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Restrict your virtual machines using Workstation 9

Hello again, everyone, and welcome to my series, The Support Outsider — a look into VMware from the point of view of an outsider (me), Intern Moses Masih.

Moses MasihLast week I talked about encrypting virtual machines, a feature available in Workstation 9. Encryption adds an extra layer of security to your virtual machines; check out last week’s post for more information on this topic or watch the video on our KBTV YouTube channel to find out how you can encrypt your VM in VMware Workstation 9.

This week I want to discuss restricting virtual machines, another new feature in VMware Workstation 9.

Once you have encrypted a virtual machine, you can enable restrictions; this feature will allow you to prevent users from making any changes to the virtual machine’s configuration settings. Once restrictions are enabled, users will not be able to perform actions like remove virtual devices from the VM, change its memory allocation, change the network connection type, and various other actions (check out the Encrypting and Restricting Virtual Machines section in the Using VMware Workstation 9 guide to find out more about the actions that cannot be carried out once restrictions are enabled).

When you enable restrictions, you can also choose the ‘Require the user to change the encryption password’ option. This is a very useful feature if you wish to distribute a VM to multiple users. For example, if I wanted to provide my friends with a copy of the personal VM I use for software development purposes, I would select this restriction’s option which then will prompt my friends to change the encryption password when they open the VM. This saves a lot of time and effort as you only need to set a temporary encryption password for the VM once instead of setting passwords for all the copies of my VMs individually. Anyone who opens the copied VM now can change the encryption password at start up, to set up their own personal encryption password for their new personal VM.

Check out this video on our KBTV YouTube channel to find out how you enable restrictions on your VM in VMware Workstation 9.

If you have any problems restricting or encrypting your virtual machines, remember to check the VMware Knowledge Base (http://kb.vmware.com).

Come back next week to check on my adventures as I go exploring the world of virtualization more. Thanks for your time.