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Announcing VMware Workstation 16 and Fusion 12

Announcing: VMware Workstation 16 and Fusion 12

a list of the 4 VMware products: Fusion and Workstation Pro and Player

It is our pleasure and privilege to announce the upcoming VMware Desktop Hypervisor product lines for 2020: VMware VMware Workstation 16 and VMware Fusion 12

Looking for a more Mac-centric perspective?  Check out the Fusion 12 blog!

Quick Overview

Building on over 20 years of local virtualization excellence, the latest releases of our favorite virtualization tools deliver some amazing new capabilities for IT Admins, for Developers, and for everyone else.

Top of the list is bringing Kubernetes and Containers to Workstation for Windows with the CLI ‘vctl’

Developers with Fusion can already use ‘vctl’ to build, run, push or pull containers, and now we’re bringing vctl to Workstation for Windows.

vctl can now also deploy custom Kubernetes clusters with newly added support for ‘kind’ – a tool for creating developer-defined local clusters using containers as “nodes.”

The aim is to provide developers a reliable setup for establishing a rapid ‘inner loop’ pipeline of development and code iteration to build modern applications, or even when working on the codebase of Kubernetes itself.


Fusion 12 and Workstation 16 will be shipping in VMware’s Fiscal Q3 which ends in October. Don’t want to wait? We’re still collecting feedback from our Fusion and Workstation Tech Previews!


New Pricing for Workstation Pro, Fusion Pro

Workstation Pro has undergone some changes as well. Firstly, the upgrade and new license pricing are now  $99 for existing customers, or $199 for new customers. For individual customers, are also now licensing Workstation for use on up to 3 personal devices. And now, those devices can now also be a Mac by simply applying your Workstation Pro license key in Fusion Pro.

Workstation Player continues to be available as Free for Personal Use, and offers commercial licenses at $149 for new licenses and $79 for upgrades, while also now providing license portability with Fusion Player. These changes should make it easy for organizations to license many workstations without necessarily knowing if their users will choose Macs or PCs beforehand.


Fusion Workstation Pricing Chart

Updated Pricing for 2020

And by popular demand from our customers with larger footprints, new commercial licenses for Workstation Pro and Player will be available for purchase from our Channel Partners with either 1 or 3 years of Support and Subscription, even if the order quantity is only 1. Customers at store.vmware.com can now optionally add SnS in increments of 1 unit as well.

SnS provides major-version upgrades and active support engagement for the duration of the term purchased, at a fraction of the cost of a new license or per-incident support agreement. In alignment with other VMware perpetually licensed products, SnS is required for orders placed through our channel partners, but remains optional for customers purchasing from store.vmware.com.


Technology Guarantee Program

Customers who buy VMware Workstation 15.5 Pro or Workstation 15.5 Player from August 15th until Workstation 16 ships will also be automatically provided a version 16 key in their MyVMware portal.



Workstation product banners

New Features

Okay, it’s time to look a little more closely at some more new features.

Containers and Kubernetes

For developers, we’ve added support for Containers and Kubernetes with a new CLI tool: vctl!

Currently available in Fusion, vctl allows users to push, pull, build and run OCI container images, and now also includes the ability to deploy kind Kubernetes clusters.

In support of kind, vctl creates a ‘docker compatible’ socket for kind to connect to without modification, by using an implementation of containerd. We’re looking forward to working closely with the open source community to help support more tools and workflows as we continue to grow in this space!

Even better news is that it will ship with Workstation Player as well as Workstation Pro, making it accessible to everyone.

DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.1

Workstation 16 will support running games and apps with Direct3D version 11, otherwise known as ‘DirectX 11’, or OpenGL 4.1. Users can now allocate up to 8GB of vRAM to your 3D accelerated guest to maximize gaming and 3D app performance. (vms must be configured for 16GB of RAM or more to unlock the 8GB vRAM option.)

vSphere 7 Compatibility

Workstation has been updated to support connections to vSphere 7 through ESXi and vCenter for remote VM operation and configuration, as well as providing workload mobility and  compatibility between the Desktops and Data Center virtual infrastructure. (Pro products are required for remote-connections)


Dark Mode UI

Upon launching Workstation 16 for Windows, the first thing users might notice is that we’ve added an all new Dark Mode feature to the Workstation Pro and Player UIs. This striking new look feels right at home on the latest versions of Windows 10, including the recently released 2004 build. (We’re holding out on screenshots while we put the final touches on the new UI 😉

Sandboxed Graphics Rendering Engine

Workstation offers a new security enhancement feature: Sandbox Renderer. The SBR runs the virtual graphics engine in a separate thread with reduced privilege, making Fusion and Workstation more secure out-of-the-box without sacrificing performance or quality.

