How-to: VMware player modification

Last week the free VMware player was released. It lets you run virtual machines, but not create them. [Faileas] contributed today’s how-to for creating your own virtual machines.

Programs required to carry out hack:

  1. Copy of VMware Player

  2. Browser appliance or another virtual machine(browser appliance is the smallest one, by size, and thus I am using that)

  3. Notepad or other text editor

  4. ISO image or CD/floppy of FreeDOS (I’m using the ripcord distribution) or MSDOS 7.1 would work as well, but i haven’t tried it yet.

  5. Replacement OS (must have SCSI HDD support)

Once you’ve downloaded the browser appliance or whatever image you intend to use, the first step is to open up and edit the browser-appliance.vmx file. I used notepad for this, though any text editor should do.

I’d reccomend changing the settings as needed, though these are what i suggest. Change the value of memsize to 64 from 256. For most operating systems this is sufficient and you can change this later as needed.

Part 1: Using an ISO
The image i am using has been setup to use the physical CD-Rom drive of my system. Not really desireable when you want to install from a downloaded ISO. While using daemontools, or a similar CD mounting program is an option, a more elegant method would be to use VMware player’s own ability to read ISOs.

At this point i suggest saving and making a copy of the browser-appliance.vmx file, since it might be desireable to use a physical CD-Rom drive at a later point of time.

To do this replace:
ide1:0.fileName = "auto detect"
ide1:0.deviceType = "cdrom-raw"

ide1:0.fileName = "C:targetcd.iso"
ide1:0.deviceType = "cdrom-image"

Where C:targetcd.iso is the location of the disk you intend to use. Once this is done, save the edited vmx file and run it.

Part 2: Removing the current OS

Now, at the startup screenstart screen
press escape and choose to boot from the CD drive at the next screen. If all goes well, you should be greeted by
where you should choose to boot from CDrom. From there menu
choose to boot to the second option “FreeDOS ** FAT32. At the next screentoreto
pick the first option, to “boot with el toreto cd rom driver” (default)driver
and then the second option, to run FreeDOS from CD command prompt.

Now the fun part

121 thoughts on “How-to: VMware player modification

  1. How do you specify a floppy image for VMWare Player and what format should the image be in?

    I tried a FreeDOS image and some Win98 boot disk image from (*.img) and tried this in the vmx file:

    floppy0.deviceType = “floppy image”

    Also tried renaming to fdos1440.flp but in either case, VMWare player can’t load the floppy image. Am I missing something? Seems no one cares about floppy images these days, only ISO CD images.

  2. Thanks Guys! We deal a bit w/ virtualization at my job, and this was the next best thing to installing a Technet version of M$ Virtual PC. Got a XP sp2 install running great, and cant wait to get home and fill up that 10G partition with linux images instead of worrying with dual booting.

  3. ok, this is cool! Just started reading this topic but ended up creating a Junction Link (ref: ) to another drive to map my “C:Program Files” folder. It was fun trying to get it working. Could not move some .dll files, so plugged the HDD to another computer and removed the .dll files and the remaining directories to make the “C:Program Files” empty and linkmagic did the magic and now I have my “C:Program Files” on a completely new HDD on a new partition making my computer load programs much faster than ever.
    Thanks a lot!

  4. I’m surprised there hasn’t been more posted here since VMware released free VMServer beta2 and anounced forever FREE .. plus the Appliance Competition never came up here .. ISOlinux has been too much fun with these beta test . I need a nickel for every distro I try .. I’d be rich :)
    Try FreeNAS as well .. loads of functionality for the really aggessive hypppper vvvm geeksster to dable wwith there .. I’m still suffering from no vmtools installed in my VMs as you typically will haaaave to re-compile your kernel to get reeeeal driver supportt innnstead of the haphazard standard/default settings that occur using non-standard builds.
    I am remotttte ddesktoping into a system using client console from VMMMServer uusing a SlaxSssserver5.1 distro and asside from tthe dddoublee typing thing thaat seems to happen periodically this is even better tthan GSX performancee and versaaaatiliity.
    Have fun all .. I’m going to sit at a reeal machine and play some free Americas Army Ops :) l8r

  5. when i install win xp sp2 ill get a error message that there is no hard disk selected ,… what to do how to install xp n one more thing i am not able to connect to internet when i run live lunix cds on vm as it always says unable to bridge or vm0 is down

  6. I wrote on my blog an easy way to get a VM up and running with windows as the guest, and got VMware Tools installed. It seems as if VMWARE player was coded to make use of the Tools very well. You’ll see what I mean if you install it right. I can drag and drop from VM to my desktop and share the clipboard amongst other numerous things. The site is

    Basically you use VMXwizard to make the disks, a VMWare Workstation Eval version to extract the VMware Tools packages, comes as an .iso, and the VMware player to run the whole shebang. The article is pretty long so check it out for more info.

  7. Well done to many of you who got round using VMware Player. A great hack into vmx, but I’ve found a better solution.

    Try using the unofficial VMX Builder to create virtual machines in VMware Player. It gives additional configuration options that cannot be found even in Workstation. It is available at, where other VMware utilities, including Disk Mount and Virtual Diskfactory can be downloaded. To install all these, be sure to install all the core utilities, at the top page of that site.

    WARNING: Some software on site is still in beta. Use at your own risk!

  8. Another way of doing this is DLing Windows Virtual Server (which is free from Microsoft) creating your machines in that and then opening them with VMWare Player, which’ll convert them to it’s native format).

  9. VMWare Workstation Trial can do everything on vm-images (even after expiration) but cannot run them, while VMWare Player can only run them.

    Use a combination of both. Create and edit virtual machines with VMWare Workstation Trial and run them using VMWare Player

  10. Hey, is there an new way to make this VM live Disk?
    I’m having trouble gettin this job done. mostley i don’t know how to put the VMplayer install bootable; then create the ISO?
    If you ever have time… please get back at me?

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