VMware Workstation 5.5

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Virtual Machine Memory Size

The first configuration parameter you can set is the size of an individual virtual machine's memory. Set this configuration parameter for the virtual machine in the virtual machine settings editor (VM > Settings > Memory). The guest memory size should not be set lower than the minimum recommendations of the operating system provider.

The New Virtual Machine Wizard sets reasonable defaults for the memory size of a virtual machine, based on the type of the guest operating system and the amount of memory in the host computer. This value also appears in the virtual machine settings editor as the recommended memory value.

The virtual machine settings editor also shows a value for the maximum amount of memory for best performance. If you have only one virtual machine running on the host and you set virtual machine memory to this value, the virtual machine can run entirely in RAM. A virtual machine running completely in RAM performs better than a virtual machine that must swap some of its memory to disk.

The actual memory size you should give to a virtual machine depends on a few practical considerations:

  • What kinds of applications will run in the virtual machine
  • What other virtual machines will contend with this virtual machine for memory resources
  • What applications will run on the host at the same time as the virtual machine
  • Note: You cannot allocate more than 2 GB of memory to a virtual machine when the virtual machine's files are stored on a host file system that does not support files greater than 2 GB — for example, FAT.

    The total amount of memory you assign to all virtual machines running on a single host may not exceed 4 GB.

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