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 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 more control over the virtual machine interface.

All virtual machines have a hardware version. The hardware version indicates virtual hardware features that the virtual machine supports, such as BIOS or EFI, number of virtual slots, maximum number of CPUs, maximum memory configuration, and other hardware characteristics. The version of the ESXi host on which you create the virtual machine determines the virtual machine hardware version.

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 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 vSphere administrator.