Linux Host: Vulkan Graphics Rendering Engine

With Workstation 16 for Linux, we’ve added a new rendering engine that takes advantage of the Vulkan API. Our new Vulkan renderer can deliver DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.3 to vms even when using an integrated Intel GPU.

Improved Accessibility

We believe in making computing as inclusive as possible for everyone. To that end, we’ve improved our compliance with VPAT Section 508 to help users of all kinds get the full benefits of using virtual machines.

USB 3.1 Support + Performance & Bugfixes

In this release we’ve also added support for USB 3.1 virtual devices, allowing for USB 3.1 hardware devices to be passed into virtual machines with full driver support.


 Can’t wait to ship!

Delivering Fusion and Workstation is the result of a collaboration between many different teams across all of VMware, so we want to give thanks not only to our rockstar engineers, but to all the customers and Tech Preview users who have given us such great feedback in contribution to this incredible release. We look forward to hearing your experiences in our community!


If you want to have an early look at some of these features, we’re still collecting feedback from our Fusion and Workstation Tech Previews!

Black Friday 2020 Sale Is On!


Workstation 16 Pro Black Friday graphic

It’s that time of year again!

The biggest sale of the year this time around offers up to 30% discount on your favorite Desktop Hypervisor products for Windows and Linux: VMware Workstation Pro and VMware Workstation Player!

Upgrades and new licenses have never been cheaper, with discounts on top of the already reduced 2020 pricing!

Upgrade from Workstation 12 Pro or Workstation 14 Pro to Workstation 16 Pro for only $140! (USD)
Or upgrade your copy of Workstation 12 Player or Workstation 14 Player to the latest Workstation 16 Player (commercial license) for only $105! (USD)

Black Friday Sale discounts expire on 11/29/2020 @20:59 (Pacific Time). Valid on select products. Discounts as marked for each country. Screenshot is from the US Store

Why Workstation 16?
So many features!

  • Dark Mode User Interface! Workstation has never looked this good!
  • Latest Windows 10 20H2 Host and Guest Support, as well as popular Linux distributions like Ubuntu 20.10, RHEL,
  • Build and run Containers and Kubernetes clusters out-of-the-box with vctlkind and minikube
  • DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.1 3D Acceleration for incredible graphics
  • Monster VMs with 128GB of RAM and up to 32 vCPUs
  • Performance improvements, bug fixes and more!

Sale ends on Sunday Nov 29, so hurry before it’s too late!

Shop Now!



Workstation 16: Now Available!

workstation 16 action shot

The Desktop Hypervisor team is proud to announce the general availability of VMware Workstation 16 Pro and Player!

Quick links:

VMware Desktop Hypervisor Product Page

Workstation Download Page

Workstation Evaluation Page


player product shot

To recap some of the new features we’ve brought to this release:

  • Containers and Kubernetes support with ‘vctl‘ and kind
  • DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.1 Support
  • Monster VMs – 128GB RAM, 32 vCPU, 8TB Disks, 10 NICs, 8GB Graphics Memory
  • Hyper-V Support: Use Hyper-V, WSL2, Device Guard / Credential Guard and Workstation at the same time
  • New Dark Mode UI
  • Linux Vulcan Rendering Engine
  • Latest OS Support
  • USB 3.1 Device support
  • Sandboxed Graphics Rendering Engine
  • Improved Accessibility features (Section 508)

vctl documentation

Release Notes


Workstation Tech Preview: New Container CLI

Today we’ve released a new Tech Preview with a first look at a big new feature: Containers.

vctl container CLI with Workstation Tech Preview

A reminder that this is pre-release software and should be used for testing purposes only.

Containers are shipping…

Building and running containers has become a mainstay in modern cloud-based application development, but today if users want to build an app with containers and test it with different clients, you’d need multiple tools.

