What is VMware Fusion?

VMware Fusion is a line of Desktop Hypervisor products designed for modern application developers, IT professionals and everyone that wants to run virtual machines, OCI containers and Kubernetes clusters on a Mac. Each Edition, Fusion Pro and Fusion Player, let users run Windows and other operating systems right from macOS, without rebooting. Fusion is simple enough for home users and powerful enough for IT professionals, developers and businesses.

PRODUCT

Is VMware Fusion 12 Pro a free update?

 

VMware Fusion 12 Pro is considered a ‘major release’ and as such requires a new license to operate. Customers who currently own licenses for Fusion 10 Pro or Fusion 11 Pro are entitled to discounted upgrade pricing. Customers on older versions of Fusion (8.x and earlier) must purchase a new license to use Fusion 12 Pro

 

Is VMware Fusion 12 Player a free update?

 

VMware Fusion 12 is considered a ‘major release’ and as such requires a new license to operate. Fusion 12 Player licenses are available in 2 varieties: Personal or Commercial. Commercial (paid) customers who currently own licenses for Fusion 10 or greater are entitled to discounted upgrade pricing. Commercial customers on older versions of Fusion (8.x and earlier) must purchase a new license. Personal use customers may register for a new free license from this link regardless of the currently owned license.

 

What programs can I run with VMware Fusion?

 

VMware Fusion lets you run macOS, Windows, Linux and other x86-based operating systems as virtual machines. Nearly all programs that run on these operating systems will run with VMware Fusion. Programs can range from common productivity suites, like Microsoft Office, to graphics-intensive programs such as AutoCAD or SolidWorks which require DirectX 11, as well as custom applications. Fusion Player and Fusion Pro can both also run containers and Kubernetes clusters with the built-in CLI ‘vctl.’

 

Can I play 3D games in a virtual machine?

 

Yes, VMware Fusion 12 has 3D hardware-accelerated graphics support.

For Windows VMs Fusion now supports DirectX 11 (with Shader Model 5.0) and earlier.

For Windows and Linux guests Fusion provides OpenGL 4.1 capabilities.

 

Fusion uses Apple Metal graphics technology to render 3D hardware-accelerated graphics to virtual machines on compatible Mac systems.

See VMware Fusion system requirements for details.

 

Do I need Apple Boot Camp to install VMware Fusion?

 

Boot Camp is not required to run Windows on a Mac with VMware Fusion. However, if you already have Windows installed as a Boot Camp partition, VMware Fusion can easily create a Windows virtual machine based on your Boot Camp Windows installation. This will allow you to run Windows programs side-by-side with your Mac applications without having to reboot your Mac.

 

Can I migrate Parallels Desktop for Mac virtual machines to VMware Fusion?

 

Yes. VMware Fusion 12 can import Parallels Desktop for Mac (up to version 15) based virtual machines. Simply launch VMware Fusion, go to the File menu, select ‘Import’, select your virtual machine setting’s file, and click ‘Import’.

 

Will VMware Fusion 12 slow down my Mac?

 

When not running virtual machines, VMware Fusion 12 has no impact on your Mac’s overall performance. The impact on performance while running virtual machines, containers and Kubernetes clusters will mainly depend on the type of applications bring run, how many virtual machines/containers are running at the same time, how much RAM is available on your Mac, the speed of your CPU (GHz) and the speed of your storage. SSD-based Macs are recommended for optimal performance

See VMware Fusion system requirements for details.

 

Can I access and use USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 devices?

 

Yes. VMware Fusion supports USB 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and now 3.1 devices.

 

Does VMware Fusion 12 support Retina or 6K displays?

 

Yes, VMware Fusion 12 supports Retina and 6K display Macs for a crisp and detailed experience of your Windows programs. Fusion 12 ensures you get a seamless experience when running Windows across Retina, 4K, 5K, 6K and non-Retina displays.

