Administration Guide : Using the VMware Management Interface : Configuring a Virtual Machine : Configuring a Virtual Machine’s Hardware

Configuring a Virtual Machine’s Hardware
To review and configure the virtual hardware inside a virtual machine, click the Hardware tab.
Figure 3-7. Hardware tab
The Hardware tab lists the virtual hardware in the virtual machine—configured devices like the virtual disk, removable devices like floppy, CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drives, virtual network adapter, memory allocated to the virtual machine, and the display settings. More information about each device is listed, and you can configure each virtual hardware component.
You can configure most hardware only when the virtual machine is powered off.
Configuring a Virtual Machine’s Floppy Drive
Each virtual machine can access a physical floppy drive on the server or a floppy image file.
To configure the virtual machine’s floppy drive
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In the Hardware tab, under Floppy Drive, click Edit.
The Floppy Drive dialog box appears.
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In the Device list, select System Floppy Drive or Floppy Image.
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For example, the server’s floppy drive could be /dev/fd0.
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Click OK to save your changes and close the window.
Configuring a Virtual Machine’s DVD-ROM or CD-ROM Drive
Each virtual machine can access a physical DVD-ROM or CD-ROM drive on the server or an ISO image file.
To configure the virtual machine’s DVD/CD-ROM drive
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In the Hardware tab, under DVD/CD-ROM Drive, click Edit.
The DVD/CD-ROM Drive dialog box appears.
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To connect this virtual machine to the server’s DVD/CD-ROM drive when the virtual machine is powered on, select Connect at Power On.
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In the Device list, select System DVD/CD-ROM Drive or ISO Image.
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For example, the server’s CD-ROM drive could be /dev/cdrom.
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Click OK to save your changes and close the window.
Configuring a Virtual Machine’s Memory and Virtual Processors
You can change how much memory to allocate to a virtual machine. You can review the amount of memory recommended by ESX Server, the maximum amount of memory that can be allocated to the virtual machine, and the maximum amount of memory for smooth running of the virtual machine, given the number of virtual processors.
Depending on the guest operating system in the virtual machine and the number of processors on the server, you can change the number of virtual processors it uses.
Keep in mind the following:
Virtual machines running certain guest operating systems, such as Windows NT, can be configured with a single processor only. Review the list of supported guest operating systems in the VMware ESX Server Installation Guide to see which guests are multiprocessor- or SMP-capable.
Virtual machines can be configured with multiple processors only if the server has more than one processor. A virtual machine cannot have more virtual processors than the server has physical processors.
Multiprocessor-capable guest operating systems configured with a single processor might require additional tuning if you increase the number of virtual processors. At most, a virtual machine can have two virtual processors. See Configuring a Virtual Machine to Use More than One Virtual Processor.
Multiprocessor-capable guest operating systems configured and tuned with more than one virtual processor may not boot and will probably degrade the performance of other virtual machines if you change the configuration to a single processor.
VMware recommends that you do not downgrade a multiprocessor virtual machine to uniprocessor.
 
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You can configure dual-virtual processor virtual machines only if you purchased the VMware Virtual SMP for ESX Server product. For more information on this product, contact VMware, Inc. or your authorized sales representative.
To configure the virtual machine’s virtual processors and memory
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In the Hardware tab, under Processors and Memory, click Edit.
The Processors and Memory dialog box appears.
Depending on the guest operating system and the number of processors with which it is configured, a message appears under Edit Processor Configuration.
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In the Memory field, enter the amount of memory to allocate to the virtual machine.
The amount must be a multiple of 4.
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Click OK to save your change and close the window.
Configuring a Virtual Machine’s Virtual Network Adapters
You can configure the settings for the virtual machine’s virtual network adapter. These settings include the virtual network device to which the virtual machine is bound and the network driver it uses.
To choose the virtual network device, select either:
vmnic adapter – Connects the virtual machine to the physical network adapter, allowing the virtual machine to look and act as another computer on the network.
vmnet adapter – Connects the virtual machine to an internal network of other virtual machines. All the virtual machines on this computer connected to a particular vmnet are on the same network.
For this network connection, choose between the vlance driver, which installs automatically, and the vmxnet driver, which provides better network performance. The difference in network performance is most noticeable if the virtual machine is connected to a Gigabit Ethernet card.