Recently, VMware Fusion introduced ‘vctl’, the command-line interface to our container platform. vctl gives users the control to Build, Run, Pull and Push OCI container images without needing another container runtime installed, while continuing to build and run virtual machines.

With the release of today’s Workstation 20H2 July Tech Preview, we’re beginning to bring the same container workflow of  ‘vctl’ to Workstation for Windows.

[Link to the Tech Preview Getting Started Guide]

vctl allows users to Build, Run, Pull and Push OCI container images using Workstation. By default vctl supports pulling directly from docker hub, but can be configured to pull images from any compatible registry such as Harbor.

vctl default output

This being our first release of this technology on Windows, we’re eager to hear feedback from the community about your experience. We’re working to deliver a container runtime that leverages the benefits of the VMware Workstation hypervisor stack, optimized for containers, to deliver an experience that supports the workflows of today in a familiar and friendly way.

We encourage users to test their container apps by doing a ‘vctl pull’ from docker hub or ‘vctl build’ in a directly with a standard Dockerfile, and fire it up with ‘vctl run’. Let us know how it goes and where we can improve!

[Link to the Tech Preview Getting Started Guide]

Port Forwarding is not required: Each container has its own lightweight vm appliance host based on Photon OS

What else is new?

In addition to support for containers with vctl, we’re also looking for feedback in the following areas:

Vulkan renderer support for Linux Workstation.

Vulkan is seen as the successor to OpenGL and Workstation for Linux is testing a new Vulkan-based rendering engine.

This feature enables Linux hosts with Intel GPUs to provide 3D support with DX10.1 and OpenGL 3.3 to VMs, which was previously not possible without discrete GPUs from AMD or Nvidia.

    • If Workstation detects an Intel GPU is present and in use by X, it will default to the Vulkan renderer. No additional configuration necessary.
    • If AMD or Nvidia GPUs are in use by X it will default to the OpenGL renderer with DX11 and OpenGL 4.1 (currently in testing)

USB 3.1 controller support

USB 3.1 devices are now able to connect to virtual machines

Increased VM Maximums

VM Maximums have been increased to 32 vCPUs, 128 GB virtual memory, 8GB vRAM per virtual machine

    • On systems that support these configurations, virtual machines can now run with up to 32 virtual CPUs and 128GB of virtual memory. (i.e. 16 or more CPU cores and >128GB of RAM)
    • vGPU can be configured with 8GB of shared memory

Join us in the Tech Preview Community and share your experience!


A reminder that this is pre-release software and should be used for testing purposes only. 


VMware Workstation 15.5 Now Supports Host Hyper-V Mode

With the release of VMware Workstation/Player 15.5.5, we are very excited and proud to announce support for Windows hosts with Hyper-V mode enabled! As you may know, this is a joint project from both Microsoft and VMware. You can also check out Microsoft’s blog here.

Direct Download:

It has been a long journey

  • Since the introduction of Hyper-V, including Credential Guard and Device Guard, enabling any of these features prevented VMware Workstation from launching virtual machines. In order to satisfy our customers, VMware and Microsoft started a collaboration with the goal of fixing this problem.
  • At VMworld 2019 San Francisco, VMware and Microsoft together made an announcement that we have jointly developed a project that adopts Microsoft Windows Hypervisor Platform (WHP) APIs.
  • In January 2020, Workstation Tech Preview 20H1 was released, with support for hosts with VBS enabled being the target feature for testing.

How does VMware Workstation work before version 15.5.5? 

VMware Workstation traditionally has used a Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) which operates in privileged mode requiring direct access to the CPU as well as access to the CPU’s built in virtualization support (Intel’s VT-x and AMD’s AMD-V).  When a Windows host enables Virtualization Based Security (“VBS“) features, Windows adds a hypervisor layer based on Hyper-V between the hardware and Windows.  Any attempt to run VMware’s traditional VMM fails because being inside Hyper-V the VMM no longer has access to the hardware’s virtualization support.

Introducing User Level Monitor

To fix this Hyper-V/Host VBS compatibility issue, VMware’s platform team re-architected VMware’s Hypervisor to use Microsoft’s WHP APIs. This means changing our VMM to run at user level instead of in privileged mode, as well modifying it to use the WHP APIs to manage the execution of a guest instead of using the underlying hardware directly.

What does this mean to you?

