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VMWare: Virtual Machines

VMware is an excellent solution for running legacy MS/Windows applications without the need for dual boot nor the need for having an extra machine. You end up with a genuine installation of MS/Windows, not an emulator, so that compatibility is not an issue.

You can trial VMware for 30 days, which is a good idea to try it out. Visit and register for the trial.

Unfortunately, VMware is not packaged for Debian GNU/Linux, but you can install either the RPM or the TAR. The TAR is recommended. Download the TAR as: VMware-workstation-4.5.2-8848.tar.gz. Both VMware and any updates should install quite painlessly.

Install the Debian package for the kernel headers corresponding to the kernel you are running (e.g., kernel-headers-2.6.7-1-686-smp). VMware will need to compile some kernel modules.

Let the install script install in /usr/local/.

As root:

  # tar zxvf VMware-workstation-4.5.2-8848.tar.gz
  # cd vmware-distrib
  # ./
  <enter> (/etc)
  <enter> (/etc/init.d)
  <enter> (/usr/local/lib/vmware)
  <enter> (yes to create path)
  <enter> (/usr/local/share/man)
  <enter> (/usr/local/doc/vmware)
  <enter> (yes to create path)
  <enter> (yes to invoke /usr/local/bin/
  <enter> (yes to display license)
  yes (accept license)
  <enter> (build modules)
  <enter> (/lib/modules/2.6.7-1-686-smp/build/include)
  <enter> (networking)
  <enter> (NAT networking)
  <enter> (probe for private subnet ->
  <enter> (no host-only networking)
  yes (access the host's filesystem)
  <enter> (probe for private subnet ->
      (It requests that in /etc/samba/smb.conf there is a "socket
       address" line that contains only your real host IP address -
       I don't have such a line)
  <enter> (supply username/ SMB password)
  <enter> (no other username/password at this time)

The script might be useful.

Relevant kernel modules will be placed in /lib/modules/`uname -r`/ and vmware has a good uninstall script to remove itself if required. Also, the vmware install script will move an old version out of the way.


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