Install VMware Workstation Player in Ubuntu 24.04

Want to run an operating system in virtual machine using VMware Workstation Player? Here I’m going to show you how to install and use it in Ubuntu 24.04 and Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

Personally, I use Oracle Virtualbox for trying out different operating systems in as virtual machines (VMs). Some however prefer VMware workstation, which is available free for non-commercial use.

1. Download & install VMware Workstation Player

VMware Workstation Player provides Linux support through an universal .bundle package, which is available to download at the link below:

Download Workstation Player for Linux

In case the link above does not work properly, you may also go this page instead for the download link.

After downloaded the package, open your Downloads folder. Then, right-click on blank area and click “Open in Terminal” menu option to open up a terminal window with that folder as working directory.

In pop-up terminal window, run the commands below one by one (replace VMware-Player-*.bundle to your package name):

  • Add executable permission to the downloaded package:
    chmod u+x  ./VMware-Player-*.bundle
  • Then, run it with sudo permission:
    sudo ./VMware-Player-*.bundle

    This command will ask you to type user password (no visual feedback) for authentication. Then automatically extract the package, install and configure VMware Player in your system.

Once successfully installed the package, you can start the software from either start menu or GNOME ‘Show Apps’ (or overview) depends on your desktop environment.

2. Install an OS in VM using VMware Player

On first launch of the virtual machine software, you need to read and accept the license. Then, either enter a license key or select “Use VMware Player for free for non-commercial use”.

Then, it starts into a VirtualBox look like VM manager window. There you can either click “Open a Virtual Machine“, if you already have VMs exported as .vmx, .ovf, or .ova files. Or, click “Create a New Virtual Machine” to create new.

In the “New Virtual Machine Wizard”, you can choose to install a system from either CD-ROM (if your real-machine have one) or an .iso image. Of course, you can also choose to create a blank disk for later use.

Then, just follow the wizard to select which operating system it is, set a VM name and where to store the VM files, allocate some disk space. Before your clicking “Finish” button, you can click the “Custom Hardware” button for more options, including:

  • memory size for the VM.
  • how many CPU cores to use.
  • adjust hard disk size.
  • configure network adapter, sound card, USB controller, etc.

Tips: Here it’s better to choose “Bridged” option as network controller, or you’ll get a few “Ethernet (vmnet1) Unmanaged” options in top-right system status menu, which is quite annoying (See the screenshot below).

If you already have those options in system status menu, then run command vmware-netcfg to launch the config dialog, and remove the virtual networks. Finally, re-configure them to “bridged” in their own VM settings dialog.

Once done the “New Virtual Machine Wizard”, it automatically starts VM, just like you boot the real machine from USB or CD-Rom. Then, you can start the installer in the virtual OS and follow the wizard to install the system in the virtual machine.

When everything’s done, the VM will be listed in the main manager window of VMware Player, next time you launch it. And, you can go “Virtual Machine” menu to configure the VM preferences and install VMware tools for additional features.

Uninstall VMware Workstation Player

To uninstall the software, you still need the .bundle package you downloaded in the first step.

Also, right-click in blank area in the folder that stores the .bundle file, and click “Open in Terminal”. In the pop-up terminal window, run commands one by one:

  • Add executable permission, in case you’ve deleted it and re-download again:
    chmod u+x ./VMware-Player*.bundle
  • List installed product. In the case, it should be vmware-player:
    sudo ./VMware-Player*.bundle --list-products
  • Uninstall vmware player (you need to quit the software if running):
    sudo ./VMware-Player*.bundle -u vmware-player

After uninstalled the software, there are still some left-overs. As far as I know, they include:

  • the files of all installed VMs (by default in vmware folder of your home folder). They can be used to restore the VMs (or even for use in other VM software) next time you install VMware Player, though delete if you want.
  • /etc/vmware directory for the config files, use sudo rm -R /etc/vmware to delete.
  • The VMware display driver (xserver-xorg-video-vmware) package installed as dependency.