settings of the virtual network cards, you will first find the connection mode (Network connection):
Note that the "LAN Segments" button is simply used to add and manage different segments (or VLANs).
To learn more about network access modes and "LAN Segments", refer to our tutorial : Network access modes presentation and create custom virtual networks
By clicking on the Advanced button, you will be able to manage :
To begin, you can choose the version of the USB controller to virtualize : 1.1, 2.0 or 3.0 (or 3.1 since version 15.5.6 of VMware Workstation).
Info : USB 3.0 and 3.1 are faster than USB 2.0, and USB 2.0 is faster than USB 1.1.
However, depending on the OS you want to virtualize, VMware will default to the best version supported by the guest OS by default.
For example, if you are installing Windows XP or Windows 7, VMware will default use an USB 2.0 controller, because USB 3.0/3.1 is not supported natively by these versions of Windows.
However, starting with Windows 8, VMware will choose USB 3.0/3.1 by default.
That said, although VMware uses an USB 2.0 controller by default for Windows 7 as guest, it's still possible to use an USB 3.0 or 3.1 controller by following this tutorial : Use an USB 3.0/3.1 controller in a Windows 7 virtual machine
You will also find these 2 options :
For the virtual sound card, you can choose on which sound card you want to redirect the sound of the desired virtual machine.
This can allow you for example to redirect the sound of a virtual machine on the speakers of your host PC and the sound of another virtual machine on your headphones.
When you enable this feature (Virtual printers), VMware will allow the guest OS to print to any printer available on the host PC.
However, note that in recent versions of VMware Workstation, this feature is disabled by default.
In addition, once you enable this feature, you will need to install VMware Virtual Printer from the "VM -> Install Virtual Printer" menu.
To finish with the default hardware used by the majority of virtual machines created with VMware Workstation, you will find the Display component that will allow you to :
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