VMware Workstation FAQs

How does VMware Workstation work?

VMware Workstation™ works by creating fully isolated, secure virtual machines that encapsulate an operating system and its applications. The VMware virtualization layer maps the physical hardware resources to the virtual machine's resources, so each virtual machine has its own CPU, memory, disks, and I/O devices, and is the full equivalent of a standard x86 machine. VMware Workstation installs onto the host operating system and provides broad hardware support by inheriting device support from the host.

What types of applications can I run in a virtual machine?

Any application that will run on a standard PC will run inside a virtual machine on VMware Workstation. VMware Workstation is the equivalent of a full PC, with full networking and devices — each virtual machine has its own CPU, memory, disks, I/O devices, etc. This allows you to run any application that runs on the supported guest operating systems, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Apache Web Server, Microsoft Visual Studio, Kernel debuggers, Firewalls, VPN software and much more.

Do I need to dual boot or repartition the disk?

No. VMware Workstation uses your computer's file system and creates files that map to a virtual machine's disk drives, so there is no need to create a partition for each operating system. If you already have another operating system with dual boot installed on your computer, you can use VMware Workstation to run the other operating system in a virtual machine on your host operating system. Instead of dual booting, you can run both operating systems simultaneously and seamlessly switch from one operating system to another with a click of your mouse.

How is each operating system installed?

Once you have installed VMware Workstation, you "configure" a virtual machine by assigning it memory, disk, ports, and networking. You then power on that virtual machine with the operating system installation CD or ISO image. The virtual machine will boot, and the operating system will start its normal install procedure.

Does VMware Workstation modify the host or guest operating systems?

No. Your host operating system environment treats VMware Workstation like an application. No modifications need to be made to the guest operating system when it is installed on a virtual machine. Applications on the guest operating system run exactly as they do on your host machine.

What are virtual disks?

Virtual disks are the disk partitions of virtual machines. They are stored as files on the file system of your host operating system. One of the key features of VMware Workstation is encapsulation. This means that complete environments are contained in a set of files, which can be copied, moved, and accessed quickly and easily. Since an entire disk partition is saved as a file, virtual disks are easy to back up, move, and copy. You can create virtual SCSI, IDE, and SATA disks as large as 8 TB.

Does a VMware Workstation virtual machine share the IP address of the host (NAT), or does it have its own IP address?

The virtual machine can use bridged networking to receive its own IP address (when available from a DHCP server), or it can use NAT and share the host's IP address. Also, host-only networking can be set to create an isolated virtual network. Lastly, network connections can be entirely disabled for complete virtual machine isolation.

What languages is VMware Workstation available in?

Workstation software and documentation is available in English and Japanese (Windows only).

Can I access VMware Workstation documentation online for free?

Yes, both English and Japanese language versions are available for download in electronic format from the VMware Workstation documentation website.

Can I purchase a printed VMware Workstation User’s Guide?

No. The VMware Workstation user guide is available for free as a PDF download.