VMware Workstation/Player can now run when Hyper-V is enabled. You no longer have to choose between running VMware Workstation and Windows features like WSL, Device Guard and Credential Guard. When Hyper-V is enabled, ULM mode will automatically be used so you can run VMware Workstation normally. If you don’t use Hyper-V at all, VMware Workstation is smart enough to detect this and the VMM will be used.

System Requirements

To run Workstation/Player using the Windows Hypervisor APIs, the minimum required Windows 10 version is Windows 10 20H1 build 19041.264. VMware Workstation/Player minimum version is 15.5.5.

A big congratulation to the engineering teams from both Microsoft and VMware. This is a big milestone for both sides. We will still be working together on bugs reported by our customers, improving performance, and adding features to WHP based on customers’ requests.

A big thank you to our customers, to our passionate users! Thank you for being patient! Thank you for your valuable feedback! You are the only reason we have such a big joint project!

Enjoy running VMware Workstation on the latest Windows 10 20H1 with or without Hyper-V!

— The VMware Workstation Team

DirectX 11 Now in Testing with VMware Workstation Tech Preview 20H2

The VMware Workstation and Fusion team is excited to announce the release of our 20H2 Technology Preview featuring the first drop of our DirectX 11 support!

Quick download links:

Workstation Pro for Windows

Workstation Pro for Linux

What‘s New with the Workstation 20H2 Tech Preview

DirectX 11 Support

  • Provides support for DirectX 11 (Direct3D v11) and OpenGL 4.1 graphics capabilities in the guest operating systems! Obviously DX11 is Windows guest only, but OpenGL 4.1 applies to Linux guests as well.
  • Hundreds of new games and applications can now run in Fusion and Workstation!

Increased Hardware Maximums: MONSTER VMS

  • Both Fusion and Workstation Tech Preview 20H2 support up to 32 processors and up to 128GB of RAM per virtual machine, as well as 4GB of shared graphics memory

Sandboxed Graphics Processes

  • We’ve dramatically enhanced virtual machine security by using a special non-root “sandbox” process for rendering 3d hardware assisted graphics. This further isolates the Guest VM operations from the Host, significantly reducing the viability of privilege escalation to the host.

To get started with DX11, VMware Tools needs to be upgraded, and the Virtual Hardware Compatibility version must be set to v18. Existing VMs can be upgraded by adjusting the virtual hardware compatibility while the VM is powered off.  After power-on, you can then upgrade VMware tools as you normally would. With new VMs you may need to manually set the virtual hardware version to v18 before installing, so double check.

Committed to our users, we’ve been working hard on this feature for many years, and so we welcome your feedback!

Let us know your experience! Does your favourite game work? Glitchy? Looks perfect? Help us improve by sharing in our Workstation Tech Preview Community Forum!

Download Now! (Windows)

VMware Workstation 20H1 Tech Preview – New Build Available

Thank you all for testing VMware Workstation 20H1 Tech Preview. So far many thousands of users have joined the testing.

We are happy to announce that updated Tech Preview build is published. With this new build, following issue reported by our users have been fixed — Virtual machine may crash when powered on if VMware Workstation runs on a Hyper-V/Host VBS enabled host with Intel CPU model Skylake or later.

Please retest and let us know whether this fixes the issue if you experienced it before.

We have been fixing bugs, improving performance of the virtual machine performance on VBS enabled host, to drive VMware Workstation with host VBS enabled feature to reach GA quality as soon as we can.

Please stay tuned for further updates!

Thank you!

Direct Download Link

VMware Workstation Team

VMware Workstation Tech Preview 20H1 — Hyper-V/Host VBS Support

VMware Workstation team is proud to announce VMware Workstation Tech Preview 20H1 is now available.

Download it here

What’s New with VMware Workstation Tech Preview 20H1

With the first release of our 2020 Tech Preview branch, version 20H1 users are now able to run virtual machines on Windows 10 when Hyper-V or host Virtualization Based Security is turned on. You can run Device Guard, Credential Guard services at the same time as VMware Workstation.

At VMworld 2019, the team brought Microsoft on stage for a joint demo, showing for the first time that a virtual machine could be successfully powered on a Hyper-V and VBS (Virtualization Based Security enabled Windows 10 host.  After years of hard work, this incredibly challenging and very low-level project has now moved from concept to a preview that you can test today.