 

Can I use multiple displays with VMware Fusion?

 

Yes, VMware Fusion 12 supports up to 10 displays in both full screen and Unity views.

 

Can I access Thunderbolt hard drives in Windows?

 

Thunderbolt ports cannot be directly forwarded to Windows VM’s the same way that USB works. However, you can still access your Thunderbolt hard drives in VMware Fusion by mapping the hard drive to a VMware Shared Folder. Go to the Virtual Machine menu, select ‘Shared Folders’ and select ‘Add Shared Folder’. Select your Thunderbolt hard drive and click ‘Open’ to assign your Thunderbolt disk to the shared folder. To access your Thunderbolt hard drive in Windows, go to ‘VMware Shared Folders’ shortcut on the desktop and select your Thunderbolt hard disk.

 

How many CPUs can I assign to a virtual machine?

 

You can assign up to 32 Virtual CPUs to a Fusion 12 virtual machine (requires at least 16 physical cores), so the virtual machine can harness the full power of a Mac using the latest Intel processors. It’s recommended that sufficient resources are not allocated to virtual machines to ensure smooth host operation. For example, on a Mac with 6 cores, it would be unadvisable to assign more than 4 cores to a virtual machine. Application requirements vary, so experiment with your settings to find a balance.

Windows

 

Can I convert my old Windows PC into a virtual machine for VMware Fusion?

 

Yes, VMware Fusion includes a simple Migration Assistant for Windows that allows you to quickly and easily move your entire PC to your Mac as a virtual machine. Install a simple application on your PC, connect it to your Mac, and VMware Fusion will detect your PC and take care of the rest. Install a simple application on your PC, connect it to your Mac, and VMware Fusion will detect your PC and take care of the rest.

 

Do I need a copy of Windows to run VMware Fusion?

 

Yes. VMware Fusion requires the installation of an operating system in order to function. The operating system is not included with the purchase of VMware Fusion. You can either migrate an existing copy of Windows from your old PC or install a new one. In order to run a Windows virtual machine, you must have a licensed copy of that Windows operating system or purchase a new Windows license.

 

Can I use the Windows operating system that came with my PC?

 

VMware Fusion includes a simple Migration Assistant for Windows that allows you to quickly and easily bring your entire PC to your Mac as a virtual machine. Whether you can legally use a copy of Windows from an existing physical machine, typically delivered as an 'OEM' license, depends on the license terms surrounding that installation of Windows. Please consult the license agreement that came with the version of Windows included with your PC, or the PC manufacturer, for more details.

 

Can I use an OEM version of Windows with VMware Fusion?

 

Many OEM Windows installations are tied to specific hardware and will likely not work with VMware Fusion. Whether you can legally use a copy of Windows from an existing physical machine depends on the licensing surrounding that copy of Windows. Please consult the license agreement that came with the version of Windows included with your PC for more details.

Virtual Machines and Virtual Machine Compatibility

 

Can I run multiple virtual machines on a Mac at the same time?

 

Yes, you can run as many virtual machines concurrently with VMware Fusion 12 Pro and Player as your system’s CPU, RAM and disk storage will support. In fact, VMware Fusion leverages patented memory-sharing techniques to drastically reduce the memory required to run multiple virtual machines at the same time.

 

How many virtual machines can I create with a single VMware Fusion license?

 

You can create an unlimited number of virtual machines from a single VMware Fusion license. You will need to provide the required operating system software and license for each installation of a virtual machine.

 

Can I run 64-bit virtual machines?

 

Yes, VMware Fusion allows you to create and run 32-bit and 64-bit virtual machines.

 

Can I use virtual machines created by VMware vSphere, VMware Workstation Pro, VMware Workstation Player or VMware vCloud environments, with VMware Fusion?

 

Yes, VMware virtual machines are fully compatible across the product line. Virtual machines created with Workstation, as well as vSphere and other environments that employ the ESXi hypervisor can run on VMware Fusion.

