There is a new version of this tutorial available for Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn).

The Perfect Desktop - Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) - Page 4

12 VMware Server

With VMware Server you can let your old Windows desktop (that you previously converted into a VMware virtual machine with VMware Converter, as described in this tutorial: run under your Ubuntu desktop. This can be useful if you depend on some applications that exist for Windows only, or if you want to switch to Linux slowly.

To download VMware Server, go to and click on Download Now:

On the next page, log in with your existing VMware account or create a new one:

Follow the on-screen instructions. At the end, you should receive an email with a link to your download page. On the download page, you should see two license numbers, one for Windows and one for Linux. Write down or save the one for Linux and scroll down.

Then download the VMware Server for Linux TAR image (not the RPM image!) to your desktop (e.g. to /home/falko/Desktop):

Then open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and run the following command to install some necessary packages:

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r` build-essential xinetd

Then go to the location where you saved the VMware Server .tar.gz file, e.g. /home/falko/Desktop (replace falko with your own username!):

cd /home/falko/Desktop

Unpack the VMware Server .tar.gz file and run the installer:

tar xvfz VMware-server-*.tar.gz
cd vmware-server-distrib
sudo ./

The installer will ask you a lot of questions. You can always accept the default values simply by hitting <ENTER>.

When the installer asks you

In which directory do you want to keep your virtual machine files?
[/var/lib/vmware/Virtual Machines]

you can either accept the default value or specify a location that has enough free space to store your virtual machines.

At the end of the installation, you will be asked to enter a serial number:

Please enter your 20-character serial number.
Type XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX or 'Enter' to cancel:

Fill in your serial number for VMware Server.

After the successful installation, you can delete the VMware Server download file and the installation directory:

cd /home/falko/Desktop
rm -f VMware-server*
rm -fr vmware-server-distrib/

If you have accepted all default values during the installation, root is now the VMware Server login name. On Ubuntu, root has no password by default, therefore we create a password now:

sudo passwd root

VMware Server 2 does not have a desktop application for managing virtual machines - this is now done through a browser (e.g. Firefox). You can access the management interface over HTTPS (https://<IP ADDRESS>:8333) or HTTP (http://<IP ADDRESS>:8222); the management interface can be accessed locally and also remotely. If you want to access it from the same machine, type or into the browser's address bar.

If you're using Firefox 3 and use HTTPS, Firefox will complain about the self-signed certificate, therefore you must tell Firefox to accept the certificate - to do this, click on the Or you can add an exception... link:

Click on Add Exception...:

The Add Security Exception window opens. In that window, click on the Get Certificate button first and then on the Confirm Security Exception button:

Afterwards, you will see the VMware Server login form. Type in root and the password you've just created:

This is how the VMware Server web interface looks. The structure is similar to the old VMware Server 1 desktop application, so the usage of the web interface is pretty straightforward.


13 Inventory (IV)

We have now all wanted applications installed:

[x] The GIMP
[x] F-Spot
[x] Picasa

[x] Firefox
[x] Opera
[x] Flash Player
[x] FileZilla
[x] Thunderbird
[x] Evolution
[x] aMule
[x] BitTornado
[x] Azureus/Vuze
[x] Pidgin
[x] Skype
[x] Google Earth
[x] Xchat IRC

[x] OpenOffice Writer
[x] OpenOffice Calc
[x] Adobe Reader
[x] GnuCash
[x] Scribus

Sound & Video:
[x] Amarok
[x] Audacity
[x] Banshee
[x] MPlayer
[x] Rhythmbox Music Player
[x] gtkPod
[x] XMMS
[x] dvd::rip
[x] Kino
[x] Sound Juicer CD Extractor
[x] VLC Media Player
[x] Helix Player
[x] Totem
[x] Xine
[x] Brasero
[x] K3B
[x] Multimedia-Codecs

[x] KompoZer
[x] Bluefish
[x] Quanta Plus

[x] VMware Server
[x] TrueType fonts
[x] Java
[x] Read/Write support for NTFS partitions


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By: JustCallMeBob

Even i could follow this guide from start to finish!! Only one snag when trying to install everything at once, but got through it all in the end. THANKS!!


Everything is a matter of choice.It's better to know about more applications then less.You can choose what You need and eventually leave the rest behind.

