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I am interested in installing Ubuntu in a VM (Virtual Machine) on my PC for learning purposes. I have some questions.

  1. What software should I install? My guess is that I need VMware Workstation. Correct?

  2. I thought VMWare Workstation was free for home users, but then I received a thirty day trial code in mail. Is there a better way or software I can use instead?

  3. What other visualization software are there? I understand that Red Hat has one. Can I get more suggestions?

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migrated from May 5 '11 at 20:35

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  1. Yes, you can use VMware for this, and the Workstation edition will work. But this is not the only option. See the Comparison of platform virtualization software article on Wikipedia.

  2. VMware Workstation is not a free software. After a 30 day free trial period you have to buy a license to continue using it. VMware Player is a free option. It has less features, but it will work well for your needs.

  3. I suggest you use Virtual Box. It is free and open-source, and very easy to use. It was developed by Sun Microsystems (which was acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2010) and is being constantly updated.

I have a Ubuntu VM running on my Windows 7 x64 without any problems.

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VMware Workstation is not free. VMware player is free, but you need to already have a virtual machine image to get it going.

You may also want to try the Microsoft Virtual PC but I much prefer the VMWare products.

By the way, you'll learn 100x more by just installing Ubuntu onto the hard drive and running it as your normal OS. You can use wine and vmware (or other virtual app) to run Windows 7 inside of it. Of course that's a lot more work, but dual booting is a real option to consider.

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VirtualBox is a free open-source program similar to VMWare. It's features are very similar to VMWare Workstation, which you have to pay for.

You could also use VMWare Player, but you can only use an image already created.

One thing that you could try is installing both Workstation and Player from VMWare, and creating an image with Workstation while your trial is still valid, and then using that image with Player way after the trial is over.

Basically, try using VirtualBox. Same features as Workstation for free.

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You just need vmware player version. When you run it, you can create a new virtual machine. Follow the steps given by the program and then, you can install Ubuntu using the ubuntu iso image you choose to install.

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