In order to run the COS image you will need a software from VMware, which is able to run a complete operating system inside of the OS that runs directly on your computer. This process is called virtualization and is done by using a virtual machine (VMware Player) and some large files containing the whole "guest" OS (the image or appliance).
At first you must get the VMware Player, which is the free version from VMware. Then simply install this Player like any other program. Finally download an image like the COS or the gOS, unzip the contents, start the VMware Player and navigate to the folder of the image. Select the .vmx file, open it and wait some time. Perhaps you get asked to log in with a user name and a password, which should be in the read.me file of the image and finally you have your guest system running in a window of the host system.
There are several advantages for using the virtualization technique:
- Two operating system are running side by side at the same time on only one computer.
- The guest OS lives in a sandbox, where it or some ingredient of it can't break out. If some malicious software has contaminated the guest OS, the danger is still isolated and can't spread to the host system.
- There is neither a large installation procedure, nor is there the problem of uninstalling without leaving any changes in the main OS. Changes in the guest system are always restricted to these large files that make up an image. From the viewpoint of the host OS these files are simply data and have nothing to do with program installations in the host.
- Backup of a whole system is easily done. Just zip the folder of the image files.
- The VMware Player is able to send the guest OS to "sleep" and freeze the existing state of it without actually shutting it down. This way starting and closing a guest OS becomes really fast.
We will be using the virtualization method for our trading app. This offers some additional advantages and possibilities. For instance, there are many pieces of financial software out there for Windows, but only few for Linux or the Mac. The web based world of the future together with a system that is more centered around a browser will hopefully change this.