VMware Player - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

VMware Player

CNET Editors' review

A virtual machine can be a very handy tool to have, as it lets users run multiple operating systems on one computer. Do you have to run Windows for work but prefer Linux for pleasure? Not a problem! A virtual machine can give you the best of both worlds, and VMware Player is one very easy way to set it up.

The program is plain and intuitive, with a wizard design that walks you through each step of the virtual machine creation process. The opening menu lets you select whether you want to create a new virtual machine, open an existing virtual machine, upgrade to VMware Workstation, or view the program's HTML Help file. We chose to create a new virtual machine, and the program asked us to choose whether we were using an installation disk, using a disk image, or installing the operating system later. You can select whether you're installing Windows, Linux, Novell NetWare, Sun Solaris, or another operating system, and choose the correct version from a drop-down menu. You are then asked to choose a name and location for the virtual machine and to set its maximum size. Click Finish and the program goes to work creating your virtual machine. VMware Player is very easy to use, even for novices, and the HTML Help file is well-written and thorough. The program may not be as full-featured as some other virtual machine applications, but it should meet the needs of most users, especially those who don't want to have to purchase software.

VMware Player installs and uninstalls without issues. We recommend this program.

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All User Reviews

Results 1-10 of 18

  • 5.0 stars

    "Got Problems With Older Software"

    March 13, 2013  |   By Rob_Calif

    Version: VMware Player 4.0.4

    Pros

    Ease of setup, setting up of and installing a new virtual PC partition from your old operating system (Windows XP Pro for me) into Window 8 was truly unbelievably easy.

    Cons

    None found

    Summary

    If you are having problems after updating (from older versions of windows) and your perfectly good software does not work in windows 7 or 8. I suggest you give it a try. check out my video:

    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/svvTLa-Syso?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Updated on Mar 13, 2013

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/svvTLa-Syso
    sorry, last link bad

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  • 5.0 stars

    "A techie`s dream!"

    November 1, 2012  |   By Jexthoth

    Version: VMware Player 4.0.4

    Pros

    Great program

    Cons

    None that I know of

    Summary

    Use when working on a way to fix issues.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "The Pro Choice"

    June 6, 2012  |   By TheScog

    Version: VMware Player 4.0.3

    Pros

    Very easy to set up and use. Better than dual boot for multi platforming.

    Cons

    Can't think of anything. It is very close to perfect.

    Summary

    I chose to use the VMware player for my laptop as we already use VMware to virtualize all our servers at work. The software has never let me down and it just makes it so easy to install and reconfigure different machines. I can run multiple platforms and test things in a safe sandbox environment and under a wide variety of configurations without having to worry about having to rebuild my laptop every time something goes wrong.

    Updated on Jun 6, 2012

    I can even take copies of virtual machines created at work to run on my computers in order to test new configurations without killing the live servers.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Not released fully yet (2 Feb 2012)"

    February 3, 2012  |   By nospamboz

    Version: VMware Player 4.0.2

    Pros

    Good XP Mode
    Very Quick (with tools)

    Cons

    No Tools available (2 Feb 2012)
    Very bad support

    Summary

    The VMware Player 4.0.2 release is incomplete at this writing (2 Feb 2012). The Tools are not available on the VMware Software Update Server. This makes it impossible to create new proper virtual machines and update existing ones. Theough this issue has been discussed on the VMware Community Discussion forum for VMware Player since the release, and attempts have been made to inform VMware through tech support and other means, VMware has not yet corrected this glaring omission. In fact, VMware tech support actively ignores the issue if you try to tell them. If this negative experience continues much longer, many people will be turned off VMware Player onto other free alternatives such as VirtualBox.

    Updated on Feb 28, 2012

    As of 27 Feb 2012 the Tools are available through the application GUI, so I'll update my VMware Player 4.0.2 rating to four stars, certainly the best option for the price (free). (I tried to click on four stars, but it said I "broke the internet" by clicking on a "borked" link.)

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  • 4.0 stars

    "The Best Hands Down!"

    September 3, 2011  |   By popeye1128

    Version: VMware Player 3.1.4

    Pros

    It is very easy to setup. It has 3D video acceleration and you can go full screen very easily. With my Win7 64 host I am able to move the cursor from host to quest quite fluidly, I don't have to use the keystrokes to switch, it just does it.

    Cons

    All VM's have some kind of flaw. This one uses a lot of horsepower if trying to run 3D games but if you have at least a 2.1ghz dual processor you should be OK.