 
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If you use vmxnet in a Windows or Linux virtual machine, the virtual network device is not visible to the guest operating system until you install VMware Tools. See To Install VMware Tools in a Linux Guest.
After the virtual machine is created, use this tab to assign additional network adapters to the virtual machine.
To determine which network adapter is associated with a device name, use the service console’s findnic command. See VMkernel Network Card Locator.
To configure the virtual machine’s virtual network adapter
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In the Hardware tab, under Network Adapter, click Edit.
The Network Adapter dialog box appears.
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In the Network Connection list, select the virtual network device that you want the virtual machine to use.
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In the Virtual Device list, select either the vlance or vmxnet driver.
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Click OK to save your changes and close the window.
Configuring a Virtual Machine’s SCSI Controllers
You can configure the settings for the virtual machine’s virtual SCSI controller. These settings include the virtual SCSI controller driver and whether the SCSI bus is shared with virtual or physical devices.
To configure the virtual machine’s virtual SCSI controller
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In the Hardware tab, under SCSI Controller, click Edit.
The SCSI Controller dialog box appears.
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In the Virtual Device list, select the SCSI controller driver that you want the virtual machine to use, either vmxbuslogic or vmxlsilogic.
Before you select a driver, make sure you installed the driver in the guest operating system. Otherwise, the guest cannot boot. To switch to the vmxlsilogic driver, see Configuring a Virtual Machine to Use the LSI Logic SCSI Adapter.
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In the Bus Sharing list, select how you want the virtual machine to share its bus:
Physical – Share disks with virtual machines on any server.
Virtual – Share disks with virtual machines on the same server.
None – Prevent sharing disks with other virtual machines.
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Click OK to save your changes and close the window.
Configuring a Virtual Machine’s Virtual Disks
When you configure an existing virtual disk, you can change its disk mode. You can also change the virtual disk a virtual machine uses or create a new virtual disk for the virtual machine.
ESX Server can use disks in four modes:
Persistent Disks in persistent mode behave exactly like conventional disk drives on a computer. All writes to a disk in persistent mode are written out permanently to the disk as soon as the guest operating system writes the data.
Nonpersistent All changes to a disk in nonpersistent mode are discarded when a virtual machine session is powered off.
Undoable Keep or discard changes you made during a working session when you power off the virtual machine. Until you decide, the changes are saved in a redo-log file.
Append Stores changes in a redo log. It continually adds changes to the redo log until you remove the redo-log file or commit the changes using the commit command in vmkfstools. See Using vmkfstools.
To configure the virtual machine’s virtual disk
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In the Hardware tab, under Virtual Disk, click Edit.
The Virtual Disk dialog box appears.
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Under Disk Mode, click Persistent, Nonpersistent, Undoable, or Append.
You can change the disk mode for an existing virtual disk that is not a physical disk on a LUN.
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Click OK to save your changes and close the window.
Configuring a Virtual Machine’s Display Settings
You can configure the display depth or number of colors in a virtual machine. A higher color depth setting slows down screen redraws and increases network load when you use a remote console to view a virtual machine across a network connection. However, with greater color depth, you get better color resolution and fidelity, which may be an issue, depending on the applications you intend to run on the virtual machine.
To configure the virtual machine’s display settings
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In the Hardware tab, under Display, click Edit.
The Display dialog box appears.
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In the Colors list, select the display depth or the number of colors you want available to the virtual machine.
Select 256 Colors (8 bit), Thousands of Colors (15 bit), Thousands of Colors (16 bit), or Millions of Colors (24 bit).
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Click OK to save your change and close the window.
Configuring a Virtual Machine’s Generic SCSI Device
You can configure any generic SCSI devices in a virtual machine. Make sure the virtual machine is powered off and complete the following steps.
To configure a virtual machine’s generic SCSI device
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To configure an existing generic SCSI device, on the Hardware tab, under Generic SCSI Device, click Edit.
The Generic Device (SCSI <ID>) dialog box appears.
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In the Device drop-down list, choose the appropriate device.
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If the virtual device is on SCSI controller 0:0, a warning appears, stating that changing the SCSI node may cause the virtual machine to boot improperly.
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Click OK to save your change and close the window.
Adding a Virtual Disk to a Virtual Machine
Make sure the virtual machine is powered off, and complete the following steps.