INSTALLATION

System Requirements

 

General Requirements:

 

Hardware
All Macs launched in 2012* or later are supportedas well as:

  • 2010 Mac Pro “Six Core,” “Eight Core” and “Twelve Core.”

*With exception, the following Macs are not supported:

  • 2012 Mac Pro “Quad Core” using the Intel Xeon W3565 Processor

Software

Fusion 12 supports Macs with macOS 11.0 Big Sur and macOS 10.15 Catalina. Fusion 12 does not function on macOS 10.14 and earlier.

 

Metal Host Graphics Rendering Engine

The Metal rendering engine requires an Apple Mac computer which supports Metal. See Apple's documentation regarding Metal supported Macs: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205073

 

Requirements to support DirectX 11 3D Acceleration in a virtual machine:

  • Hardware
    • Mac Pro 2013 and later
    • iMac 27-inch 2014 and later
    • MacBook Pro 13-inch 2015 and later
    • MacBook Pro 15-inch 2015 with dual graphics and later
    • MacBook Air 2015 and later
    • MacBook 2015 and later
    • iMac 21-inch 2015 and later
    • iMac Pro 2017 and later
    • MacMini 2018 and later

Supported Guest Operating Systems

 

What are the supported guest operating systems for VMware Fusion 12?
  

VMware Fusion 12 supports more than 200 operating systems from MS-DOS through Windows 10, various flavors of Linux, and certain versions of Mac OS X / macOS.
 

Here is a list of popular supported guest operating systems:

Windows 

  • Windows 10
  • Windows XP, 98
  • Windows 7 (all versions, including 32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 8, Vista (all versions)
  • Windows Server 2016, 2012, 2008

 

Linux

  • Ubuntu
  • Debian
  • CentOS
  • RHEL
  • Fedora

 

macOS

  1. macOS Big Sur
  2. macOS Catalina
  3. macOS Mojave
  4. macOS Sierra
  5. macOS High Sierra

To see a complete list of supported host and guest operating, click here: 

https://www.vmware.com/go/fusionoperatingsystems[MR1]

 

How do I check which Version or Edition of VMware Fusion I am running?

From the VMware Fusion menu, select About VMware Fusion, and the version and build number will be displayed in the "about" box.

LICENSING AND UPGRADES

Technology Guarantee Program

Do I qualify for a free upgrade?

 

Customers who purchased VMware Fusion or Fusion 12 Pro beginning June 15th, 2020 are covered by the Technology Guarantee Program for VMware Fusion, and are eligible for a complimentary electronic upgrade to VMware Fusion 12 Player or Pro depending on the upgrading license, when they become generally available:

 

  • If you purchased VMware Fusion 11 Pro from the VMware online store or an authorized VMware partner on or after June 15th, 2020, you will automatically receive your new VMware Fusion 12 Pro license key(s) via email after the General Availability of Fusion 12 Pro. Please allow up to 48 hours after General Availability of Fusion 12 Pro to get your new license key(s). No further action is required to receive your upgrade.
  • If you purchased VMware Fusion 11 from the VMware online store on or after June 15th, 2020, you will automatically receive your new VMware Fusion 12 Player license key(s) via email after the General Availability of Fusion 12 Player. Please allow up to 48 hours after General Availability of Fusion 12 Player to get your new license key(s). No further action is required to receive your upgrade

 

What if I purchased VMware Fusion 11 without a Support and Subscription (SnS) contract before June 15th, 2020?

 

Customers who purchased VMware Fusion 11 Pro before June 15th, 2020 without an SnS contract are not eligible for a complimentary upgrade to VMware Fusion 12 Pro and would need to purchase an upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro to fully enjoy the benefits of the latest version of the product.

 

Upgrades

 

Who is eligible to upgrade to VMware Fusion 12 Player and Fusion 12 Pro?

