VMware Workstation is a hosted hypervisor that runs on x64 versions of Windows and Linux operating systems (an x86 version of earlier releases was available); it enables users to set up virtual machines (VMs) on a single physical machine, and use them simultaneously along with the actual machine. Each virtual machine can execute its own operating system, including versions of Microsoft Windows, Linux, BSD, and MS-DOS. VMware Workstation is developed and sold by VMware, Inc., a division of Dell Technologies. There is a free-of-charge version, VMware Workstation Player, for non-commercial use. An operating systems license is needed to use proprietary ones such as Windows. Ready-made Linux VMs set up for different purposes are available from several sources.
VMware Workstation supports bridging existing host network adapters and sharing physical disk drives and USB devices with a virtual machine. It can simulate disk drives; an ISO image file can be mounted as a virtual optical disc drive, and virtual hard disk drives are implemented as .vmdk files.
VMware Workstation Pro can save the state of a virtual machine (a “snapshot”) at any instant. These snapshots can later be restored, effectively returning the virtual machine to the saved state, as it was and free from any post-snapshot damage to the VM.
VMware Workstation includes the ability to group multiple virtual machines in an inventory folder. The machines in such a folder can then be powered on and powered off as a single object, useful for testing complex client-server environments.