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Incredible VMware Deal: Workstation Pro and Fusion Pro Free for Personal Use

In case you missed it, Broadcom purchased VMware® from Dell in late 2023 for $61 billion. While pricing for commercial licenses went up, the good news for hobbyists is that Broadcom immediately rebranded VMware Workstation Pro and Fusion Pro for Macs as free offerings for personal use. While open source virtual machine platforms have dominated the marketplace over the past few years, if you fall into the personal use group, then this is a deal you can’t refuse. That’s not to say that VMware doesn’t have its fair share of quirks, but once you get past the installation process, VMware is a rock-solid virtualization platform.

While Proxmox remains our virtualization platform of choice for Linux, today we’ll walk you through getting VMware running on your Windows 11 or Mac desktop. One word of caution. There are three different installation procedures for Windows 11, x86 Macs, and ARM-based Macs. Be sure you use the correct procedure for your actual desktop computer.

With all three platforms, you’ll first need to sign up for a Broadcom account here. Once you’re registered, log into your new Broadcom account by clicking on the Login button. Then follow the applicable tutorial below to install Incredible PBX 2027 with Ubuntu® 22.04, Asterisk® 20, and FreePBX® 16. When finished, hop over to our Incredible PBX 2027-U tutorial for setup tips.

Installing VMware Workstation Pro with Windows 11

For Windows 11, install VMware Workstation Pro 17 for Personal Use (Windows) from here after logging into your Broadcom account.

1. Download this Incredible PBX 2027-U-VMware.ova image into Downloads

2. From your Downloads folder, right-click on the IncrediblePBX2027-U-VMware.ova file, click Open With, choose VMware Workstation

3. Give the virtual machine a name: IncrediblePBX2027-U, Accept default Storage Path, click Import

4. Click on the new VM in left sidebar and Click Power On

5. Login as root:password and press Ctrl-C at first prompt

6. Edit /etc/netplan/00* and add the following below the dhcp4 line:
dhcp-identifier: mac. Then save the file.

7. Issue the following commands:

echo -n > /etc/machine-id
rm /var/lib/dbus/machine-id
ln -s /etc/machine-id /var/lib/dbus/machine-id

8. Reboot and proceed with the normal installation scenario after logging back in

Installing VMware Fusion Pro on x86 Mac Desktops

For x86-based Macs, begin by downloading Fusion 13 Pro for Personal Use. Start it up on your x86 Mac desktop and then…

1. Download the Incredible PBX 2027-U zip file from this link

2. Unzip the file and switch to the unzipped directory

3. Right click the disk-1.vmdk file and open it using the VMware Fusion Pro app

4. Create a new VM specifying Linux -> Ubuntu-64bit as the platform

5. Choose Legacy BIOS and for the disk to use, Use Existing Disk, Take Disk Away and specify the disk-1.vmdk file above

6. Click Continue, Finish, and Save. When the VM is loaded, do not start it yet. If it starts, type halt to stop it.

7. Click Window, Virtual Machine Library, right-click on your VM, and choose Settings

8. For Network Adapter, choose Bridged Network -> Autodetect

9. For Hard Disk, click Advanced Options and then…

10. Check Pre-allocate Disk Space (this will keep the drive from loading as read only). Click Apply

11. After reconfig completes, start up the VM and press Ctrl-C at the first prompt after logging in as root:password

12. Enter the command: ip a

13. Write down the name associated with the network adapter, e.g. ens33

14. Edit /etc/netplan/00*

15. Replace the existing network adapter name (e.g. ens160) with your actual adapter name (e.g. ens33)

16. Add the following below the dhcp4 line: dhcp-identifier: mac. Then save the file.

17. Issue the following commands:

echo -n > /etc/machine-id
rm /var/lib/dbus/machine-id
ln -s /etc/machine-id /var/lib/dbus/machine-id

18. Issue command: sed -i "s|ens160|ens33|" /etc/default/knockd

19. Reboot and proceed with the normal installation scenario

Installing VMware Fusion Pro on ARM-Based Mac

For newer ARM-based Macs, begin by downloading Fusion 13 Pro for Personal Use. Start it up on your ARM-based Mac desktop and then…

1. In your Downloads folder, download iPBX2027U-ARM.tar.gz

2. Untar the file: tar zxvf iPBX2027U-ARM.tar.gz

3. Rename the untarred file to something unique. Be sure to preserve the .vmwarevm extension. Repeat steps #2 and #3 for each additional virtual machine you wish to create using unique file names each time.

4. Double-click on the .vmwarevm file that you untarred and renamed to start up the virtual machine in VMware Fusion..

5. Proceed with the standard Incredible PBX install procedure by following the prompts.

Originally published: Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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