    Summary

    I can now run XP on my Win7 64 bit laptop. Not a fan of dual boot personally, this works for me.
    Better than Windows VPC and VirtualBox in my opinion, I tried them too.

    Updated on Sep 3, 2011

    After considering this one against the competition, I should have given it five stars. My bad.
    Oh, it's also free for personal use. Be sure to download the tools, it updates the video and other things.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Best virtual machine maker."

    July 22, 2011  |   By Tietken

    Version: VMware Player 3.1.4

    Pros

    Supports 3D games.
    Easy to set up.

    Cons

    Wont install 32bit drivers in my virtual 32bit xp machine (I have win7 64bit).

    Summary

    Its better than virtualbox and windows virtual pc.
    I wanted something like this for my old games which only can run in xp.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Jaw-dropping"

    July 15, 2011  |   By weebles

    Version: VMware Player 3.1.4

    Pros

    Extraordinary ease of use.

    Cons

    None so far

    Summary

    I had specialized scanner software and a legacy digital voice recorder that would not run on my new computer under Windows 7 64 bit (came with the computer). Installed VMware Player, then Windows XP Home 32 bit. I expected a sophisticated operation like this would be difficult, but it was drop-dead simple. The toughest part was doing all the updates to Windows. The scanner and DVR software work perfectly.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Life Saver!!"

    June 29, 2011  |   By godivarides

    Version: VMware Player 3.1.4

    Pros

    Easy install, easy run, works like a charm - GREAT customer service ESPECIALLY for a FREE product!!!!

    Cons

    Laptops have a different keyboard than desk tops and I entered an incorrect email address ... no place to EDIT it ... called the company and they were GREAT!!

    Summary

    System crashed, 1 hd had all info, 2nd registers zero, all software worked on XP, but Win7 is the new kid. I couldn't run programs that MY files or 15 years of work was located in. After being told to move on, I persisted in searching .... obviously MANY others felt the same. Finally found HowToGeek and they listed, the very precise, step by step process to set up the VMware player ... absolutely beautiful, everything works well including setting up a shared folder system for both systems. Life Saver! Thanks VMware for a great FREE product that works as it says and your excellent customer service!

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Excellent software that can be indispensable!"

    January 5, 2011  |   By brucehathotmail

    Version: VMware Player 3.1.2

    Pros

    Used it on Windows 7 to install Windows XP, and Ubuntu. Needed XP to continue to use HP Precision Scanjet Scanner for which there are no drivers that run Windows 7.
    This was very easy to install & use, and works perfectly.

    Cons

    Ubuntu installed very easily, and almost perfectly, but failed to file share with the host platform. This problem has been observed by others, but at present I don't know the solution, and need to research it further.

    Summary

    If VMplayer (version 3.1.3) hadn't existed, I would have probably been forced to throw away my HP scanner, which still functions very well, but cannot run directly on Windows 7.

    VMplayer is extremely well documented, and has an excellent user interface.

    I also like the ability to install another operating system like Ubuntu, knowing that it cannot possibly interfere with the host Windows 7. The player is useful in other ways too. For example, I can test my Windows 7 backup disc by trying to install it within the VMware environment.

    The proper use of the guest operating system depends on the ability to share files with the host environment. Hence, I am surprised about the failure of my Ubuntu installation to share files, even though this problem had already been observed by others.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "WARNING- DONT WHAT EVER YOU DOWNLOAD THIS PRODUCT-"

    November 25, 2010  |   By andreaborman

    Version: VMware Player 3.1.2

    Pros

    None-it nearly destroyed my computer as after I downloaded it my keyboard no longer worked.

    Cons

    After downloading VM ware player my keyboard no longer worked and neither did the touch pad.

    Summary

    After I downloaded VM ware player,which did not install anyway,my computer keyboard and touch pad no longer worked. So I had to perform a system restore-recovery.To set my computer a Netbook back to an earlier time before I downloaded VM ware player. It was lucky my plug in mouse still worked,as the keyboard did not nor did my touch pad after downloading this product. With the plug in mouse I was able to get to system restore to do a recovery and thank god,this saved my computer. As it put it back to 2 days ago before I downloaded VM ware player and now my keyboard and everything else on my laptop is back to normal. But I had to reinstall Google Chrome Canary again as VM player destroyed the browser,which I had use to download VM player with. But if it had not been for system restore I would not have a computer now,as I would not have been able to use it without the keypad.So my warning is don't download this product what ever you do. Unless you want to wreck your computer.VM ware player is a dangerous download.

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Results 1-10 of 18

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