I like VMWare more although version 2 still seems a little buggy.

By: Vytah

 Seriously, VLC and Totem are way behind SMPlayer when it goes to subtitle support. And using plain MPlayer is simply to hard to learn.

I use SMPlayer for about a year and don't even try to switch back to Totem or VLC. I had spent long hours to make subtitles work properly and achieved no effect. Totem kept skipping some subtitles, while VLC simply either refused to load the subtitles or had problems with codecs. SMPlayer work out-of-the-box and even supports ASS subtitle format. It allows me to dynamically change subtitle size and choose text encoding. It simply works.

By: Peter wattst

I was just wondering what the reason is behind loading so many of the same type programs. e.g torrents and music video players. It appears to me that there is a bit of overkill.
Apart from my confusion I enjoy reading all these type entries to make make the best of something. 

By: Keijo Knutas

Thank you a lot for these pages. It made an installation of a working Ubuntu environment easy and fast.

Naturally everyone have their own additional favorities or dislikes, but a result of these advices helps with a beginner to start with Linux/ Ubuntu. 

Great Work - Thank you and let me be the first to say Merry Christimas and Happy New Year!!!

By: Ne Wyearin

That is going to be in help. Thanks for mention it.

I wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New year!

Ne Wyearin

By: Andy

why bittornado? transmission is installed by default. also, i'd choose virtualbox over vmware.

By: Aronzak

I understand that Vmware is a better supported product, but expecting new users to go through all of that process is a waste of time. Both Virtualbox and QEMU are open source alternatives that are far easier to install, with .debs available in the main repository, rather than having to sign up to a company, accept a licence agreement, and then download and run an installer. I've heard stories of people who tried and failed to install Vmware, and were annoyed that they didn't go to virtualbox first. Also, why fo you want to install acrobat reader? Evince or kpdf should be fine. I've never had a single problem. Why replace working native software with slower proprietary alternatives?

By: sims

I've been using Ubuntu since it's birth. However, this time they didn't get it right. It's slower than the previous release 8.04. I don't know why. It's not as responsive and takes longer to start up and start applications.

By: Jim Aylesworth

Thanks for the great article!

I always make sure to check out the latest, and this was no exception.

I did however, want to inform you of a quick typo that might throw some less apt (pun intended) people for a loop when pasting that large chunk of apt-get install code into a terminal.

xmms2-pluginasx  should be xmms2-plugin-asx

Missing that ever important "-" will throw an error:
E: Couldn't find package xmms2-pluginasx

 Other than that, wonderful work and thanks again. I'll try to post a link to the vm from my listed homepage shortly for those interested (it's close to finals week, so I can't promise immediatly :)

By: Resches

I will have to agree with the majority of people here that installing all these programs to do the same task seems redundant. Who uses more than one torrent client?

By: Jay

Hey thanks a million, I have been using computers for about 8 years now, don't laugh it ain't funny, my mom still don't know what the internet is... so I hooked my bro up with a rig and I thought what a good way to bond, he's never had a computer and I would like to switch to linux. So, we are both into Ubuntu now and I don't know who will have the tougher time adjusting my bro who just found out what a mouse was or me a student whos gotten free MS crap for the last 5 years? Probably him, anyway this made the transition painless for both of us now I can get on with the mundane things I need a computer for...except in Ubuntu... so much for bonding huh...Peace and thanks!!!

By: Anonymous

why do you need 4 all-purpose media players to make a perfect desktop? Mplayer can do it all. And why two bittorent clients? The list of bloat goes on and on.

 One app per task.


By: Anonymous

Why not Virtualbox? It's OS - Vmware isn't.

By: Cywiro

See page 2 of this guide - "NTFS read/write support is enabled by default on Ubuntu 8.10".

By: Anonymous

Great guide. For those who complain about all the extra blotware such as the extra bittorrent clients or more than three mp3 players, read the beginning statement in page 1. probably you guys skipped that part because we all have ubuntu already installed, or some other distro. My question is tho, which package is the one that writes/reads NTFS partitions? other than that, i think this guide is really good, at least for me (Im a newb for Linux) so far im loving it. a little complicated sometimes. MS Windows is gone for most of my use now, thank you. Great guide