March 14, 2001, 2:33 PM — We maintain a Linux Web server thats hosted by our ISP for our extranet. We run Windows 2000 on the desktop and have Red Hat Linux installed on a second hard drive partition for testing Web site changes. Were tired of dual-booting between operating systems and would like to know if VMWare for Windows will let us run the Linux Web server on the network at the same time were using Windows applications.
VMWare supports LANs for Linux in virtual machines as if the Linux system were running on its own physical server. There are options for installing Linux on a virtual disk managed by VMWare or installing a virtual machine that boots from your Linux partition. Back up your system first if you plan to configure VMWare to use your raw disk. Installing VMWare is straightforward. If you download the evaluation version from www.vmware.com, you will receive an e-mail with a license key attached in a registry script. Once VMWare and the license key are installed, you can configure a virtual machine. Start VMWare and follow the prompts in the configuration wizard to perform a guest operating system installation. Install to a virtual disk the first time to become familiar with the tools before trying to configure VMWare to boot your existing Linux installation, because hardware components may appear different to Linux through VMWare than they normally do.