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Run FC1 as a Guest OS in VMware Workstation 4

by Ivan Leong on February 6, 2004


As described by VMware, VMware Workstation is powerful PC virtualizing software for the desktop that allows you to run multiple operating systems -- including Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Novell NetWare -- simultaneously on a single PC in fully networked, portable virtual machines.

However, as the spec shows, the only RedHat distributions officially supported, as of early Feb 2004 are:

Version 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 8.0, 9.0 and Advanced Server 2.1

This tutorial will describe the processing of getting your FC1 running as a Guest OS in VMware Workstation 4.


Open VMware Workstation and press CTRL-N or click the upper icon on the left shown below, to define a new virtual machine.

Define new virtual machine: Start

In the first page of the setup wizard, click Next.

On the second page, select Custom configuration, as shown below.

Create a custom configuration

Third page, select Linux, as the Guest OS as shown. Strictly speaking, you can select other OS here. VMware merely uses your choice here to default various parameters in the subsequent screens of the definition.

Select Linux as the Guest OS

Fourth: Give a name to your configuration, as well as a directory to store all its related files. The defaults seems reasonable.

Fifth: Allocate an amount of memory for this virtual machine. You must realize that

the TOTAL amount of RAM of your PC =
RAM used by your Host OS +
RAM used by your Guest OS +
an overhead of some 32MB.

In my example, I have 384MB on my Windows XP, so 192MB seems reasonable for a FC1 VM.

Amt of RAM

Networking is the sixth page. Select 1 of 3 different types of networking that your Host OS will 'help' your Guest OS reach the outside world. The default of "bridged networking" is fine - click Next to continue.

From networking, we move on to Disks. What happens is that WMware will create a file (on your Host OS) that will look like an entire harddisk (to your Guest OS). Select "Create a new virtual disk" and click Next to continue.

Specify the size of this virtual disk. VMware gives a default of 4GB, which is fine if your Host OS has that kind of disk space to spare. Otherwise, consider that the absolute minimum FC1 needs is 510-520MB.

Consider this virtual disk (on your Host OS), it is in many ways, similar in concept and operation as a paging file or swap to your Host OS. As such, it makes sense from a performance perspective, to allocate the virtual space immediately. Tick the checkbox if you want it to be so.

Select a filename for your virtual disk and click Advanced as shown.

Specify filename of virtual disk

Select IDE as opposed to SCSI as the disk type the VM will present to your FC1. There are absolutely no performance benefit whatsoever in choosing SCSI, not to mention the current mess of ide-scsi in Linux.

Specify Disk Type

Click Finish and you are done.

In summary, based on the example above, your virtual machine (which FC1 will detect) is a whatever-CPU-you-have machine, with 192MB of RAM on a Intel 440BX/ZX/DX Intel 82371AB/EB/MB based motherboard, a 4GB IDE disk, whatever-floppy-drive-you-have, whatever-CDROM-drive-you-have, AMD 79C970A PCnet/PCI II Network Interface (eth0), and whatever-sound-card-you-have, special VMware graphic card on a generic CRT.


There is a bug, due to non-implementation, with eth0 not coming up on boot. Closer inspection reveals fault at function check_ii_tool (in bash script /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/network-functions) which in turn runs /sbin/mii-tool. Running "/sbin/mii-tool eth0" will reveal the bug: SIOCGMIIPHY 'eth0' failed: Operation not supported.

Workaround: Simply replace the entire contents of the check_mii_tool with a return 1.


Definitely, and Totally - Cool

You are not opening another window, you are not running another application - you are running another machine on your desktop! Together with your Host OS GUI, you have the convenience of not having to physically run-around between work- and test-stations, multitasking (do work in another window while the VM boots up), drag-n-drop (file transfer between Host and Guest OS) and snapshot (at never-before-possible places, like during bootup).

Of course, the real meat is in the expanded capabilities in testing of applications, OS, setup, install, etc. VMware uses the term Snapshot in another sense, whereby you can capture the entire state of your virtual machine, and subsequently to play back that state. Each snapshot is about the size of RAM of the VM (ie, 192MB in the example), so the time to capture/playback of snapshots is how fast your disk can read/write 192MB and number of snapshots depend on how big your Host OS disk is. Just imagine what snapshots can do for you!

.. we were like "whoa." and you were like "whoa... " and we went like, "whoa... "