Using VMWare Workstation – a couple of Tips

When trying to setup a new Virtual Machine, you could take the tough approach and do it from scratch. Or you could let someone else do the hard work for you and download a pre-built image. For VMWare, the place to do this is the VMWare Applicance Marketplace.

This may or may not work perfectly for you. Here’s how I fixed a couple of problems that I encountered:

  • I can’t connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi from the Virtual Machine

If your host machine connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi, you’ll find that the Virtual Machine cannot browse the net or download any packages. The reason for this is that by default, Wi-Fi adapters are excluded by the VMWare Workstation. You can fix in one of two ways:

1. Remove your Wi-Fi adapter from the Exclusion list – Go to Edit > Virtual Network Editor > Automatic Bridging:

vmware-network-editor

You should see your Wi-Fi adapter listed in the “Do not attempt to bridge” list. Select the adapter and hit Remove. Now try rebooting the Virtual Machine and see if Internet access has started working.

2. Map a specific VMNet Adapter to your Wi-Fi adapter – In the Virtual Network Editor, Choose the Host Virtual Network Mapping tab:

vmware-network-mapping

Pick a VMNet Adapter and map it your Wi-Fi adapter. Next go to your Virtual Machine settings and modify the Network option to point to the VMNet Adapter you had modified:

vmware-vm-settings

  • I’ve shared a folder from the Host PC, but the Linux Virtual Machine can’t see it.

The nice part of using images from the Appliance Marketplace is that VMware tools is typically installed, enabling the best features of the VMWare Workstation such as changing the resolution and Unity View. However, you might find that Shared folders aren’t working properly. To test whether you have a fully working VMware tools install, run the following command:

You should something similar to the following output:

If the command exits without any output, you have an incomplete VMWare tools install. Run the following command:

Accept the default prompts and wait for the configuration to finish. Now try the following commands:

If the lsmod command returns some output now, you’re all set to start copying-and-pasting files between the Host PC and your Virtual Machine.

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