Virtual machines typically have an operating system, VMware Tools, and virtual resources and hardware that you manage in much the same way as you would manage a physical computer.

You install a guest operating system on a virtual machine essentially the same way as you install an operating system on a physical computer. You must have a CD/DVD-ROM or ISO image containing the installation files from an operating system vendor.

VMware Tools is a suite of utilities that enhances the performance of the virtual machine's guest operating system and improves management of the virtual machine. With VMware Tools, you have much more control over the virtual machine interface.

All virtual machines have a hardware version. The hardware version indicates virtual hardware features supported by the virtual machine, such as BIOS, number of virtual slots, maximum number of CPUs, maximum memory configuration, and other characteristics typical to hardware. The hardware version of a virtual machine is determined by the version of ESX/ESXi on which the virtual machine is created.

The hardware devices listed in the Virtual Machine Properties editor complete the virtual machine. Not all devices are configurable. Some hardware devices are part of the virtual motherboard and appear in the expanded device list of the Virtual Machine Properties editor, but you cannot modify or remove them. For a complete list of hardware devices and their functions, see Virtual Machine Hardware, Options, and Resources Available to vSphere Virtual Machines.

Access to a virtual machine is controlled by the Sphere administrator. For detailed information about Privileges, see the VMware vSphere Datacenter Administration Guide.