How to Install Debian 10 on VMware Workstation 15

In this article, we will run the latest version of Debian, a great Linux distribution on a new virtual machine with VMware Workstation 15 Pro virtualization software installed on a Windows 10 PC, and then setup the VMware Tools to share files between the host and the VM.

How to Install Debian on VMware Workstation

How to Use Debian in Virtual Machine

If you are an IT employee, you know the virtual machines well, or if you are a home user, you probably have used VMware.

Why use a Linux or Windows operating system on a virtual machine?

The simplest answer to this question is that when a new operating system version is released, you can install and test it on a virtual machine before installing it on your computer.

Or, if you have Windows 10 installed on your computer and you want to use a Linux system, you can do it easily with a virtual machine.

In particular, virtual machines are incredibly useful for software developers. Because they use virtualization to test the projects they create under different systems.

How to Download a Debian ISO Installation Image File

To download Debian Linux as ISO, you must first visit the website.

After viewing the site, click Getting Debian from the top menu options to download the ISO file. Then, click the “complete installation image” link under Download an installation image.

From the links in the DVD category under “Official CD/DVD images of the stable release”, click the amd64 link for the 64-bit ISO image.

After you click on Amd64, you will see 3 DVD ISO files. Here, you only need to download the Debian-10.1.0-amd64-DVD-1.iso file for system installation. Other, ISO versions are required for package installations, etc.

How to Run Debian in PC

After you have downloaded the Debian ISO file to your computer, you can run the VMware program, create a new virtual machine, add the ISO file to the VM, and start the installation.

Follow the steps below to install and run the Debian 10 operating system on the virtual computer.

   Step 1

After running VMware virtualization software, click Create a New Virtual Machine, and a Wizard will open as below.

Select Custom (advanced) in the Virtual Machine Wizard, and then click Next.

Create New Virtual Machine Wizard

   Step 2

Configure the virtual machine hardware compatibility setting to 15.x. If you have updated 14 Pro to 15, you must first upgrade the virtual machine to the new version.

Configure Virtual Machine Hardware Compatibility Settings

   Step 3

In the Guest Operating System Setup wizard, select I will install the operating system later and continue with Next.

I Will Install the Operating System Later

   Step 4

You can configure the type and version of the operating system you will install on the virtual computer from this window. Select the Linux option first and select Debian 10.x 64-bit from the options listed in the Version section and continue with Next.

Selecting a Guest Operating System

   Step 5

From this window, you can select the location where you want to set up your virtual computer. Since installing on an external drive is very important for performance, we recommend that you change the Location section.

Type a name for the VM, then select the location you want to store and continue with Next.

Configure the Name and Location of the Virtual Machine

   Step 6

In the Processor Configuration window, specify a value for your virtual machine based on the processor power of your PC and click Next.

Processor and Core Settings

   Step 7

In the Memory window, set a value according to your existing RAM structure.

Specifying RAM Value

   Step 8

In the Network Type window, you can use NAT, which is selected by default. You can select this option if you have configured the Bridged network in Virtual Network Editor.

VMware NAT Network Connection

   Step 9

Leave the default option (LSI Logic) enabled for the controller type and click Next.

LSI Logic

   Step 10

Likewise, leave the SCSI option selected automatically by the program. This option is recommended by VMware for performance.

Selecting the SCSI Disk Type

   Step 11

In the Select a Disk window, you must select Create a new virtual disk because you will install a Debian from scratch.

If you want to use the VMDK file instead of using the Debian ISO file, you must select the Use an existing virtual disk option in this window in the virtual machine setup.

Creating a New Virtual Disk

   Step 12

Specify a size for the new virtual disk in the Specify Disk Capacity window, and select the following two options for performance, and then click Next.

Setting the Capacity of a Virtual Disk

   Step 13

You can change the location in this window where you want to back up the disk file. The configuration in this window will only change the location of the disks to be created.

Setting the Location of a Disk File

   Step 14

The summary hardware information for the virtual computer is as follows. Now, click the Customize Hardware button to activate several extra settings.

Customize Hardware

   Step 15

After clicking the Processors device, enable all virtualization options under the Virtualization Engine displayed on the right.

Enabling Virtualization for Debian

   Step 16

To add the Debian 10 ISO file to the virtual pc, click the CD/DVD / Use ISO image file / Browse button and add the file.

Add ISO File to VM

   Step 17

Finally, enable the 3D Graphics option for the Debian VM via the Display device.

Enabling 3D Graphics

   Step 18

Click Finish to prepare your virtual computer for installation.

Virtual Machine Ready to Install

   Step 19

Wait while creating a virtual disk for Debian.

Creating Disk

   Step 20

Until now, you have created a new VM for Debian. Now, click Power on this VM to install Debian on the virtual computer.

Running the Debian Virtual Machine

   Step 21

After running your virtual computer, press Enter on the Graphical Install option in the Debian GNU/Linux installer menu (BIOS mode).

Debian Graphical Installation

   Step 22

Select the Debian operating system language and click Continue.

Selecting the Debian System Language

   Step 23

In the Select your location window, select your country of residence and click Continue.

Selecting Location

   Step 24

In the Configure the keyboard window, configure the keyboard layout you want to use and click Continue.

