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Linux in a window of Windows

If you want to use or test Linux together with Windows without the need to resize a partition and install a dual boot system, this may be the way to go. I found that having a "virtual machine" or an "appliance" running in VMware in a window of the host operating system is not only good for having a look at a Linux distribution, no it is more, it makes sense to use this tandem for daily work.

Note: This is an old version. The current one is Debian 5.0. This and all other new and old images are now grouped together in the new Visoracle VMware and VirtualBox images section.

Debian In VMware
Machine in the Machine

Linux in Windows

Please use the zip.torrent file and download with BitTorrent if you can!

Alternative VMware images with Debian roots:

You only need one of the zip files above, the free Player from VMware, at least Windows NT or any other newer x86 OS (Windows, Mac or Linux) in which the Player can be installed, enough RAM and about 2 GB free space on your hard disk. Debian Linux in its virtual PC (the VMware Player) resides in a few ordinary files that come with the zip file and can be handled with every file manager.

The Debian Etch VMware Appliance is a full/minimal Gnome desktop installation of the current stable Debian Linux distribution Etch. Considered by many as the desktop version of the different Linux flavors to use at home or work it offers about 19000 free packages for point and click installation along with security updates.

So what exactly are these appliances?

  • Debian Etch Stable 4.0 r0
  • full desktop system with applications
  • minimal desktop system just with browser, package manager and basic tools
  • installed into VMware Workstation 5.0
  • newest VMwareTools installed
  • 8 GB disc capacity split into files < 2 GB
  • 96MB RAM

Passwords are:

  • username: root password: root
  • username: user password: user

Some more details:

  • language: English
  • keyboard: US/German (easy to add others)
  • screen resolution: 1024*768 (possible to change)


  • For VMware Player >= 1.x or VMware Workstation >= 5.x (version for 4.x)
  • VMwaretools are fully installed
  • Access shared folders of the host by the built-in facility of Workstation
  • Access shared folders of the host with Player, Workstation and Server by virtual networking via SMBFS or CIFS
  • All files are smaller than 2 GB to be able to make a snapshot by packing them with zip
  • If the host is online the system is ready for installation of new packages (about 19000). The four main repository addresses for Debian Etch have been added to the sources.list. Just start Desktop->Administration->Synaptic and press reload
  • For more information start the Epiphany or the Iceweasel (Firefox) web browser. Both have their homepages pointed to this page so that it is most convenient to get e.g. networking set up (you will have to copy and paste commands)

Thanks to my who makes these many VM downloads uncomplainingly possible.


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