VMware Player is a free desktop application that lets you run a virtual machine on a Windows or Linux PC. Wondering about VMware download for Mac? We’ll cover that later in this post! Before we look at ways to download and install VMware, we’ll cover some basics about virtualization. Because running a virtual machine without knowing what virtualization is a bummer.



What is VMWare and Virtual Machines

Virtualization is the process of creating a software-based virtual representation of an existing physical system. It can apply to servers, storage, applications and networks. The result of virtualization is a virtual machine – an isolated software container with its own operating system and application. When you have multiple VMs on a single computer, you can run several operating systems and applications. All you need is a virtual machine. And VMware Player lets you do this. Below are few benefits of virtualization-

1. Running multiple operating systems simultaneously. VirtualBox lets you run more than one OS at a time. You can run software written for one operating system on another. For example, Windows software can be run on Linux or a Mac, without having to reboot.

2. Easier software installations. Software vendors use virtual machines to ship entire software configurations. For example, installing a complete mail server solution on a real machine can be a tedious task. With VirtualBox, such a complex setup can be packed into a virtual machine.

3. Infrastructure consolidation. Virtualization can significantly reduce hardware and electricity costs. Often, computers today only use a fraction of their potential power and run with low average system loads. A lot of hardware resources and electricity are wasted in the process. Instead of running many such physical computers that are only partially used, virtualization helps you pack many virtual machines onto a few powerful hosts and balance the loads between them.

How to install VMware Player on Windows, Linux, and Mac

Before installing, you must first download VMware Player. Follow below steps to download VMware Player –

Download VMware Player

  • Head to VMware Download Center.
  • Under Desktop & End-user Computing, head to VMware Workstation Player.
  • According to your host OS, select the installer from the available list.
  • Click Download.

Note you may be prompted to log in to your VMware profile. If you do not have a profile, create one. Visit creating VMware profile for knowing more on creating the profile.

If the download fails, try these –

  • Delete cache in the web browser and disable the pop-up blocker in your web browser.
  • Retry using a different web browser.
  • Firewalls may prevent downloads. Disable any local firewall software.
  • Restart your computer and try the download again

How To install VMware Player on Windows

Installing VMware Player on Windows is through a simple installer. For Linux, you have to type a few commands in the prompt.

  • Log in to your Windows system
  • Head to the folder where VMware Player installer was downloaded. The default location in Windows for downloads is the Downloads folder in the user account. For example:\user\Downloads
  • This step is important. You must run the installer in Admin mode. Right-click on the installer and click Run as Administrator
  • Follow the instructions that appear onscreen to finish the installation
  • Restart your system. VMware Player should be available ready to use after reboot.

To start VMware Player, head to Start > Programs > VMware Player

How To install VMware Player on Linux

VMware Player is available as a .bundle download from the VMware Download Center for Linux. This bundle starts a GUI wizard or a command-line wizard.

Follow these steps to install VMware on Linux:

  • Login to Linux system. Open a terminal. Press Ctrl+Alt+F2 to get a terminal.
  • Change to root. To do this, type su root in the terminal.
  • (Note: The command su is Linux distribution and configuration specific. If this doesn’t work on your Linux OS, search online for the equivalent command for your distribution)
  • Change directory to the directory where VMware Player was downloaded. The default location is Download directory.
  • Run the Player installer file using :

sh VMware-Player-e.x.p-xxxx.architecture.bundle –option

Here e.x.p-xxxx is the version and build numbers, architecture is i386 or x86_64 and option is the command line option.

The command line options available are:

–gtk : Opens the GUI-based VMware installer, which is the default option.

–console : Use the terminal for installation.

–custom : Use this option to customize the locations of the installation directories and set the hard limit for the number of open file descriptors.

–regular : Shows installation questions that have not been answered before or are required. This is the default option.

–ignore-errors or -I: Allows the installation to continue even if there is an error in one of the installer scripts. Because the section that has an error does not complete, the component might not be properly configured.

–required: Shows the license agreement only and then proceeds to install Player.

  • Accept the license agreement. Then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
  • Reboot system.

You can start VMware Player in Linux using only command line. Run the vmplayer command in a terminal window. For example, type /usr/bin/vmplayer & in the terminal to start VMware Player.

How To install VMware Player on Mac

VMware Player is only available for Windows and Linux, not OS X. You need to purchase VMWare Fusion to install Windows 8 on your Mac.

If you are looking for free software, you can try these options –

1. VirtualBox

This is a free program that allows you to install Windows 8 alongside OS X. You can read more on how to install and download VirtualBox.

2. Apple’s Boot Camp

Apple’s own boot camp software will allow you to install Windows in a separate partition. But, every time you wish to switch to different OS, you have to reboot the system.

VMware is one of the best options available out there for installing different OS on your current host OS. Give this a try and share your experiences in the comments section! A widely used alternative to VMware is VirtualBox. You can read our separate article on VirtualBox vs VMware to understand the differences.


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