What is VMware Workstation, and What Does It Do?

In this article, we will examine exactly what does the VMware Workstation virtualization software do, and its history and usage.

What is VMware Workstation, and What Does It Do?

What is the Use of VMware Workstation Pro Software?

Workstation/Player is a virtualization software that allows you to install and run multiple operating systems on 32-bit / 64-bit computers.

With VMware software, you can install and run Windows, Linux and even macOS operating system on your physical computer.

Let’s give a good example of what VMware does; you have a Windows 10 operating system that you are using and you want to install a Linux based Ubuntu, you can install a Linux operating system with DUAL-BOOT. However, you will have to restart your computer to switch between operating systems.

Therefore, you can use the Linux / Ubuntu operating system on a virtual machine by installing the VMware software on your computer. As a result, you can do your work on the virtual machine without putting an extra load on your computer.

History

It was founded in 1998, and then developed multiple solutions in the field of virtualization technologies. Workstation software, a great virtualization program, was produced in 2001 and announced to the market.

And nowadays, VMware’s virtualization program is used by many home users and businesses. It can be installed on a home computer or a server. For server solutions, there is VMware vSphere ESXi Hypervisor.

System Requirements

   Processor

Processors with 64 Bit support developed in 2011 and later are required. The minimum CPU speed should be 1.3.

Your computer must support the processor virtualization feature. We recommend that you check the processor specifications when purchasing a new computer.

You can check whether the processor model supports virtualization on the manufacturer’s website. If you want to check whether your computer has the virtualization feature, you can check out this article.

Unsupported processors are:

  • Intel Atom processors with 2011 Bonnell micro-architecture: (Atom Z670 / Z650 and Atom N570).
  • Intel Atom processors with 2012 Saltwell micro-architecture: (Atom S1200, Atom D2700 / D2500, and Atom N2800 / N2600).
  • AMD processors with Llano and Bobcat micro-architectures: (codenamed Hondo, Ontario, Zacate, and Llano)

   RAM

The minimum RAM requirement is 2 GB or 4 GB. However, 8GB or 16GB higher capacity is recommended. For example, a virtual machine needs at least 3GB of RAM for Windows 7 Aero graphics support.

   Display Card

You must have a 16 Bit or 32 Bit video card on your computer. However, it is recommended that you constantly update your video card drivers as this will give you a performance boost if you do.

   Storage

A minimum of 1.2 GB of free disk space is required for installation as hard disk storage space. In addition, additional disk space is required for each virtual machine to be installed on the host.

It supports IDE, SATA, SCSI, SSD, and NVMe disks as hard disk types. As an optical drive, it supports CD-ROM and DVD-ROM devices and can use ISO or Floppy images.

Since you support SSD disks, it provides a serious performance increase in virtual machine setup and use.

   Operating System

VMware Player and Pro software run smoothly on 64 Bit Windows or Linux computers. Workstation 16 version basically runs on Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows Server 2019/2016/2012, Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Oracle Linux, openSUSE, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Windows 7 is no longer supported as a host operating system support.

Operating System Support

Some of the operating systems you can install on your computer with the VMware virtualization program are as follows;

MicrosoftLinuxmacOS
Windows 10UbuntumacOS Tiger
Windows 8.1DebianmacOS Snow Leopard
Windows 8openSUSEmacOS Lion
Windows 7Linux MintmacOS Mountain Lion
Windows XPFedoramacOS Mavericks
Windows VistacentOSmacOS Yosemite
Windows ME (Millennium)Kali LinuxmacOS El Capitan
Windows 2000Arch LinuxmacOS Sierra
Windows 98PardusmacOS High Sierra
Windows 95RedhatmacOS Mojave

With VMware you will need an extra program to install a macOS operating system. You can run macOS on the virtual machine using the program called VMware Unlocker.

Operating System Compatibility

Windows OSVMware Version
Windows Server 201915
Windows Server 201612 – 14
Windows Server 2012 R210.0
Windows Server 20129.0
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP18.0
Windows Server 2008 R27.0
Windows Server 20086.0 – 10.0
Windows Server 2003 R26.0 – 10.0
Windows Server 20034.0 – 10.0
Windows 1011.0
Windows 8.110.0
Windows 89.0
Windows 77.1
Windows Vista6.0 – 10.0
Windows XP3.0 – 10.0
Windows 20002.0 – 6.5

The latest version (16) of VMware Pro supports all the above systems. For more detailed system compatibility, including Linux versions, click here to visit the relevant website.

What Does It Do?

The VMware virtualization program acts as a bridge between your physical computer’s hardware devices and the virtual machine you install, and shares the resources of your host computer.

VMware uses Virtualization Technology infrastructure. Using the VMware virtual machine program on your computer, you can perform the following scenarios;

  1. You can convert the operating system on your computer to a virtual machine. And in the virtual machine, the host’s operating system take place.
  2. If you have a program/software that you frequently use, you can test it by installing it to the virtual machine when the new version of the program is published.
  3. You can analyze the situation by opening a suspicious e-mail in your mail account on a virtual machine.
  4. You can download a Linux distribution to your Host and run it on a virtual machine.
  5. You can test a macOS version by installing it on a virtual machine.
  6. You can install and test older versions of Windows operating systems (Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000) on a virtual machine.

How to Use It?

To better understand what VMware is and how to use it, we recommend that you create a new virtual machine and install a clean Windows or Linux installation. You can visit the links below for using VMware;

How to Install It?

   Windows 10

To make a step-by-step installation of VMware on your Windows 10 operating system, click on the image below to see our article.

Installing VMware Workstation in Windows 10

   Ubuntu

If you want to install the VMware program on Linux/Ubuntu, you can also click the image below to browse our related article.

Installing VMware Workstation in Ubuntu

   Apple macOS

VMware developed Fusion virtualization software for Apple Mac computers. Therefore, the Workstation program is not supported for Mac. To install VMware Fusion on your MacOS computer, please click on the image below to browse our related article.

Installing VMware in Mac

   Final Word


In this article, we have talked about what is VMware Workstation used for. You can install many operating systems by installing VMware on your Windows or Linux computer. Thanks for following us!

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