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Introduction - Guest os

VMware provides the widest virtualization support for guest operating systems in the industry to enable your environments and maximize your investments.
The VMware Compatibility Guide shows the certification status of operating system releases for use as a Guest OS by the following VMware products:
  • VMware ESXi/ESX Server 3.0 and later
  • VMware Workstation 6.0 and later
  • VMware Fusion 2.0 and later
  • VMware ACE 2.0 and later
  • VMware Server 2.0 and later
For the above products, VMware provides support only for the guest operating system releases that are listed as certified in this guide. In addition, VMware ESX and ESXi versions support the exact same guest operating systems even though you will find search results only for VMware ESX prior to the 5.0 release.
For other VMware product and solutions not listed here, refer to individual product documentation found at the VMware Documentation Web site at

VMware Certification and Support Levels

VMware product support for operating system releases can vary depending upon the specific VMware product release or update and can also be subject to:
  • Installation of specific patches to VMware products
  • Installation of specific operating system patches
  • Adherence to guidance and recommendations that are documented in knowledge base articles
VMware attempts to provide timely support for new operating system update releases and where possible, certification of new update releases will be added to existing VMware product releases in the VMware Compatibility Guide based upon the results of compatibility testing.
The description of the various support levels is available in the following knowledge base article -
Certification by Operating System Vendors
The following operating system vendors provide certifications for VMware virtual hardware:

Support for 64-Bit Guest Operating Systems

To install and run 64-bit guest operating systems you need to fulfill the following requirements.
Requirements for all VMware products:
To install and run a 64-bit guest operating system, you must have a supported 64-bit CPU in the host computer and you must be running a VMware product that supports 64-bit guests. For details, see the documentation for your VMware product. For more information about hardware and firmware requirements for 64-bit guest operating systems, refer to knowledge base article 1003945 at
Additional requirements for products with a Type-2 or Hosted Hypervisor:
You can run 64-bit guests on supported 64-bit hardware (Intel or AMD) running either 32-bit or 64-bit host operating systems.
For 64-bit Intel hardware with VT support, running either 32-bit or 64-bit host operating systems, you must enable VT in the host machine BIOS.
Installation of Guest Operating System
Instruction for installation of various types of Guest Operating Systems releases is provided on-line at

VMware Tools

VMware Tools is a suite of device drivers and utilities that enhances the performance of the guest operating system and improves management of the virtual machine. Although a guest operating system can run without VMware Tools, you lose important functionality and convenience. VMware Tools is provided in these formats:
For a complete description and instructions for installing and upgrading VMware Tools, see one of the following manuals on the VMware Documentation Web site:
  • VMware Workstation - Workstation User's Manual
  • VMware ESX - Basic System Administration Guide
  • VMware Server - VMware Server User's Guide
  • VMware Player - in-product online help
  • Fusion - in-product online help
ESX and ESXi are equivalent products from a Guest OS compatibility perspective. In this guide we only explicitly list ESX compatibility information for versions prior to 5.0. If a Guest OS is supported for ESX, the Guest OS is also supported for the corresponding ESXi version.