Selecting a Keyboard Layout

   Step 25

In the Configure the network window, you must type the hostname to identify your system to a network. Type a name in the Hostname section as below and click Continue.

Configuring Hostname

   Step 26

If you are a home user, you can leave the Domain Name blank.

Domain Name

   Step 27

In this step, create a strong password for the root account of your Debian system and click Continue.

Setting a Root Password

   Step 28

To define a new account to be created instead of a root account for non-administrative activities, type your full name or something in the Setup users and passwords window, and then click Continue.

Creating a New User Account

   Step 29

Re-type your user name in lower case for your account. Or, if you typed your First and Last Name in the previous step, you can only type your name in this window.

Typing User Name for Account

   Step 30

To add a password to your newly created user account, type a strong password in both text fields in this window.

Creating a Password for a User Account

   Step 31

Once you have configured your time zone, click Continue.

Configuring the Clock

   Step 32

In the Partition Disks window, if you are the first to use the Linux / Debian system, we recommend that you proceed by selecting Guided – Use Entire Disk.

Use Entire Disk

   Step 33

At this point, select your virtual disk for Debian.

Selecting a Virtual Disk

   Step 34

Similarly, if you are a new user, as indicated by the setup wizard, select All files in one partition and click Continue.

All Files in One Partition

   Step 35

A summary of the disk settings for the Debian machine will be displayed in the following window. If you make a change to the disk partition, you can return to the previous configuration step by clicking the Go Back button.

Continue by selecting Finish partitioning and write changes to disk.

Partition Disks

   Step 36

Select Yes to have the changes made on the virtual HDD take effect, and then click Continue.

Writing Changes to Disk

   Step 37

If you want the wizard to scan an additional DVD medium to install some additional packages on your system, continue by selecting Yes.

At the beginning of the article, we have talked about how to download Debian ISO and said that the DVD-1 image file will be sufficient for system installation. If you have also DVD-2 and DVD-3 images, you need to use them during installation.

If you have not downloaded DVD-2 and DVD-3 images, you will need to continue by selecting NO in this window.

Turning Off CD/DVD Device Scanning

   Step 38

You will need to use Network Mirror to set up a graphical desktop environment. Therefore, select Yes for the Mirror setting, and then click Continue.

Using Network Mirror

   Step 39

In the Debian archive mirror country window, you can select your country for the Network Mirror setting. Because you can download files faster than servers that are closer to you.

Country Selection for Network Mirror

   Step 40

For debian archive mirror, select the most preferred server ( and continue.

Archive Selection for Network Mirror

   Step 41

If you are using a proxy server in your network environment, you can configure it from this window. If not, leave this box blank and continue.

Proxy Information

   Step 42

Wait while installing Debian 10.

Debian Installation

   Step 43

You can continue with the No option in the Package Usage Survey window.

Package Usage Survey

   Step 44

In the Software Selection window, select the desktop environment you want to use. It is usually the user’s choice to choose a desktop environment on Linux systems.

In this article, we choose this option because we prefer Cinnamon for the Debian desktop environment.

In addition, continue by selecting standard system tools, SSH server and Debian desktop environment.

Choosing Cinnamon Desktop Environment for Debian

   Step 45

Select Yes to install GRUB on HDD and continue.

GRUB Loader Installation

   Step 46

Select /dev/sda/ for boot loader installation, and then click Continue.


   Step 47

After installing a clean Debian 10 Linux on the VM, click on Continue to restart your system.

Installation Complete

   Step 48

Type your username and password that you created, and then click Log In.

Logging in to Debian

   Step 49

You can check the version of the Debian system you have installed from the System Info.

Viewing Debian System Information

How to Install VMware Tools for Debian 10

The last thing you need to do after installing Linux OS on your virtual machine is to install VMware Tools. With this tool, you can drag and drop files between the host and the VM, you can change the screen resolution.

   Step 1

On the Debian machine, click VM / Install VMware Tools.

VMware Tools Installation

   Step 2

Once the image file is mounted on the system, right-click on the tar.gz file and click Open With Archive Manager.

Opening the Tar.Gz File with Archive Manager

   Step 3

Extract the VMware-Tools-Distrib folder from the archive.


   Step 4

Select the Debian desktop and then click the Extract button again.

Extracting the Archive File to the Desktop

   Step 5

After extracting the VM Tools installation files to the desktop, open the terminal.

Opening the Terminal

   Step 6

To go to the VM Tools folder on the terminal, execute cd vmware-tools-distrib/.

cd vmware-tools-distrib/

   Step 7

If you get an error in the installation, switch to root and then execute sudo ./

Type Yes in the Do you still want to proceed with this installation section and press Enter to complete the installation.

sudo ./

   Step 8

After installing VMware Tools for Debian, restart your system to make the changes take effect.

VMware Tools Installation Complete

Debian Installation and Configuration ⇒ Video

You can watch the video below to install Debian step by step on your virtual computer and also subscribe to our YouTube channel to support us!

   Final Word

In this article, we have installed and run the Debian operating system on a new VM using Workstation virtualization software. After installation, we have installed VMware Tools to fix the VM’s screen resolution. Thanks for following us!

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One Comment

  1. Avatar for Jan Verner Jan Verner 10 December 2020

    Works well except some small diff. caused by versions dissimilarity probably. Great help, especially for the part with installing boot loader, which was not understandable intuitively, thx


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