Run a Second, Isolated Operating System on a Single PC with VMware Workstation Player

VMware Workstation Player allows you to run a second, isolated operating system on a single PC. With many uses ranging from a personal educational tool, to a business tool for providing a simplified experience to run a corporate desktop on a BYO device, Workstation Player leverages the VMware vSphere Hypervisor to provide a simple yet mature and stable, local virtualization solution.

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Simple but Powerful Virtualization

With nearly 20 years of active development, VMware Workstation Player builds from the same platform as VMware Workstation Pro and VMware vSphere, making it one of the most mature and stable solutions for local desktop virtualization. Safely and easily run a second operating system as a virtual machine (VM) on a single PC without affecting your main desktop environment and without rebooting.

The Perfect Tool for Learning

The isolation and sandbox capabilities of VMware Workstation Player make it the perfect tool to help you learn about operating systems, applications and how they work. Being able to run a server environment on a desktop PC also allows you to explore software and application development in a “real world” environment without interfering with the host desktop.

Your Path to ‘Work from Anywhere’

With VMware Workstation Player, you can isolate corporate desktops from end-user owned devices by disabling copy-and-paste, drag-and-drop, shared folders and access to USB devices. Run restricted VMs that are encrypted and password-protected to ensure only authorized users can interact with corporate data.

A Secure and Isolated Environment

Run a secure second desktop with different privacy settings, tools and networking configurations to keep your host system safe and secure while browsing online.


Workstation Player is perfect for students, faculty, businesses and corporate users who need a small sandbox environment for testing or control. A simple user interface provides a streamlined approach and enables more focused use cases. 


Workstation Player for Education

Today’s technology landscape is evolving at an incredible pace, and virtualization tools from VMware not only lead the pack but allow you to test this technology in a virtual sandbox on your existing PC. Students get a simple environment for exploring new operating systems, and faculty can distribute repeatable lab environments for classroom activity without the need for an internal cloud.


Workstation Player for Business

VMware Workstation Player allows businesses to embrace ‘Work from Anywhere’ by providing a corporate desktop image that can run managed or unmanaged on an end user’s laptop or desktop PC. Users get easy access to corporate desktops and apps, while IT admins get the ability to centrally manage and enforce security policies when used with VMware Workspace ONE.


System Requirements

VMware Workstation runs on standard x86-based hardware with 64-bit Intel and AMD processors, and on 64-bit Windows or Linux host operating systems. For more detail, see our System Requirements documentation.

System Requirements        

  • A compatible 64-bit x86/AMD64 CPU launched in 2011 or later *
  • 1.3GHz or faster core speed
  • 2GB RAM minimum/ 4GB RAM or more recommended

General Host OS Requirements·         

VMware Workstation Pro and Player run on most 64-bit Windows or Linux host operating systems:

  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows 8
  • Ubuntu
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • CentOS
  • Oracle Linux
  • openSUSE
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

        Note that Windows 7 hosts are no longer supported, Workstation 16 will not function on them.

Workstation Pro installation:        

  • 1.2 GB of available disk space for the application.       
  • Additional hard disk space required for each virtual machine
  • Please refer to vendor's recommended disk space for specific guest operating systems

Supported Guest Operating Systems

VMware Workstation 16 supports hundreds of 32-bit and 64-bit guest operating systems. 

Here is a list of the most popular:     

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7
  • Windows XP
  • Ubuntu
  • RedHat
  • SUSE
  • Oracle Linux
  • Debian
  • Fedora
  • openSUSE
  • Mint
  • Solaris, FreeBSD, and various other Linux Distros 

 See the VMware Compatibility Guide for a complete list of supported host and guest operating systems.

For Hyper-V Enabled Hosts:

CPU Requirements:

  • Intel Sandy Bridge or a newer CPU 
  • AMD Bulldozer or a newer CPU

Host Operating Systems:

  • Windows 10 2004

Minimum Requirements to Run Container Runtime on workstation Windows Host Operating Systems:

  • Windows 10 1809 or higher

Minimum Requirements to Dark Theme support on Workstation Windows Host Operating Systems:

  •  Windows 10 1809 or higher

For 3D Hardware Accelerated Graphics Support:

Hardware Requirements:

  • For Windows hosts, a GPU that supports DirectX 11 is required. 
  • For Linux hosts, the latest NVIDIA proprietary drivers are required. 
  • For Linux hosts, AMD devices are not supported

Software Requirements:

64-bit Host Operating System:        

  • Windows 8 or higher        
  • GNU/Linux with NVIDIA drivers that support OpenGL 4.5 and above   

Guest Operating System

  • Windows 7 or higher
  • GNU/Linux with vmwgfx 

*With exception, the following CPUs are not supported: 

  • Intel Atom processors based on the 2011 “Bonnell” micro-architecture (e.g. Atom Z670/Z650; Atom N570)
  • Systems using Intel Atom processors based on the 2012 “Saltwell” micro-architecture (e.g. Atom S1200, Atom D2700/D2500, Atom N2800/N2600.
  • Systems using AMD processors based on the “Llano” and “Bobcat” micro-architectures (e.g. code-named “Hondo”, “Ontario”, “Zacate”, “Llano”)

In addition, the following CPUs are supported:

  • Intel processors based on the 2010 “Westmere” micro-architecture (e.g. Xeon 5600, Xeon 3600, Core i7-970, Core i7-980, Core i7-990)

For a complete list of supported host and guest the operating systems visit the VMware Compatibility Guide.