To add a new virtual disk to a virtual machine
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On the Hardware tab, click Add Device.
The Add Device wizard starts.
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Click Hard Disk.
The Virtual Disk Type page appears.
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Click Blank to create a new virtual disk.
Specify the following:
Image File Location – Choose the volume from the list on which to locate the virtual disk. The amount of free space is listed next to the volume name, so you know how large you can make the virtual disk.
Image File Name – Enter a disk name, making sure the file has a .vmdk extension.
Capacity – Specify the size of the virtual disk in MB. The default entry indicates the amount of free space available on the volume.
Virtual SCSI Node – Select the appropriate SCSI ID from the list.
Disk Mode – Click Persistent, Nonpersistent, Undoable, or Append.
Click Existing to add an existing virtual disk to the virtual machine.
Specify the following:
Image File Location – Choose the volume from the list on which the virtual disk is located.
Image File Name – Select the virtual disk you want from the list. The size of the virtual disk appears in the Capacity field.
Virtual SCSI Node – Select the appropriate SCSI ID from the list.
Disk Mode – Click Persistent, Nonpersistent, Undoable, or Append.
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Click OK to add the disk.
Adding a Virtual Network Adapter to a Virtual Machine
Before adding a virtual network adapter, make sure the virtual machine is powered off.
To add a new virtual network adapter to a virtual machine
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On the Hardware tab, click Add Device.
The Add Device wizard starts.
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Click Network Adapter.
The Network Adapter page appears.
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In the Network Connection list, select the virtual network device that you want the virtual machine to use.
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In the Virtual Device list, select the network driver (either the vlance or vmxnet driver) you want the virtual machine to use.
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Click OK to add the network adapter.
Adding a Virtual DVD/CD-ROM Drive to a Virtual Machine
If your server contains a DVD/CD-ROM drive, you can add a DVD/CD-ROM drive to the virtual machine. You can point the CD-ROM drive to an ISO disk image file.
You can connect a device to only one virtual machine on a server at a time.
Before adding a virtual DVD/CD-ROM drive, make sure the virtual machine is powered off.
To add a new virtual DVD/CD-ROM drive to a virtual machine
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On the Hardware tab, click Add Device.
The Add Device wizard starts.
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Click DVD/CD-ROM.
The cdrom page appears.
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To connect this virtual machine to the server’s DVD/CD-ROM drive when the virtual machine is powered on, select Connect at Power On.
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In the Device list, select System DVD/CD-ROM Drive or ISO Image.
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For example, the server’s CD-ROM drive could be /dev/cdrom.
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Click OK to add the drive.
Adding a Virtual Floppy Drive to a Virtual Machine
If your server contains a floppy drive, you can add a virtual floppy drive to the virtual machine. You can point the floppy drive to a floppy disk image file.
You can connect a device to only one virtual machine on a server at a time.
Before adding a virtual floppy drive, make sure the virtual machine is powered off.
To add a new virtual floppy drive to a virtual machine
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On the Hardware tab, click Add Device.
The Add Device wizard starts.
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Click Floppy Drive.
The Floppy Drive page appears.
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In the Device list, select System Floppy Drive or Floppy Image.
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For example, the server’s floppy drive could be /dev/fd0.
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Click OK to add the drive.
Adding a Generic SCSI Device to a Virtual Machine
Before adding a generic SCSI device, make sure the virtual machine is powered off.
To add a new generic SCSI device to a virtual machine,
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On the Hardware tab, click Add Device.
The Add Device wizard starts.
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Click Generic SCSI Device.
The SCSI Device page appears.
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In the Device drop-down list, choose the appropriate device (such as /dev/sga.)
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Click OK to add the device.
Adding a Tape Drive to a Virtual Machine
Before adding a tape drive, make sure the virtual machine is powered off.
To add a new tape drive to a virtual machine
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On the Hardware tab, click Add Device.
The Add Device wizard starts.
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Click Generic SCSI Device.
The SCSI Device page appears.
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In the Device entry field, type:
vmhba<x>:<y>:<z>:0
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Click OK to add the device.
Removing Hardware from a Virtual Machine
To remove hardware from a virtual machine, access the Hardware page. Next to the item you want to remove, click Remove. You are asked for confirmation before the device is removed.
 
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