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Create a virtual machine from an ISO with VMWare Player

Editing the configuration file is no longer necessary to mount an ISO, I have a new post on this topic.

Yeah, you heard me no CD/DVD burning in here. VMWare player lacks the ability to create new virtual machines by it self, this problem can be overcomed by using third party solutions or a blank virtual machine. However one small feature found on VMWare Workstation still missing which is the ability to install the operating system from ISO without having to burn in it into a CD/DVD first. Mostly it’s about reducing recordable media waste.

You can download a blank virtual machine ready for installation from this link.

You might also find this article interesting : How to Create a virtual machine with VMWare Player

Install from ISO

In order to make the virtual machine boot from the ISO you need to first edit the configuration ending with .vmx in this case named virtualmachine.vmx.

Add the following line to the configuration file.

ide1:0.fileName = "locationofiso.iso"

Locate and change the following line.

ide1:0.deviceType = "cdrom-raw"


ide1:0.deviceType = "cdrom-image"

Close and save the configuration file. Now start the virtual machine and proceed with the regular installation.

After the installation is done change the values back to.

ide1:0.fileName = "auto detect"
ide1:0.deviceType = "cdrom-raw"

Save and enjoy your virtual machine.

Last revised on 02/04/2009


  1. Commented on
    Comment by Nick

    There is a way to install operating systems without burning them! If you have the image, just mount it using daemon tools and set the mounted virtual drive as the vmware’s DVD drive.

  2. Commented on
    Comment by dataninja

    Thanks for the comment and tip Nick.

  3. Commented on
    Comment by Angelo Sonnesso

    I am a blind user and I would really like to find out which version of Linux would work best for me. Your tips are very helpful. Thanks

    1. Commented on
      Comment by dataninja

      Linux has a lot options that appeal to different people. But the one I keep going back and most people use is Ubuntu because it’s one of the easiest to use. Due to being easy to use there are a lot of people ready to help in the forums. In my opinion Ubuntu has one of the biggest user base because it takes an easy approach. I been using it for 3 years now.

      Take a look

      Good luck.

  4. Commented on
    Comment by Aravind

    For booting from ISO, we can still use CD/DVD emulation utilities like DAEMON Tools.
    I used OpenSUSE LIVE CD ISO Image mounted to DAEMON Tools emulation drive on my WIndows VISTA PC. Then I launched the blank VM Ware image without any mentioned modifications above. It booted from the ISO file that was mounted to virtual drive.

    1. Commented on
      Comment by dataninja

      Yes, the virtual machine is ready to be used no need to make changes.

  5. Commented on
    Comment by sataninja

    I’ m running Windows XP SP3 and i want to run Centos and Linux virtually..can you tell me with simple steps what i must do because i didn’t understand the blank virtual machine…please help…

    1. Commented on
      Comment by Luis Ventura

      Welcome to virtualisation. You need to first need to download VMware Player which is what runs the virtual machines. Then head over to and download one of the ready to go virtual machines.

      The blank virtual machine is there if you want to create a new vm from scratch.

      All virtual machines make use of 7-Zip compression.

  6. Commented on
    Comment by sataninja

    Thanks!I’ ve download these two.Now i run of course VMware Player(it will ask me about virtual allocation of hard disk?) and then i run immediately one of the ready to go virtual machines?what about ISO??Did i have to burn a cd or not??
    Thanks in advance

    1. Commented on
      Comment by Luis Ventura

      It’s impossible to provide a pre-made virtual machine of every operating system. Most people would burn the ISO into a CD or DVD and then start the virtual machine.

      But you can also use the ISO by itself. This requires downloading the blank virtual machine and making changes to the configuration file in order to point it to the ISO instead of the optical drive. This assumes you already have the ISO of the operating system you wish to install. And just start the virtual machine using VMware Player and proceed with the installation as usual.

      If you still don’t get it just ask.

  7. Commented on
    Comment by Dave C

    OK I’m afraid I don’t get it.

    I have downloaded the VMWare tool. Then I down loaded Fedora 11 KDE from Fedora not the list of Preinstalled Machines – its 280M instead of ~710MB, so would require burning to disk if I ware to install traditionally?. (Its an *.ISO and I can’t burn to disk and don’t need to apparently from above.) I’ve downloaded the Blank vm fron in the link above and edited a file called Blank VM configuration file. I found it had already been edited to point to my Fedora..*.iso file and make my device type an image instead of Raw, as I’d started VM and clicked Devices > CD/DVD . Connect to Disk Image file (*.iso)

    I’m all set to go right? Sadly not. Don’t know how to install the Fedora installation. I have restared the VMWare program after saving the config file but I don’t know how to invoke the installer for Linux from within the VM window.

    Any and all help gratefully recieved.

    1. Commented on
      Comment by Luis Ventura

      Are you sure the ISO was successfully downloaded. Usually when you boot the ISO the installer should come up right away. I have a new post that explains how to use an ISO without having to touch the configuration file.

  8. Commented on
    Comment by ksr

    use latest vmware player and create new virtual machine by selecting required OS.

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