 

Please consult the table below to check your eligibility to purchase an upgrade on the VMware Online Store.

Currently Licensed Product
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro
Eligible for Free upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Player (Commercial License)
Currently Licensed Product Fusion 8.x
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro
Eligible for Free upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Player (Commercial License)
Currently Licensed Product Fusion 8.x Pro
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro
Eligible for Free upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Player (Commercial License)
Currently Licensed Product Fusion 10.x
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro
Eligible for Free upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Player (Commercial License)
Currently Licensed Product Fusion 10.x Pro
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro
Eligible for Free upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro (with an active SnS contract)
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Player (Commercial License)
Currently Licensed Product Fusion 11.x
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro
Eligible for Free upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Player (Commercial License)
Currently Licensed Product Fusion 11.x Pro
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro
Eligible for Free upgrade to Fusion 12 Pro (with an active SnS contract)
Eligible for Paid upgrade to Fusion 12 Player (Commercial License)

How do I purchase VMware Fusion 12 upgrades?

 

VMware Fusion 12 upgrades are available for purchase on the VMware online store or through VMware resellers.

 

I have an active SnS contract for VMware Fusion Pro. When can I expect to receive the new version?

 

 Customers with an active Support and Subscription (SnS) contract with an end date on or after General Availability are eligible for a free upgrade. You can download VMware Fusion 12 software from the Fusion Download page.

 

What if I have an older version of VMware Fusion, am I eligible to buy an upgrade?

 

Customers with older VMware Fusion versions (1.x through 8.x) will need to purchase a new license.

 

I have an academic copy of VMware Fusion 10.x or VMware Fusion 11.x. Can I get a discounted upgrade to VMware Fusion 12 Pro?

 

Yes, you may purchase an academic upgrade from the VMware Academic Store. To qualify for this discount, you must currently own an academic Fusion license and be a student, parent, faculty or staff member at a qualifying academic institution.

 

Do I get free updates (not upgrades) when I purchase VMware Fusion Player or VMware Fusion Pro?

 

Yes. The price of VMware Fusion Player and Fusion Pro includes an update service that entitles you to product updates and patches, which are new releases of Fusion within a given product version (e.g. x.1, x.1.1, and so forth). VMware Fusion will automatically download updates or you may download updates by visiting the Fusion Download Page

NOTE: The price of VMware Fusion Player or Fusion Pro entitles a customer to free updates, but not free upgrades. Upgrade (‘Major’) releases contain functional enhancements or significant extensions and must be purchased separately unless you have an active support and subscription (SnS) contract.

Licensing and Registration

 How are the VMware Fusion products licensed?

 

 VMware Fusion Player and Fusion Pro are perpetually licensed, with options for Support and Subscription add-ons to provide additional security for upgrades and troubleshooting.

 

What is the difference between Pro and Player licensing?

 

VMware Fusion Pro offers paid licenses for individual and commercial uses, and are available for purchase from our online store or from our authorized
resellers and partners

VMware Fusion Player is dual-licensed, with options for Personal and Commercial Use. Fusion Player Personal Use licenses are free and can be obtained by registering at vmware.com.

VMware Fusion Player Commercial Licenses are available for purchase from our online store or from our authorized resellers and partners.

 

How do I license my copy of VMware Fusion?

 

To license VMware Fusion, simply enter a purchased license key during product installation in the license key field. Alternatively, you can enter your serial / license key from the "VMware Fusion" drop down menu in the product. Choose "License" in the drop down menu, enter the serial / license key and choose "OK".
Complimentary email support is activated as soon as your paid VMware Fusion license key is registered.
 

 

 How do I get a free Personal Use License for VMware Fusion Player?

 

Fusion Player Personal Use licenses are free and can be obtained by registering at vmware.com.

 

Do I need a Personal Use or a Commercial Use license to use Fusion 12 Player?

