This tutorial is aimed at Windows users who want to try out a Linux distro and learn about a virtual OS installation at the same time. I am using the Linux Mint Mate (Nadia) distro as the example. The installation of other distros does not differ except in the installation of the VMware Tools. There you may have to Google to find the correct Terminal commands.
Mint Mate is a Linux distro with an Ubuntu base. It has a user interface that makes it relatively easy for a Windows user to get started. Mint Cinnamon and Zorin would be other options that I can recommend for Windows users. Coming from Windows, you will not be too alienated using those distros. They have a Start menu and a familiar task bar. But there are, of course, differences.
Mint Mate can be downloaded from this site. The 64bit version is the one used in this tutorial. But there is also a 32bit version.
I will explain how to make the setup in VMware Player, some basic settings in Mint Mate (video) and how to install the VMware Tools (video). There is also a video that shows the operation of the virtual partition.
Chapter 1 - install Mint Mate in VMware Player
Download VMware Player from this site and install it on your system. Then start VMware Player and you will see this window.
Here you just click on 'Create a new virtual machine' and you get to this window.
Here you select to install from the .iso image and navigate to the Mint Mate .iso file that you have downloaded. Then Next.
Mark Linux and choose the Ubuntu 64bit. Then Next.
Browse to the disk/partition and folder where you want to install the virtual partition files. Default is Documents. I recommend predefining a folder in Documents for the VMware installation so that all VMware files are in one place. When you are done with the installation, there will be over 25 files and subfolders. Having those mixed with other folders would be messy.
In this window you can take the defaults. Mint Mate will start out with less than 6GB of disk space usage so a maximum of 20GB for the dynamic virtual disk should suffice. Then Next.
The default allocation is 1GB of RAM and 1 processor. I always assign 2GB of RAM and 2 processors. But you should take what is suitable for your PC.
This would be the setting for an allocation of 2GB of RAM
This setting gives the virtual machine 2 cores. Any more cores would probably not be used by Mint. If you are done with that, click on Close and then on Finish. Then you get the VMware start screen were you highlight your new system (top left) and click on ' Play virtual Machine (bottom right). Then VMware Player will install the bootstrap system of Mint Mate.
Once this is done, you need to right click on the "Install DVD" as shown in the picture and Open that. This will start the full installation of Mint Mate.
The Mint Mate installation process is very similar to the Windows installation process. You set the language, keyboard layout, time zone, and give the system a name.
You must define a password - I always use 1234 because Linux distros ask many times for authentication with the password. A complicated password will make the operation more cumbersome. There is one big difference to a Windows installation - you do not need a product key. Mint Mate is freeware.
Once your installation is completed, restart Mint Mate - click on the Mint Menu button (bottom left) and then on the power symbol (bottom right in the start menu). That will bring up the various options (restart, shutdown, etc.)
Chapter 2 - Videos
Note: It is possible that the audio of the following video is very low. That is easy to fix. In your Windows system, right click on the speaker icon in the task tray (bottom right) > Playback devices > double click on your output device > Enhancement tab > check the 'Loudness Equalizer' box
2.1 Basic settings in Mint Mate
The Terminal command used in this video for the installation of additional themes is:
apt install mate-themes
2.2 Installing the VMware Tools in Mint Mate
The Terminal commands used in this video for the installation of the VMware Tools are:
sudo ./vmware-install.pl -d
2.3 The VMware virtual system operation with Mint Mate