These are short and easy things to do which can make your Linux desktop even more convenient than it currently is. Trying Ubuntu out without changing your distribution or creating a new drive partition or installing it on another HD, setting up OpenOffice so ability to read/write Windows Office 2007 word processor documents are what you'll learn how to do today.
The instructions assume you've got a working VMware Server, perhaps one you set up to run a Windows VMware guest. If you don't, I recommend you find VMware Server instructions specific to your distro.
Installing a Linux OS on an installed VMware Server is relatively easy. Start the wizard by: From the main VMware Server Console tab: Push the "Create a New Virtual Machine" button.
Install as you would anywhere else. You may find that it can't see all the USB peripherals connected to the host in Main VMware Window > VM > Removable Devices > USB devices. See the Troubleshooting section later in this article for the most likely problem/solution.
Setting Up VMware Tools
This is critical because in order to make easy clipboard data transfers between the guest VMs to from each other or the host,. one has to have VMware Tools running. Less important, with it running, you can move your cursor on and off the VM window containing your Ubuntu session without having to hit Control-Alt to release it.
Oddly enough, this is a bit harder on from a Linux guest, because the files are in a ISO containing a tarball.
First, in the main VMware Server console, go to VM in the main menu and select Install VMware Tools.
When you select it, a directory window will open to the content of a virtual .iso .Double-click the tar.gz file; a new folder called vmware-tools-distrib will appear. Drag the drop the directory anywhere convenient.
# cd vmware-tools-distrib # ./vmware-install.pl
Hit the <ENTER> key every time it asks you to choose a directory path, If you chose to install VMware Server to somewhere other than the defaults, you're on your own.
Create the desktop icon right-clicking on the desktop and selecting "Create Launcher." Leave Menu set to "Application" and fill in Name: VMware Tools. The command needs to be /usr/bin/vmware-toolbox. Click OK.
To run VMware tools, click on your new icon, set anything appropriate, and minimize. You'll want to run it whenever you have your VM running.