Install VMware Workstation 16 on Debian 11/10

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VMware is one of the best Type-II hypervisor technology and cloud computing software provider. It allows one to run another operating system inside your current operating system i.e Windows, Linux e.t.c. Normally, it bases its virtualization technology on bare-metal hypervisor ESX/ESXI in x86 architecture.

Vmware was founded in 1998 as a subsidiary of Dell Technologies. It has the following features:

  • Increased efficiency and stability of data center systems
  • Better provisioning of applications and resources
  • Virtual desktop infrastructure
  • Cloud management platform
  • Has SDDC platform, a software stuck with vSphere, VMware vSAN and VMware NSX
  • Improved networking and security i.e VMWaer NSX
  • Simplified data center and cloud infrastructure

Vmware has two major versions, namely;

  • VMware Workstation player – This is a basic VMware verison andn is non-commercial
  • VMware Workstation Pro – Normally, this is a paid version that is more advanced and professional as well.

The VMware Workstation Pro has the following additional features:

  • Allows snapshots
  • Ability to create Linked Clones and full clones
  • Remote vSphere Host Power Control
  • Virtual Network Customization (NAT, network rename)
  • Virtual Network Simulation (Packet Loss, Latency, Bandwidth)
  • Allows creating and managing Encrypted VMs

By the end of this guide, you should be able to install VMware Player Workstation 16 on Debian 11/10. Further, I will demonstrate how to make an installation with VMware.

System Requirements.

The minimum requirements for a host system to be able to install VMware are:

  • CPU – above 2GHz and 64-bit processor
  • Memory – above 2GB RAM
  • Disk Space – Depends on the host operating system, but you should have some space about 30GB free for Virtual Machine installation

Also remember, to get better performance, you should have a hardware virtualization (AMD-v/VT-d/VT-x) extension enabled from the BIOS of your host system.

Then install the required packages.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install build-essential gcc perl bzip2 dkms make
sudo apt install linux-headers-$(uname -r)

Update your system to the latest stable packages:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Install VMWare Player | Workstation Pro 16 on Debian 11/10.

In this guide, we will install both the VMWare Player 16 and the Workstation Pro 16 on our Debian 11/10 system.

Step 1 – Download VMware Player | Workstation

Download VMware workstation pro and player using the provided links below

  • VMware Workstation Player 16

Download VMware workstation Player from the official VMware Workstation downloads page

Install-VMware-Player-Workstation-16-on-Debian-1110-1

Alternatively, obtain the download link and pull it with Wget as below.

wget https://download3.vmware.com/software/WKST-PLAYER-1624/VMware-Player-Full-16.2.4-20089737.x86_64.bundle
  • Vmware Workstation Pro 16

This version of VMware can be downloaded by visiting the official VMware Workstation Pro downloads page.

Install-VMware-Player-Workstation-16-on-Debian-1110-1-1

While on the above page, select Workstation Pro for Linux and proceed with your download.

Another way to download the bundle is by using Wget as below:

wget https://download3.vmware.com/software/WKST-1624-LX/VMware-Workstation-Full-16.2.4-20089737.x86_64.bundle

Step 2 – Install VMware Player | Workstation Pro 16

Now with the bundle downloaded successfully, proceed and install it. If you downloaded it from a browser, then you need to navigate to your downloads directory cd ~/Downloads Then make the downloaded file executable as below.

# For VMware Player
chmod +x VMware-Player-Full-*.x86_64.bundle

#For VMware Workstation Pro
chmod +x VMware-Workstation-Full-*.x86_64.bundle

Now with the file executable, install it on Debian 11/10 as below.

#For VMware Player
sudo ./VMware-Player-Full-*.x86_64.bundle

#For Workstation pro
sudo ./VMware-Workstation-Full-*.x86_64.bundle

The installation will commence as below.

Extracting VMware Installer...done.
Installing VMware Installer 3.0.0
Installing VMware Workstation 16.2.4
    Copying files...
[################                                                      [################                                                        [################                                                      [################....
..........
    Configuring...
[######################################################################] 100%
Installation was successful. 

As seen from the output above, the installation is successful now we need to install the required VMware modules i.e VMnet and VMmon.

Git clone the modules as below.

git clone https://github.com/mkubecek/vmware-host-modules.git
cd vmware-host-modules
git checkout workstation-16.2.1
make
sudo make install
sudo /etc/init.d/vmware start

Use VMware Player 16 | VMware Workstation Pro 16 on Debian 11/10.

Now that we have installed VMware successfully, we will proceed and use it. I will demonstrate this by installing Alpine Linux. Launch Vmware from the App Menu as below.

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Accept the License Terms.

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Accept updates for VMware.

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Join the Customer Experience program.

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If you want to license the Workstation Pro, enter your License here, otherwise proceed with the second option.

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You will see the pop-up below.

Install-VMware-Player-Workstation-16-on-Debian-1110-7-696x393

That is it, proceed and create a virtual machine and install your required Operating system.

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Creating a new VM will require you to make configurations. Select the type of configuration to use.

Install-VMware-Player-Workstation-16-on-Debian-1110-9

Select the ISO file of the Operating system you want to install.

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Proceed and select the type of operating system you want to install on the VM.

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Assign a name to the VM.

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Set the disk size of the VM.

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That is it! You have created a VM with the configurations given, you can alter the settings made by clicking on Customize Hardware.

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Click Finish then proceed and install the OS of choice. For this guide, I installed Alpine Linux.

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You can manage your VM, shutdown, start and pause using the panel shown.

Install-VMware-Player-Workstation-16-on-Debian-1110-16-768x398

Fix the “VMWare Kernel Module Updater” error on Debian 11/10.

In day-to-day use, you may encounter the error “VMWare Kernel Module Updater“. Fix it by cloning the patch code from GitHub as below.

sudo apt -y install git 
git clone https://github.com/mkubecek/vmware-host-modules.git

Rebuild and install the VMware modules.

cd vmware-host-modules
make
sudo make install

Then reboot your system for the changes made to apply.

sudo reboot

You can install VMware Guest additions/Tools to enable full integration between your host system and the Virtual machine. Install VMware Tools on Debian 11/10 with the aid of the guide below.

Voila!

Conclusion.

We have come to the end of this guide on how to install VMware Player | Workstation Pro 16 on Debian 11|10. I hope you learned a lot from this guide.

coffee

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A systems engineer with excellent skills in systems administration, cloud computing, systems deployment, virtualization, containers, and a certified ethical hacker.