 

If you are using Fusion 12 Player on an unmanaged Mac that you personally own, provided you are not performing functions that drive commercial activity, you may use a Personal Use license.

Personal Use Examples:

Students learning about virtual machines, computers, etc. (not academic institutions)

Home Users playing Windows games on Mac

Building / testing Open Source applications

Running VMs and Containers to deliver home-based services (i.e. home media server, firewall, etc.)

 

Commercial Use examples:

Working from Home

Building / testing commercial applications

Running a corporate desktop virtual machine

Delivering paid-for services from virtual machines, containers or Kubernetes clusters running on Fusion

 

How do I register my copy of VMware Fusion with VMware?

 

 If you purchased the product from the VMware Online store, your license key is automatically registered. If you purchased VMware Fusion from a reseller, you need to manually register your license key in My VMware. Please consult this KB article for detailed instructions on license key registration.
 

 

Where can I find my serial/license key in VMware Fusion?

 

If you purchased VMware Fusion directly from VMware, you can find your serial / license key by looking it up in the My VMware portal.

Log into the My VMware portal using your VMware.com account credentials

Select the Manage License Keys option from the top menu.

If you have already entered your serial / license key upon software installation, you can see your key from the VMware Fusion drop down menu in the product. Choose License in the drop-down menu. The serial / license key will be displayed in the software licensing dialogue.

 

What does a VMware Fusion serial/license key look like?

 

The VMware Fusion Activation Code is a 25-character alpha-numeric code.

Example: AALYG-20HVE-WHQ13-67MUP-XVMF3

 

Can I use a single license on more than one Mac?

 

VMware Fusion for personal use: 

You may install and use VMware Fusion Player for personal, non-commercial use on any Apple-branded products running macOS ("Mac Computer") that you own or control.

You may install and use your VMware Fusion Pro license for personal, non-commercial use on up to 3 devices that you own or control.

 

VMware Fusion Pro or Player for commercial use:

If you are a commercial enterprise or educational institution, you may install and use the Software on a number of Apple-branded products running macOS ("Mac Computer") that you own or control equal to the number of licenses purchased. Installing and using the Software on multiple Mac Computers with a single license is prohibited even if the computers are not running the Software concurrently.

 

You can review the End User License Agreement(s) from this

page: www.vmware.com/download/eula/.

 

What is the possible cause for an error when I try to register my license with VMware?

 

Problems with registration can be caused by several factors. First, double- check your serial / license key for typographical errors. All characters that look like a "0" are a numeric "zero" and not the letter "O". 

Verify that the code you are trying to register is a VMware Fusion serial number. It should be a 25-character alpha-numeric code (example: AALYG-20HVE-WHQ13-67MUP-XVMF3).

If you continue to have difficulty, please file a licensing support request from the Get Support page.

 

Are students and professors eligible to receive special academic pricing for a full license of Fusion Pro?

 

Yes. Students and professors can purchase VMware Fusion Pro at our standard academic pricing by ordering directly from the VMware Academic Store.

 

DOWNLOADS AND TRIALS

How can I download VMware Fusion Player or VMware Fusion Pro?

 

You can download VMware Fusion software from the Fusion Download page. A single download contains both editions of Fusion, the license key determines which version of Fusion is unlocked.

 

Can I convert my trial license to a permanent license?

 

After the evaluation period has expired, you will be prompted to enter a license key. If you have purchased the product you will have received a new license key. Enter the purchased license key when prompted to unlock the full "unlimited" version of the software. To take advantage of complimentary email support for up 30 days, your license key must be registered. If you purchased the product from the VMware Online store, your license key is automatically registered. If you purchased from a reseller, you may need to manually register your license key in MyVMware. Please consult this KB article for detailed instructions on license key registration.

 

Do I need to download VMware Fusion again if I am converting my trial license to a full license?

 

 No. You simply need to update your license key in VMware Fusion. You can do this from the "VMware Fusion" menu, click on "License" and enter your new license key.

