Windows 11 is the latest version of Microsoft Windows that include many changes to security, interface, and new support for the library of Android apps. Virtual machines allow you to run another operating system within your current operating system. This can be useful for testing purposes or if you need to use specific software that only works on Windows. Here is our guide, on how to run Windows 11 on a virtual machine from basics.
To run Windows 11 on a virtual machine, you will need to first create a virtual machine using software like VMware Workstation Player or Oracle VM VirtualBox. Once the virtual machine has been created, you can then install Windows 11 onto it. After installation is complete, you should be able to boot up your virtual machine and use Windows 11 just like you would on a physical computer.
The Windows 10 operating system has free support for receiving a free upgrade to the new Windows 11. If you want Windows 11 as your default operating system, you can simply update your PC to the new Windows 11 OS.
There are a few advantages to installing Windows 11 on a laptop. It is a professional tendency to use VMs for testing different operating systems, such as Linus Destros and Windows 11, for running different applications without affecting the existing OS.
- If you have a Pentesting or Ethical Hacking job, VMs can be a common requirement.
- Additionally, you can use it to test new features without affecting your main operating system.
- It’s a great way to keep an older version of Windows around for compatibility purposes.
Things you Need to Get Started with VMs (VMWare Requirements)
- A Windows PC or laptop to host Virtual Machine Software: It could be either Windows 10 or Linux.
- Your system should meet the virtual machine minimum requirements (VMs).
- Your PC processor should have Hyper-V Hardware enabled.
- For downloads, make sure you have an Internet connection.
- Have Installed VMWare Workstation Player v16 or Virtualbox as per choice or requirement.
- Download the Windows 11 ISO file from the Microsoft website.
Before we proceed, we want to simplify your work and ensure that all of the basic steps are followed as required to run Windows 11 on a virtual machine without errors. As a result of this thought, we can check the following requirements to ensure that your PC is capable of running a virtual machine.
What is a Virtual Machine (VM) Software?
Virtualization relies on software to simulate hardware functionality and create a virtual computer system. This enables IT organizations to run more than one virtual system – and multiple operating systems and applications. The resulting benefits include economies of scale and greater efficiency.
A virtual machine (VM) is a software computer that, like a physical computer, runs an operating system and applications. The major difference between a physical computer and a VM is that the VM runs on top of a physical computer or server, using the resources of that underlying computer.
For this reason, VMs are sometimes called “guest machines” while the physical computers they run on are called “host machines.” A single host machine can run multiple VMs at the same time; each VM has its own virtualized hardware including CPU, memory, storage, and networking resources.
VMs are created with special software called a “hypervisor.” The hypervisor provides an abstraction layer between the guest machine and the host machine’s hardware so that guest operating systems and applications think they are running on their own dedicated hardware.
Minimum System Requirements for Virtual Machines (VMs or VMM Hardware Specs)
The following information is for basic hardware requirements for running Virtual Machine VM:
- RAM (Memory): Your system should have at least 4096 MB of RAM, but for a smooth experience8GB is a must.
- CPU: A 64-bit processor is required, that has multiple cores, 4 CPU Cores or greater is recommended.
- Storage: Lest 64GB is a good option, however, this may vary for your apps and data.
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0 supported CPUs are recommended.
- System Firmware: Windows 11 is restricted to having UEFI, and Secure Boot capable hardware.
Hyper-V Hardware Requirements (CPU Virtualization Compatability)
Hyper-V is a built-in virtual box in Windows OS that allows users to create virtual machines from the currently installed Windows 11 operating system. This may be a simple way to do so if you have a Windows 11 PC.
The given requirement may be useful in enabling the Hyper-V feature on your hardware for VM:
- In the system BIOS, it is a must to enable CPU Virtualization. Depending on the motherboard manufacturer, virtualization technology may be labeled differently.
- A processor with 64 bits is recommended but multiple cores x86 CPUs are also capable of virtualization.
- VM Monitor Mode Extension (VT-x on Intel CPUs) CPU or AMD-V from AMD CPUs virtualization Extension.
- At least 4GB of memory is required for virtual machines to share your PC memory with the Hyper-V host.
How to Install Windows 11 on VMware Virtual Machine (Step by Step Guide)
Windows VM is a computer program that lets you run a virtual machine on your computer. This can be useful for a variety of purposes, including testing new software and experimenting with different operating systems.
It is simple to use and set up, and it’s a great way to get started with virtualization. However, make sure your PC meets the requirements and has enough memory to handle the anticipated virtual workload.
Assuming you have a computer with the proper specifications, you can follow these steps to install Windows 11 on a virtual machine.
The process is straightforward with simple steps:
- Creating Windows 11 Virtual Machine (Step by Step).
- Complete Process to Install Windows 11 OS on VMWare Workstation Player.
- Installing Windows 11 on VirtualBox (Straightforward Steps).
Step 1: Create Windows 11 Virtual Machine Step by Step
First, you’ll need to create a new virtual machine. For this process, we recommend using VMware Workstation Player 16 or the latest version. It’s free to download and use, and it’s compatible with Windows 11.
1- Once you have VMware Workstation Player 16 installed, launch it and click on the “Create a New Virtual Machine” from the left-hand menu.
2- From the Welcome screen select the “Custom (advance)” option for proper configurations and click “Next.”
