Install elementary OS on VMware Workstation

A guided installation using a small virtual display.

Updated 10/9/2021

Andrew Vojak on Twitter notes that switching the Firmware Type from BIOS to UEFI increases the resolution. I’ve confirmed that this bumps the resolution to 1024x768, which is fully usable for the installation process. Instructions updated below.

I had no idea this was so easy.


Prepare Your Virtual Machine

In VMware Workstation, go to File > New Virtual Machine… to start the new virtual machine wizard.

Update 10/9/2021 — Switch Firmware Type to UEFI

At this point, you should be able to switch the firmware type from BIOS to UEFI to increase the default resolution from 800x600 to 1024x768.


If you’re here, then the UEFI Firmware type option didn’t work and you’re now installing with a small SVGA resolution of 800x600.

Select a Language

Select Keyboard Layout

Try or Install

Select a Drive

Enable Drive Encryption


First Time Setup

Once elementary OS is installed, you will be greeted with the OEM Setup screen. Like the installer, you will select a language and keyboard layout before proceeding with your user details.

Select a Language

Select Keyboard Layout

Create an Account

Login (Twice)

Installing VMware Tools

You may be able to install the open-vm-tools-desktop drivers from AppCenter. They didn’t show for me initially, but they can be easily installed from the Terminal.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install open-vm-tools-desktop


You’ve successfully installed elementary OS 6 “Odin” on VMware Workstation. That wasn’t so painful. Next you should fire up App Center and get your updates. You may also want to head to Flathub and install some apps.

Xubuntu, Xfce, and elementary contributor. Free software advocate. My opinions are my own. Writing about FOSS, gaming, tech, and more.