VMware Player, now known as VMware Workstation Player, is a virtualization software application developed by VMware, Inc. It is designed to provide a simplified way for users to create and run virtual machines (VMs) on their Windows or Linux host systems. While VMware Workstation is a more comprehensive virtualization solution with advanced features, VMware Workstation Player is focused on providing basic virtualization capabilities for personal use or non-commercial purposes.
Key features and aspects of VMware Workstation Player include:
- VM Creation and Running: Similar to VMware Workstation, VMware Workstation Player allows users to create and run virtual machines on their host systems. Each virtual machine can run a separate guest operating system.
- Operating System Compatibility: VMware Workstation Player supports a range of guest operating systems, including various versions of Windows, Linux distributions, and other operating systems.
- Easy Installation: VMware Workstation Player provides an easy-to-use interface that guides users through the process of creating, configuring, and running virtual machines.
- Limited Features: While VMware Workstation Player lacks some of the advanced features found in VMware Workstation (such as snapshots, cloning, and advanced networking options), it still offers the core functionality of running virtual machines.
- Sandboxed Environment: Virtual machines created with VMware Workstation Player are isolated from the host system and from each other, providing a secure sandboxed environment for testing, experimentation, and learning.
- Easy Sharing: Users can share their virtual machines with others by packaging them as portable “ovf” (Open Virtualization Format) files. This allows others to run the virtual machine on their own VMware Workstation Player installations.
- Unity Mode: Like VMware Workstation, VMware Workstation Player supports Unity mode, which enables applications from virtual machines to be integrated with the host system’s desktop.
- USB and Peripheral Device Support: VMware Workstation Player allows users to connect USB devices and other peripherals to virtual machines.
- Non-Commercial Use: VMware Workstation Player is intended for personal use or non-commercial purposes. It’s often used by individuals, students, and hobbyists who want to explore different operating systems without setting up separate hardware.
- Free and Paid Versions: VMware Workstation Player is available in both free and paid versions. The free version offers basic virtualization functionality, while the paid version, VMware Workstation Player Pro, includes additional features like advanced networking and commercial support.
VMware Workstation Player is a convenient option for users who need basic virtualization capabilities on their personal computers or for educational purposes. It’s a good choice for those who want to run virtual machines without the need for more advanced features offered by VMware Workstation.