3- On the next screen, “Choose the Virtual Machine Hardware Compatibility” you need to select the version of VMWare Workstation 15 or 16 and click “Next.”
4- After that we need to select the option: I will install the operating system later for our Guest Operating System Installations and click “Next.”
5- On the next screen, select Microsoft Windows and its version for our “Guest Operating System” from the options; Microsoft Windows, Linux, VMWare ESXi, or Others.
6- Here we can rename our VM, and you can choose any name you want, but it’s best to name your OS, as we have done “Windows 11 x64 VM.”
7- Next, we can specify where we want our VM to be installed and browse to the folder location to use the necessary space from your PC’s storage drives and click “Next.”
8- Choose “UEFI” as your Firmware mode from “New Virtual Machine Wizard” not the BIOS and leave “Secure Boot” unchecked. It is because Windows 11 only run on UEFI-enabled hardware.
9- Then from “Processor Configuration,” we need to specify the number of processors for our virtual machine. To stay stable choose 1 for the Number of processors and choose 2 for the Number of cores per processor and click “Next.”
10- After that, the next screen suggests “Choose Memory for the Virtual Machine” from the given slider. Here we can choose between 2Gb and 4GB for a basic system and hit “Next.”
11- On the next screen, we have to select the “Network Type” for our VM. And for a reliable connection, we can choose “Use network address translation (NAT)” from the three given options and click “Next.”
12- The forward section will need to “Select I/O Controller Types,” and to do so, the best and recommended option is “LSI Logic SAS.”
13- In the post section, we can “Select a Disk Type” and the recommended option is “SCSI storage.”
14- Now we can select “Create a new Virtual Disk” for our VM to allocate a specific amount of storage drive where we can install Windows 11 files through our host VM. I recommend 60GB storage space for Windows 11 installations.
15- At the next screen, we can “Specify Disk Usage” for Windows 11 VM. And you can choose between the two recommended options: Store the virtual disk as a single file or, Split the virtual disk into multiple files. In my experience, a “single file system” is the best option.
16- Now for the second time, we can rename our VM. This is a confirmation screen and you can choose any name you want, but it’s best to name your OS, as we have done “Windows 11 x64 VM.”
17- If you like, you can “Customise Hardware Specification” on the Finishing screen and then click on the “Finish” button to save configurations for creating Windows 11 VM.
Step 2: Complete Process to Install Windows 11 OS on VMWare Workstation Player
Once we are done configuring VMWare Workstation Player for Windows 11 VM, we can finally install Windows 11 OS from the ISO file and run it.
1- From the “Library” option, on the left side menu of VMWare Workstation Player, choose the newly created Windows 11 x64 VM.
2- Then choose the option “Power on this virtual machine” from the center box.
3- It will open up the “Virtual Machine Settings” box from where we can proceed further and install our Windows 11 OS.
4- Choose the option “CD/DVD (SATA)” from the “Hardware” section of the Virtual Machine Settings box.
5- Then select the option “Use ISO image file” and browse and locate your Windows 11 ISO that we suggest downloading from the official page and click “Next.”
6- Now VMWare will boot up and we can go through the Windows installation process.
7- Soon Windows Setup will appears on the screen, choose language and click “Next.”
8- Then click on the “Install” button to begin installing Windows 11 on VMWare Workstation Player.
9- The next screen will ask for Activation Key, you can add or skit as you choose.
10- Now choose the version of Windows 11, Home, Pro, or Server and click “Next.”
11- Choose the storage partition, which appears as a 60GB single drive that we previously created, and click “Next.”
12- It will begin installing Windows; be patient; this step may take more than an hour.
13- When the installation reaches 95%, you’ll see the Windows 11 boot screen, and will see a white booting screen with the new Windows 11 logo.
14- Here you will ask to configure the user interface of Windows 11. This will be a simple process, Windows 11 will prompt you to select your country.
15- Then choose your keyboard input language, and finally Microsoft account login.
16- If you did everything correctly, Windows 11 Home screen will appear, and you are done installing Windows 11 on a virtual machine.
Option 3: How to install Windows 11 on VirtualBox from Oracles?
Here’s a guide to getting Windows 11 up and running on a virtual machine:
- Download and install VirtualBox from Oracle.
- Download the Windows 11 ISO from Microsoft.
- Create a new virtual machine in VirtualBox and start it up. Choose the “Windows 11” option when prompted.
- Select the ISO file you downloaded in step 2 when prompted to choose an installation media file.
- Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation process.
- You’ll need to provide a valid product key during setup to activate Windows 11.
- All done, you can now use your Windows 11 on VirtualBox.
Virtual machines allow you to run another operating system within your current operating system. This can be useful for testing purposes or if you need to use specific software that only works on Windows. In order to run Windows 11 on a virtual machine, you will need to first create a virtual machine using software like VMware Workstation or Oracle VM VirtualBox. Once the virtual machine has been created, you can then install Windows 11 onto it. After installation is complete, you should be able to boot up your virtual machine and use Windows 11 just like you would on a physical computer. The above procedure is for everyone looking to start from basic steps and is simple because we did it ourselves. but, if your hardware does not meet the minimum requirements for VM virtualization, you may require a new computer. If you like more tips, stay tuned for more information.