A virtual machine is a software computer that, like a physical computer, runs an operating system and applications. The virtual machine consists of a set of specification and configuration files and is backed by the physical resources of a host. Every virtual machine has virtual devices that provide the same functionality as physical hardware but are more portable, more secure, and easier to manage.

You can create and deploy virtual machines into your data center in several ways. You can create a single virtual machine and install a guest operating system and VMware Tools on it. You can clone or create a template from an existing virtual machine, or deploy OVF templates.

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.

Virtual Machine Files

More Explanation

  1. .vmx is the primary configuration file, which stores virtual machine settings. If you created the virtual machine with an earlier version of Workstation on a Linux host, this file might have a .cfg extension.
  2. .vmdk is Virtual disk files, which store the contents of the virtual machine hard disk drive. These files are stored in the same directory as the .vmx file. A virtual disk is made up of one or more virtual disk files. The virtual machine settings show the name of the first file in the set. This file contains pointers to the other files in the set.

Additional files are created when you perform certain tasks with the virtual machine.

  • A .hlog file is a log file that is used by vCenter Server to keep track of virtual machine files that must be removed after a certain operation completes.
  • A .vmtx file is created when you convert a virtual machine to a template. The .vmtx file replaces the virtual machine configuration file (.vmx file).