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Difference Between VMWare Player and Workstation

vmware_bookVMWare Player vs. Workstation

VMWare provides a multitude of software that allows users to simulate computers, or groups of computers, in order to test set-ups or software prior to deployment. In older versions, the most significant difference between the two, is the inability of the VMWare Player to create virtual machines. It was capable of merely running virtual machines created on other versions, like the VMWare Workstation. VMWare decided to add the ability of creating virtual machines to VMWare Player in later versions. Now, the most significant difference between the two would be the price, as the VMWare Workstations costs $189, while the VMWare Player is available for free.

Since VMWare Player is free, it is expected that it lacks certain features that are available in the VMWare Workstations. The VMWare Player is unable to create multiple snapshots and clones. These features allow the user to freeze a virtual machine, or to replicate it, to make it easier for the user to deal with failures from either software or hardware.

Another feature lacking in the VMWare Player, is the ability to create and manage teams. By grouping multiple virtual machines into teams, you can perform certain operations on all the members of the team, as if it is one machine. This feature makes it easier for the user to test an entire network without the hassle of manually setting up each virtual machine. The capabilities of teams extend much further than what is stated here.

Lastly, Virtual Rights Management or VRM is a standard feature of the VMWare Workstation, and this is missing in the VMWare Player. This feature enables users to apply policies to the machine as if they were discrete desktop units. The policies can dictate who has access to the machine, hardware resources on the host computer, and even the network resources that are available to the virtual machine. With VRM, you can test the security of your machines, and the integrity of your network, as you have the ability to apply security countermeasures, and repeatedly try different scenarios to expose vulnerabilities.


1. The VMWare Workstation costs $189 for the downloaded version, while VMWare Player is free.

2. The VMWare Workstation is capable of creating multiple snapshots and clones, while VMWare Player cannot achieve these functions.

3. The VMWare Workstation is capable of building and handling teams, while VMWare Player cannot.

4. The VMWare Workstation is capable of handling Virtual Rights Management, unlike the VMWare Player.

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  1. inability of the VMWare Player to create virtual machines?
    I really doubt it! I install VMWare Player which the version is 4.0.4 build-744019. And the virtual machine machine can be created.

  2. VM Ware Player is free for non-commercial use. This means you can not use it for business purposes. Students, Accredited Universities Professors and personal, at home use only.

    VM Ware Player Plus is the commercial version that is $99.99. Most users will fall into this category.

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