A quick-start guide to setting up a Debian guest on VMWare WorkStation 15/16 Player
I don’t know why everything needs to be subtly non-standard, but over the course of the last twenty or so virtual machine reconstructions I’ve come up with a simple checklist for setting up a Debian guest on VMWare’s WorkStation (Windows) and I thought I’d share it here.
- Download your Debian .iso here (I recommend the netinst CD image)
- Create a new virtual machine using the downloaded .iso and check that the default configuration is satisfactory (I tend to need a little more power, usually 2 CPUs does it for me). Note that increasing the size of a hard disk is for more complicated and risky than a regular user would expect, so give yourself a healthy buffer. In my experience, it’s less painful to rebuild a bigger machine than it is to extend the disk size.
- Install the OS — I find the graphical installer to be just fine for my purposes. The two configuration options that are the most impactful are your choice of desktop environment, I usually choose Xfce but I’m starting to like GNOME again. It’s probably a good idea to install the ssh server as well.
- Once installation is complete, click the VMWare button at the bottom of the screen to signal that and restart the machine.
- To grant yourself the ability to use sudo, open the terminal and run either
> su -
> su -c ‘su -’
if the first isn’t allowed (I’m not sure how to use the correct single quotes in Medium, so note that the above apostrophes aren’t correct).
> usermod -aG sudo <username>
to add yourself to the sudoers group. You will need to log out and back in for this to take effect.
- Install the following to be able to install VMWare Tools, which enables things like copying and pasting between host and guest machines:
> sudo apt install -y open-vm-tools open-vm-tools-desktop linux-source
Installing VMWare Tools in WorkStation Player 16
Open the Virtual Machine Settings, select the Options tab, then select VMWare Tools: select “Sychronize guest time with host” and “Update automatically”, then restart the virtual machine.