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Installing Windows Server 2022 in VMware on Linux

Need to deploy a Windows Server VM on a Linux workstation or server with VMware? This guide is for you. Follow along as we show you how to install Windows Server 2022 in VMware on Linux.

How to download and install VMware on Linux

Before you can create virtual machines in VMware on your host Linux machine, you need to install the software on your Linux server host. To start, open up a web browser on your Linux system’s desktop environment. Please note that this guide assumes you have a desktop GUI on your Linux server. Or, you are using a Linux desktop/laptop as a host. It is possible to run Windows Server in VMware using the VMware command-line tools (vmrun). However, we will not be covering the command-line instructions in this guide.

To download VMware workstation on your Linux system, head to the official download page for Linux. When you select it, it’ll download the latest version of Workstation Pro to your Linux PC/Server desktop.

After downloading VMware workstation to your Linux system, open up a terminal window. You will need a terminal to update the permissions of the installation executable. You can update the permissions of the file with the chmod command.

cd ~/Downloads

chmod +x VMware-Workstation-Full-*.bundle

Once the file permissions are updated so that it is executable, you can start it up directly from the terminal using the following command.

sudo ./VMware-Workstation-Full-*.bundle

When the command above is run, the VMware installer GUI will appear. Follow the on-screen prompts to install it on your Linux system. If you have a product key, be sure to enter it when asked. Alternatively, use the free trial.

How to download the Windows Server VHD

You’ll need to download a copy of Windows Server 2022 before you can create a VM in VMware. Thankfully, Microsoft makes it quite easy to get your hands on a VHD. Head over to the Microsoft Evaluation Center.

Once at the Microsoft Evaluation Center, find “ISO downloads,” and select the “64-bit edition”. This will begin the ISO download process. It is also possible to download a Hyper-V VHD file, however, the ISO works best with VMware, as the VHD will need to be converted to VMDK before use.

When the ISO is done downloading, launch VMware Workstation Pro on your Linux system. Then, when VMware Workstation Pro is open and ready to use, head to the next section to learn how to deploy your Windows Server VM.

How to deploy Windows Server 2022 on VMware Workstation in Linux

To deploy your Windows Server 2022 VM, start by finding the “Create a New Virtual Machine” button in VMware Workstation, and select it with the mouse. After you’ve selected this button, find “Typical (recommended),” and check the box next to it. Click the “Next” button to move to the next page in the installer.

On the next page, you’ll be asked to select the guest operating system. Select the “Use ISO image” option. Next, you will need to choose your OS, so that the VM knows what defaults to set. Select “Microsoft Windows,” then set the version to “Windows Server 2022”. Click the “Next” button to move to the next page.

You must now choose where to store your Windows Server 2022 VM files. By default, VMware will place it in ~/vmware/. If you would like to store the files in a different location, click the “Browse” button, and select a new directory. Click “Next” when done.

Next, you need to configure the hard drive. On the “Specify Disk Capacity” page, choose “Store virtual disk as a single file,” and choose your drive size. Then, click the “Next” button to move to the next page. On the next page, click the “Finish” button to finish the VM creation wizard.

Immediately after creating the VM, find it in the sidebar, and select it. You can then start up the VM. When the VM is running, you’ll be brought to the Windows Server 2022 installation wizard.

Installing Windows Server 2022

First, find the Windows Server 2022 VM, and select “Edit virtual machine settings.” Locate “Floppy,” and delete it from the VM. The installer will fail if this device is connected to the VM.

Once the VM is powered up, do the following. First press a key on the keyboard to boot from CD/DVD into the Windows Installer. Then, select your language, and click the “Next” button to continue.

After selecting your language, choose the “Install now” button to begin the installation process. Then, go through and customize your Windows Server 2022 installation, and get it set up. When the process is complete, reboot your VM to begin using it.

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