I am a newbie with any linux distro. Right now, I am trying to install ubuntu on a VMWare Workstation 12 Player. Right now the program is asking me to allocate memory for the distro. But before I proceed I have a few questions:

  1. My laptop only has a total of 4GB of memory. 3.87GB usable. If I allocate 2048MB for ubuntu, will it deduct the total memory I am using for my Windows OS? If so, will my total memory left go back to 4GB when I am not running Ubuntu on VMWare? or will it only go back to 4GB on my windows os after uninstall the ubuntu?

  2. Same goes with the Cores. I have a Quad Core intel core i5 on my laptop and gave 2 Cores for my Ubuntu.

  • 2GB is more than 50% your total memory. With ~4GB one VM using 1.5GB is pushing it but it works. At least the other way around, Ubuntu host, Windows 10 guest and Virtualbox. – user589808 Jan 19 '17 at 4:16
  1. Memory:

    The memory allocated to a Virtual Machine (VM) is taken from the same pool of memory as the memory allocated to any other program. When the VM is not running is uses no memory at all. On a 4 GB system I wouldn't allocate more than 1 to 1.5 GB to a VM. My suggestion is to allocate 1 GB to the VM and install the 32-bit version of Ubuntu. This will be quite serviceable for testing and looking around; for production use you should really install more memory in the computer and allocate at least 3 GB to the VM.

    Always make sure that the operating system plus any programs plus any VMs running do not need more memory than what is actually available. If the host operating system needs to make heavy use of the swap/paging file while the VM is running performance will fall like a rock.

  2. Virtual CPUs:

    Virtual CPUs are virtual. They are not in use when the VM is not running; when the VM is running the virtual CPUs compete with the rest of the programs on the host system. The VM will never take exclusive ownership of some CPU cores.

  • So if I'm not using the VM, the allocated cores and memory is available and usable for the programs in my Windows OS and allocating memory and cores on vm is just securing it. Am I right? – user7438604 Jan 19 '17 at 5:27
  • Yes. But it is not "securing" it. The allocations are just parameters describing what the VM will ask for when it starts. It may get the resources it wants or it may not, depending on the load of the system. – AlexP Jan 19 '17 at 5:30

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