 

Where do I download free "minor" updates?

 

VMware Fusion will prompt you for updates automatically. To manually check for updates, click on the "VMware Fusion" drop-down menu in VMware Fusion and choose "Check for Updates."

 

Can I install VMware Fusion and Parallels on the same Mac?

 

Yes, both can be installed at the same time. Please, check system requirements for both products before installing.

 

How can I obtain an evaluation of VMware Fusion Pro?

 

You can obtain a free trial of VMware Fusion Pro at

https://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/fusion-evaluation.html

SUPPORT

Create a Support Request

 

To create a new support request or check on the status of an existing request please sign on to your account through the MyVMware portal.

 

Support Offerings

 

Along with our comprehensive web-based support resources such as the Knowledge Base and VMware Communities, the following support offerings are available:

 

Complimentary Support

 

Email installation support for VMware Fusion and VMware Fusion Pro is valid for 30 days from product registration. Submit support requests either online or via phone; responses are targeted within one business
day.

 

Learn more about Complimentary Support

 

Per Incident Support

 

Purchase support as you need it for VMware Fusion Player and VMware Fusion Pro. Individual incident support is conveniently sold in 1, 3 or 5 incident packs. Submit support requests either online or via phone; responses are targeted within one business day.

 

Learn more about Per Incident Support

Basic Support

 

VMware Basic Support can now be purchased for Fusion Pro and Fusion Player, even if you’re only buying 1 product license. Basic Support provides access to our global support centers, 12 hours a day, 5 days a week, including unlimited support requests and subscription services for 1 or 3 year periods.

 

Learn more about Basic Support

 

Production Support

 

VMware Production Support can now be purchased for Fusion Pro and Fusion Player, even if you’re only buying 1 product license. VMware Production Support provides access to our global support centers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for Severity 1 issues, including unlimited support requests and subscription services for 1 or 3 year periods.

 

Learn more about Production Support

What is VMware Fusion?

 

VMware Fusion is a line of Desktop Hypervisor products designed for modern application developers, IT professionals and everyone that wants to run virtual machines, OCI containers and Kubernetes clusters on a Mac. Each Edition, Fusion Pro and Fusion Player, let users run Windows and other operating systems right from macOS, without rebooting. Fusion is simple enough for home users and powerful enough for IT professionals, developers and businesses.

Support FAQs

When does complimentary support start?

 

Complimentary support starts when your paid VMware Fusion Player or Fusion Pro license is registered. Registration takes place automatically if you purchase your product from the VMware Online store. If you purchased from a reseller, you may need to register your license in My VMware. Please consult this KB article for detailed instructions on license key registration.

 

How long does complimentary support last?

 

 Complimentary support for VMware Fusion Player and VMware Fusion Pro is valid for 30 days from product registration.

 

Can I use a support incident for different versions of Fusion, for example version 11?

 

Yes, you can purchase support incidents and open a support request for any product version that is still officially supported by VMware.

 

What is the support period for VMware Fusion?

 

VMware Fusion follows the Desktop Hypervisor lifecycle policy. Please refer to our lifecycle policies for detailed information and end of support dates.

 

What type of technical support help can I get if I am evaluating VMware Fusion?

 

Evaluation users can get help through the VMware Fusion Community. Evaluation users are not eligible for complimentary email support.

 

What type of technical support help can I get with a VMware Fusion Player Personal Use license?

 

Personal Use license users can get help through the VMware Fusion Community. Personal Use licensed users are not eligible for complimentary email support.

 

Are there any free Fusion support resources available from VMware?

 

VMware provides several self-help and community supported resources including:

Fusion Documentation – product documentation and manuals

Knowledge Base – troubleshooting information

Community Forum – users can share their information and experiences with others (registration required)

User Groups (VMUGs) – live, local gatherings of VMware users

Customers are also eligible for complimentary installation support for up to 30 days following product registration.