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January 25, 2008

Booting Your First VMware Virtual Machine

Filed under: Software Development — Tags: , , , — Greg Larkin @ 11:13 am

Hello everyone,

Now that we’ve got some example virtual machines to play around with, let’s move on to the next step and get one running.

I’m using VMware Player on Windows XP, and the VM files have been extracted to My Documents\My Virtual Machines. The folder contents look like this:

VMware Installation Directory

Digging into the VM installation directory proper, you see all of the files that make up your virtual machine:

Virtual Machine Directory

The .vmx file is a text file that contains all of the virtual machine configuration options. You can change the VM memory allocation, add/remove devices, etc. just by editing that file. The .vmdk files are the virtual machine’s disks and store its state across reboots.

If your VM ever runs out of disk space and you still have room on your host operating system, you can create additional vmdk files and attach them to the VM. That sure is easier than cracking open a server case and physically installing new drives!

Next, double-click on the FreeBSD 6.2 Basic Installation.vmx file, and VMware Player starts up and boots the VM:

FreeBSD Boot Menu

After the usual messages, the virtual machine has booted, and you see the familiar UNIX login prompt:

FreeBSD Boot Completion

Next time, we’ll dive into installing the various PHP frameworks under FreeBSD. The FreeBSD ports system is designed for ease of use, and you’ll see how simple it is to get a software package and all of its dependencies installed with one command.

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Keep in touch,
Greg, LLC

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