When you create a virtual machine that you intend to distribute to other users, you should configure the virtual machine for maximum compatibility with all expected host systems. Users might be limited in their ability to make changes in a virtual machine so that it is compatible with their host systems.


  • Install VMware Tools in the virtual machine.
    VMware Tools significantly improves the user’s experience working with the virtual machine.
  • Determine which virtual devices are actually required, and do not include any that are not needed or useful for the software you are distributing with the virtual machine.
    Generic SCSI devices are typically not appropriate.
  • To connect a physical device to a virtual device, use the Auto detect options when you configure the virtual machine.
    The Auto detect options allow the virtual machine to adapt to the user’s system, and they work whether the host operating system is Windows or Linux. Users who have no physical device receive a warning message.
  • To connect a CD-ROM or floppy to an image file that you ship with the virtual machine, make sure the image file is in the same directory as the virtual machine.
    A relative path, rather than an absolute path, is used.
  • For both a physical CD-ROM and an image, provide two virtual CD-ROM devices in the virtual machine.
    For example, Workstation Pro does not provide an option to switch a single CD-ROM device between a physical CD-ROM and an image, and the user cannot switch between them if you plan to ship multiple images.
  • Choose a reasonable amount of memory to allocate to the virtual machine.
    For example, if the host system does not have enough physical memory to support the memory allocation, the user cannot power on the virtual machine.
  • Choose a reasonable screen resolution for the guest.
    A user is likely to find it easier to increase the resolution manually than to deal with a display that exceeds the user’s physical screen size.
  • To ensure that CD-ROMs work properly in virtual machines that you intend to distribute and play on Workstation Pro, configure CD-ROM devices in legacy mode.
    Some host operating systems do not support CD-ROMs in non-legacy mode.
  • When you configure a snapshot option for the virtual machine, select Just power off or Revert to snapshot.
    The Revert to snapshot option is useful if you want to distribute a demo virtual machine that resets itself to a clean state when it is powered off. Workstation Pro does not allow taking snapshots.