Workstation Player or Workstation Pro - Choose the Right Version for You


Workstation Player

Workstation Pro

Create New VMs



Create Large VMs (32CPU, 128GB RAM)



Convert PC into a virtual machine



Mass Deployment



Host Guest Integration

Workstation Player

Workstation Pro

Host/Guest File Sharing



Shared/Mirrored Folders



One-Click SSH to Linux VM



Run VMs with Different View Modes



Unity View Mode (Windows guests only)




Workstation Player

Workstation Pro

3D graphics with DX11 and OpenGL 4.1 support



Large Graphics Memory: 8GB



Device Support

Workstation Player

Workstation Pro

4K / 5K / Retina Display Support



Support a Wide Range of Virtual Devices



USB Smart Card Reader Support



USB 3.1 Device Support



Assistive Device Support (Section 508 Compliant)



Multi-Language Keyboard Support



Virtual Trusted Platform Module Device



Virtual NVMe Device



Security Features

Workstation Player

Workstation Pro

Microsoft Virtualization Based Security (Guest) Support



Virtual Trusted Platform Module (vTPM)



UEFI Boot Support



UEFI Secure Boot Support



GPU Sandbox Renderer






Create/Manage Encrypted VM



Host Operating Systems

Workstation Player

Workstation Pro

Windows 10 Host



Linux - Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, RHEL, SUSE, openSUSE 



macOS 10.16 and greater



Guest Operating Systems

Workstation Player

Workstation Pro

Over 200 Supported OSs (Linux, older Windows, BSD)



Windows 10 Guests



macOS Guests



Mac Host Specific Featutres

Workstation Player

Workstation Pro

macOS 10.16 Host support



macOS Guest Support



Windows apps in the Mac Dock


One-Click SSH to Linux VM



Metal Graphics Engine



BootCamp Import / Launch



Application Menu



Windows Host Specific Features

Workstation Player

Workstation Pro

Windows 10 Host



DX12 Renderering Engine



Hyper-V Mode Support (Device Guard, WSL)



Linux Host Specific Features

Workstation Player

Workstation Pro

Vulkan Rendering Engine



Host Support - Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, RHEL, SUSE, openSUSE 



Advanced Features

Workstation Player

Workstation Pro

Command Line Operation: vmrun and VIX



vCenter Server Appliance Easy Deploy






"Nautilus Container Engine"



Virtual Network Customization (NAT, network rename)



Virtual Network Simulation (Packet Loss, Latency, Bandwidth)



Connect to vSphere/ESXi Server



Remote vSphere Host Power Control



Create Linked Clones



Create Full Clones



Encrypt VMs







Workstation Player

Workstation Pro

Free for Personal Use



Commercial License



Trial License





See All 

What is VMware Workstation Player?

VMware Workstation Player (formerly known as Player Pro) is a desktop hypervisor application that delivers local virtualization features and is available for free for personal use. A Commercial License can be applied to enable Workstation Player to run Restricted Virtual Machines created by VMware Workstation Pro and Fusion Pro.

Can I still use VMware Workstation Player for free?

VMware Workstation Player is free for personal, non-commercial use (business and nonprofit use is considered commercial use). If you would like to learn about virtual machines or use them at home, you are welcome to use VMware Workstation Player for free. Students and faculty of accredited educational institutions can use VMware Workstation Player for free if they are members of the VMware Academic Program.


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Can VMware Workstation Player be installed on the same machine with other VMware products?

No. VMware Workstation Player is not designed to co-install with other VMware products. If an installation of VMware Workstation Pro or VMware Server is detected on a machine where Workstation Player is being installed, the Workstation Player installation will display an error message and abort. However, if you purchase and install Workstation Pro, a version of Workstation Player that will work is included with your purchase.

What are the minimum PC requirements to install and use VMware Workstation Player?

For a typical host system, we recommend that you have a 1 GHz or faster 64-bit processor (2GHz recommended) and 2GB RAM minimum (4GB RAM recommended). You must have enough memory to run the 64-bit host operating system, plus the memory required for each guest operating system and for applications on the host and guest. See your guest operating system and application documentation for their memory requirements. VMware Player requires approximately 150MB of disk space to install the application. For more details on minimum PC requirements, see the VMware Player Documentation.

For more answers to frequently asked questions, check out the full Workstation Player FAQs.


Run the apps that keep you most productive, wherever you want to use them. Discover the full capabilities of Workstation Pro or learn about VMware Fusion for Mac.

Workstation Pro

The easiest way to run multiple operating systems at once on a single PC.

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VMware Fusion

The easiest way to run Windows on a Mac.

Learn More About Fusion