How To Run Multiple Operating Systems At The Same Time

by Stephen on November 2, 2009 · 11 comments

in CentOS, OpenSUSE, Operating Systems, Ubuntu, VMware, Windows

I have been dual booting Windows + Linux for a long time but that has been a pain. Since Windows is my primary environment, I am unable to work on my Windows apps every-time I boot into Linux. I require both Windows and Linux to be available to me side-by-side so that I can conveniently experiment with Linux whenever I want to. In this article, we will find out how to easily run multiple Operating Systems at the same time, in a single machine.

What We Need:

  • A decent computer with at least 1GB RAM (more recommended)
  • VMware Player software
  • Your favorite Unix/Linux CD or iso file; for me, I will use Ubuntu version 9.10 but this article works for any OS, any version

Let’s Get Started:

More RAM:
Why do we need more memory?
Computer memory is like our sleeping bed in real life. When we are single, we can sleep on single bed but when we get married, we need King bed πŸ˜‰
The more applications you run, the more RAM you need.

VMware Player:
What is this and why do we need it?
In order to boot up an Operating System inside another Operating System, we need a technology called virtualization. VMware is one of the companies who makes virtualization products. VMware Player is the free virtualization product created by VMware allowing us to use multiple OS at the same time. There are many other virtualization products available but VMware Player is very good and best of all, it is free.

How to download VMware Player:

  1. Visit the VMware Player download page
  2. Click on Download

  3. At the time of this article, the latest version of VMware Player is 3.0 => click on VMware Player 3.0 at the very bottom of that page to continue. If you happen to see a newer version, simply download the new version.

  4. Locate “VMware Player for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows” then click on Download.
  5. VMware would then prompt you to signup “Register for your FREE Download” on the top right. You need to register for an account in order to download. VMware will send you an email with an activation link. Note: it may take several hours for VMware to send out the email. For my case, it took around 20 hours πŸ™‚
  6. Once you have your VMware Player downloaded, simply double click on it and install.

How to download Unix/Linux:
In this article, I will use Ubuntu 9.10. Ubuntu is a very popular, stable, secure and very easy to use Linux Operating System. It is based on Debian and is ranked the top OS of all Unix/Linux OSs.

  1. To download, visit and click on Download Ubuntu
  2. Under Download location, select your location (country) then click on the big green Begin Download button to begin your download.


Now time to install our cool Unix/Linux Operating System:

  1. Start VMware Player: Start => All Programs => VMware => VMware Player
  2. Click on Create A New Virtual Machine

  3. Selecting your media: If you have your Unix OS in a CD => select Installer Disk
    If you have your Unix OS in an iso file => select Installer disk image file iso
    For this article, I will use Ubuntu 9.10 ISO file.

  4. Click Next then enter your login information. This is the login you will use to login to your Linux OS.

  5. Click Next then enter your Virtual Machine name. I recommend entering it as “Ubuntu 9.10” or the name of your Linux OS so that you can easily recognize the OS at a later time.

  6. Click Next then enter your Disk Capacity. This is the maximum hard drive capacity limit you set for Ubuntu. I recommend 10Gig of disk space or more.

  7. Press Next then press Finish to begin the Ubuntu installation. Once the installation is finished, to start Ubuntu, simply double click on Ubuntu 9.10 under Home



{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

NikHaT November 19, 2009 at 4:40 am

hey..thanx…easy ta undaztand…shall try it out…


cleavon November 27, 2009 at 1:56 am

thnx i agree with nikhat very easy to understand
ive installed it
and im plannin on also installin a mac with some research of course


iPwn248 December 5, 2009 at 11:15 am

i am running it on vmware 2.5 because i didnt feel like giving out my home address. so yeah… my problem is that I have no wireless internet and i cant use visual effects.


ravi August 6, 2011 at 4:42 am

but if i want to directly switch to any app of 2nd os we must close the running one
how to solve this problem
in my case the problem is that i want to play cs(counter strike)
& also want to do programing on linux


Watt September 22, 2011 at 11:09 am

So cool


chaitu October 19, 2011 at 8:55 am

Wonderful !! Great work !!


Hussein Haji Sh Abrar February 2, 2012 at 8:56 am

This looks and sound easy oh yeah its awesome tooo i’m trying it out now



Luc February 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm

What is the main advantage of this one with other existing VM’s, like the one from Oracle?


Munjoy March 16, 2012 at 6:20 am

Thanks it was a great help.


Lewis July 23, 2012 at 9:54 am

I’ve followed the tutorial and everything worked just how you said it should worked.
Thank you.


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