How to Enable UEFI in VMware Workstation Player

by Jack
5 minutes
How to Enable UEFI in VMware Workstation Player

A few days ago, I was struggling to install Archlabs in VM and after inspecting a little bit deeper, I found that Archlabs ISO was not designed to boot in the legacy BIOS mode. But I didn't realize that instantly as I was thinking that I got the wrong ISO. After multiple failed installation attempts, I came to realize that it was the UEFI mode problem!

VMware by default uses BIOS mode to boot the operating systems. To enable UEFI, you have to do an additional setting that a lot of people don't know about and that includes me. To prevent others from struggling with the same issue, I decided to write this blog.

Let's start with the basics.

What is UEFI?

UEFI is acronym for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface. It is an alternative to the traditional BIOS firmware which is commonly found on older computers, laptops, etc. Some of noticeable benefits of using UEFI are faster booting time, improved security, and support for hard disks larger than two terra bytes.

Enabling UEFI in VMware Player can help ensure that your virtual machines are able to take advantage of these benefits. Additionally, some operating systems and applications may require UEFI in order to function properly.

How to Enable UEFI in VMware Workstation Player?

There are two ways to do it. To enable UEFI boot in VMware Workstation Player, you need to perform the following steps mentioned in the respective sections.

1. Enable UEFI in VMware by Modifying VMX file of the Virtual Machine

  1. Open the folder that contains the files and virtual disk of your virtual machine.
    Virtual machine files on the disk
  2. Find the .vmx file there and then open it with using a text editor.
    Virtual machine's VMX File
  3. Append firmware="efi" at the end of the text file.Edit VMX file of a virtual machine
  4. Save changed and close the text editor.

Start the virtual machine now and this time, it will boot in UEFI mode.

2. Enable UEFI in VMware using Virtual Machine Hardware Settings

This is another easy method to boot ISO in VMware in UEFI mode. If the above method doesn't work for you then I hope it will.

  1. Start VMware Workstation Player and open the virtual machine that you want to enable UEFI boot for.
  2. Go to the VM settings. Under the "Hardware" tab, click on "Boot Order".
  3. In the "Boot Order" settings, make sure that "UEFI" is set to the boot type option.
  4. Click "Apply" to save the changes. Close the VM settings now.
  5. Restart the virtual machine and it should now boot in UEFI boot mode.

Note: If you do not see the option to select UEFI as the boot type, it is possible that your version of VMware Workstation Player does not support UEFI boot. If that's the case then you will need to upgrade to a newer version that does come with UEFI boot support.