Software Requirements

  • Windows 10 20H1 from Windows insider program.  Minimum build number: 19041.

Hardware Requirements

  • Intel Haswell or newer CPU
  • AMD Bulldozer or newer CPU

What to Test

With this tech preview, VMware Workstation is supposed to work exactly the same way as Workstation works on the non-Hyper-V/VBS enabled host. Please test your most frequent used scenarios and see how it works. Some of the examples we can think of:

  • Create a virtual machine with VMware Workstation Pro Tech Preview 20H1
    • Set up all the tools within the virtual machine that you use, use those tools within the virtual machine, and check the tools work as expected
    • VM operations, for example, Power On/Off virtual machine, Suspend/Resume, Take snapshot/Revert to snapshot, …
  • Copy a VM that was created with earlier Workstation GA version and which is being used in daily work, and run the VM under the tech preview build


Comparing with what we demoed at VMworld 2019, Performance of virtual machine have been greatly improved. However, since this is a beta build instead of GA build, the performance may still be not as good as you expect it to be. However, please tell us if you find performance of some applications running within the virtual machine behave far below expectation. General performance of VMware Workstation with host VBS is top priority we target to improve with the GA version to be released soon.

There are some other known issues and limitations. You can check details from user guide under “Documents” of Workstation Pro Tech Preview 20H1 community.

We will answer your questions raised in VMware Workstation Tech Preview 20H1 community and looking forward to your feedback!

Thank you!

Direct Download Link

VMware Workstation Team

Black Friday Sale is on!

he looks happy, doesn't he?

It’s that time of year again!

The time where we offer up our biggest savings on our favorite desktop hypervisor products, VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion!

Workstation 15.0 (Pro or Player) customers can install Workstation 15.5 (Pro or Player) as a free upgrade without needing a new license key, but for users still on Workstation 12 or Workstation 14, now is the best time to upgrade to the latest and most advanced versions available!

Workstation Pro 15.5 introduces support for the latest Windows updates, a number of important security and bug fixes, as well as new features like Multi-Monitor Shortcut and Jumbo Frames!

Get your upgrade before the sale ends!



We’re also offering big discounts on VCP exam vouchers and Education services!



Workstation 15.5 Pro and Player Available Now!

It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce the immediate availability of VMware Workstation 15.5 Pro and Player!


Our major release this year comes as a free upgrade for existing version 15 customers, with upgrade discounts available for v12 and v14 customers.

Release Notes

Workstation Pro:

Direct Windows download ::: Direct Linux download

Workstation Player:

Direct Player for Windows download ::: Direct Player for Linux download

Still on Workstation 14 or 12.5? Upgrade Here!

Whats New

Jumbo Frames

Configure the MTU size of your virtual networks (Pro only) up to 9194 bytes for nested virtual lab environment testing and replication. Run a full NSX deployment on vSphere on your local system (sufficient CPU/RAM/Disk resources required, of course!). 

Better vSphere Compatibility: pvscsi

Workstation 15.5 introduces the pvscsi device, bringing improved desktop-to-datacenter compatibility for many virtual machine and OVA/OVF templates. No need to change virtual devices and settings when migrating workloads between Workstation and vSphere!

New OS support

Workstation is updated to support the latest versions of Microsoft Windows and the major Open Source distributions:

    • Windows 10 19H2
    • Ubuntu 1904 (and 1910 after release)
    • Debian 10.1
    • RHEL 7
    • FreeBSD 12.0
    • Oracle Linux 8
    • SLE 15 SP1

Display control at your fingertips

Users of multi-monitor setups can take advantage of our new display-layout shortcut key.

Use ‘Ctrl-Alt-M’ in full screen mode to bring up the Monitor Layout menu. From there select one of the options with another keystroke (i.e. the 1, 2, 3, 4, number keys)

We’ve also fixed a number of bugs, improved performance (most noticeably around host-guest file sharing and vm shutdown times), and added a number of important security fixes.

Grab the download by using Workstation to ‘Check for updates’, from your MyVMware portal, or download it directly here:

Workstation Pro:

Direct Windows download

Direct Linux download:

Workstation Player:

Direct Player for Windows download

Direct Player for Linux download


We hope you love it!

Let us know what you think in the VMware Workstation Community forums!