Windows 10: VMware memory & disk space Solved

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  1.    03 Jan 2017 #1

    VMware memory & disk space


    Instead of dual booting, I am considering using VMware Player on Windows 10 in order to run Linux. I have not used VMware before and am looking for a little guidance from those who are already experienced with it.
    I may allocate, say, 4 GB of memory and 30 GB of disk space for Linux. The installation will begin by erasing and then formatting the allocated disk space as ext4.
    Am I correct in assuming that when the VM session has terminated, the 4 GB of memory will be returned to Windows and the disk space reserved by VM will be then 34 GB? Also, if I later uninstall VMware, will all of its disk space be returned to Windows in NTFS format?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 9,995
    Windows 10 Pro
       03 Jan 2017 #2

    The RAM you allocate to a vm is taken from your host RAM when vm is started, and returned to host when you shut it down or turn it off. If you have let's say 8 GB RAM on your host machine, the computer you use to setup and host a virtual machine, and you assign 4 GB RAM to your Linux vm, when it's running your host has 4 GB at its disposal, the other 4 GB being used by the vm.

    When you shut down the vm, it does no longer need the assigned RAM which is then returned to host which now has the full 8 GB on its disposal.

    The disk space used by your Linux vm's virtual hard disk is always that 30 GB you gave it when creating the vm if and only if you chose to use a fixed size virtual hard disk. Another option, default in most virtualization applications is a dynamically expanding virtual hard disk (VHD).

    When creating a vm with a dynamically expanding VHD, you set the maximum size to that VHD, how much you will allow it to expand. The file size on hard disk of your host computer is after installation of an OS only that what the OS needs, then when you use it more, install software and so on, the file size of the VHD grows until it reaches the maximum size.

    For instance, file size of a Windows 10 vm with a dynamically expanding VHD of 128 GB is just after a clean install around 10 GB. It takes only this 10 GB space on your host hard disk. Gradually when you use this vm more, install Office and / or other software, the VHD file gets larger and larger until it reaches 128 GB.

    Uninstalling software does not shrink a dynamically expanding VHD. It can only grow.

    Here an extract from my virtual hard disks folder:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.png 
Views:	33 
Size:	6.3 KB 
ID:	115766

    The vm Win10 IP x64 EN-GB has a one terabyte dynamically expanding VHD, but as I have just set it up and preparing to use it for creating a deployment image and only installed some basic software, the VHD file size on my host is only 34 GB. Yet, when I run this vm it sees the hard drive as 1 TB.

    Kari
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. Cliff S's Avatar
    Posts : 13,309
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 14393 Multiprocessor Free
       03 Jan 2017 #3

    Being that you have never used VMWare Player before, you may want to take a look at this tutorial for some general information on using it, and watch the video to see how to install an OS. This helped me in my first foray into using VMs, until I got a Pro license for Windows so I could use Hyper-V.
    VMware Player - Install Windows 10

    Plus on that tutorial thread, if you have any questions, @Brink and @essenbe can help there.
    If you plan on using Ubuntu or any other Linux distro, VMWare Player is the better choice.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. Cliff S's Avatar
    Posts : 13,309
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 14393 Multiprocessor Free
       03 Jan 2017 #4

    Being that you have never used VMWare Player before, you may want to take a look at this tutorial for some general information on using it, and watch the video to see how to install an OS. This helped me in my first foray into using VMs, until I got a Pro license for Windows so I could use Hyper-V.
    VMware Player - Install Windows 10

    Plus on that tutorial thread, if you have any questions, @Brink and @essenbe can help there.
    If you plan on using Ubuntu or any other Linux distro, VMWare Player is the better choice.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5.    03 Jan 2017 #5

    Many thanks to Kari and Cliff S for the helpful responses. I will study carefully the suggested tutorial. I will be using Linux Mint.
    Still outstanding is my final question:
    If I later uninstall VMware, will all of its disk space be returned to Windows in NTFS format?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 9,995
    Windows 10 Pro
       03 Jan 2017 #6

    MikeinGrange said: View Post
    If I later uninstall VMware, will all of its disk space be returned to Windows in NTFS format?
    Removing / deleting a virtual hard disk file is like removing any other file; when a let's say 30 GB VHD file is deleted, the host HDD has 30 GB more free space. The file system is irrelevant, even if your Linux vm sees the VHD as ext4, for Windows host it's just another file in NTFS.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7.    03 Jan 2017 #7

    MikeinGrange said: View Post
    Many thanks to Kari and Cliff S for the helpful responses. I will study carefully the suggested tutorial. I will be using Linux Mint.
    Still outstanding is my final question:
    If I later uninstall VMware, will all of its disk space be returned to Windows in NTFS format?
    The vhd is a single file on host and is stored as an ntfs file. You are not a actually storing files in ext4 format. All you are doing is storing data in a file which is interpreted as a drive but it is just a clever emulation. So if you delete the vhd, your returned space is still ntfs.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8.    03 Jan 2017 #8

    Now I see clearly. Many thanks Kari and cereberus.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9.    03 Jan 2017 #9

    Also, you likely aren't going to have to dedicate 4GB of RAM to a Linux box unless you plan to do something pretty intensive. Most of my Linux VM's run with 512MB or 1GB. Rarely do they ever need more.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 9,995
    Windows 10 Pro
       03 Jan 2017 #10

    pparks1 said: View Post
    Also, you likely aren't going to have to dedicate 4GB of RAM to a Linux box unless you plan to do something pretty intensive. Most of my Linux VM's run with 512MB or 1GB. Rarely do they ever need more.
    Good point.

    Ubuntu or Mint desktop runs pretty well with 512 MB, I use 1 GB on my CentOS and OpenSUSE Hyper-V virtual machines. Never had an issue.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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