VMware Player 12.5

Virtual machine program that allows you to test a new OS or a new software without risk.

  • Category:

    Operating Systems

  • Version:

    12.5

  • Works under:

    Windows XP / Windows 8 / Windows ME / Windows 7 / Windows 98 SE / Windows 8.1 / Windows 2000 / Windows Vista / Windows 98

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free
  • Vote:
    7.7 (117)
VMware Player 12.5
VMware Player 6.0.0.1295980

VMware Player is a tool that lets you run multiple operating systems at the same time by using virtual machines. Compared to other virtualization programs, it's relatively simple to use, so even those who have never used virtual machines shouldn't have too much trouble figuring out how everything works.

Easy Way to Create and Run Virtual Machines

VMware Player supports a large number of operating systems, including nearly every version of Windows and Linux. This allows you to use virtual machines running practically any operating system available.

To get started, you will either need to have a pre-made VMware virtual machine file or create your own. Many websites provide VMware images that contain a virtual hard drive with an operating system like Ubuntu, together with various types of software, already installed and configured. If you have an image file already, all that you have to do is to open it. The software will load the virtual machine, allowing you to use your virtual system in less than a minute.

The other option is to create a new virtual machine based on your specifications. The process is very quick and simple, as VMware Player first asks you which operating system your virtual machine will use, then recommends a configuration for it. You can use the provided defaults or adjust the settings, such as the amount of RAM and hard drive space available to your virtual system.

Installing the operating system can be done from a physical installer disc (CD or DVD) or an ISO image file. When you run your new virtual machine for the first time, you'll set up its operating system just like you would on a physical computer. Once this process is done, you'll be ready to use the virtual PC you've created.

Useful Tool to Safely Try Operating Systems and Software

VMware Player creates virtual computers that run separately form the host system. This is very useful if you want to try different operating systems or new software programs, but don't want to run the risk of causing potential damage to your main system if something goes wrong.

This software is also a great when you want to use a program that isn't compatible with your PC's main operating system. For example, you might have an older game that only runs under Windows XP or an open source accounting program exclusively available for Linux.

Your virtual machines will be able to share files with the host system, access the Internet, as well as use most USB devices you have connected to it. However, you may need to install some additional software provided by VMware on the guest operating system before you can share files and devices with the host system. VMware has a support portal that provides detailed instructions on how to do this.

While VMware Player lets you effectively run two (or more) operating systems on your PC at the same time, it does use a fair amount of system resources. To get optimal performance with virtual machines running newer operating systems like Windows 10 or Server 2012, you'll need a computer with a relatively powerful CPU and lots of RAM. It can still work fine on older and less powerful PCs if your virtual machines run operating systems that aren't too demanding, like some simple Linux distributions or Windows XP.

Pros

  • Lets you safely test different OS versions and programs.
  • Compatible with a wide range of operating systems.
  • Simple to configure and use.

Cons

  • Uses a lot of system resources, requiring a powerful PC for best performance.

VMware Player is used to play virtual machines running a wide range of operating systems and work environments. Virtual machines let you work in a sandbox, running an operating system and software without affecting any of the files on your computer. VMware Player is free for personal, non-commercial use, and it can play virtual machines that someone has created in other VMware products.

VMware Player cannot make a new virtual machine. You would need something like VM Player Plus or VMware Work Station to make your own virtual machine.

Why do people use VMware Player? Common reasons include:

  1. Test driving a new OS before buying it
  2. Running a beta of an operating system or software like Office without impacting the primary operating system on a computer
  3. Running Windows XP compatible applications in a safe sandbox environment
  4. Running multiple operating systems and work environments from one PC
  5. Testing and analyzing malware in a secure sandbox
  6. Running Java in a secure environment
  7. Emulating older operating systems like DOS, Amiga, and Mac OS 9
  8. Running a server for local application like a wiki, CMS, or a MUD

Installation of VMware Player is simple. Just follow the instructions on the screen. Once installation is finished, you should see a second network adapter in your system tray. This second adapter allows the OS running in a virtual machine to connect to the network and internet.

When you open the software, you can start any of your virtual machines. Once started, your sound card, monitor, mouse, and keyboard should switch control to the virtual machine. You can switch control of the keyboard between the VM and your normal operating system with a configurable keystroke.

Make sure you shut down your virtual machine from within VMware Player when you are finished working with it. Do not just shut down your computer and assume that will take care of your VM too. Failure to shut down your VM can cause corruption with the files and cause the machine to stop working completely.

One drawback of VMware Player is that it cannot store snapshots when you make changes to your VM. With Fusion or Work Station, users can make snapshots before major changes like updating software or adding new programs. Snapshots make it possible to roll back to an earlier version if something causes the VM to stop working. VMware Player lacks this feature, so your only option is to save the original files from your VM in a separate folder in case you ever need to start from scratch.

If you do not have a virtual machine, there are many online sources for legally downloading one. This is especially true for many distributions of Linux as well as DOS, Amiga, and Free BSD. Windows VMs require you to use an installation image that Microsoft freely offers for download. However, you must have an activation key to keep these VMs running legally. Otherwise, they time out after a couple of months.

Pros

  • Free player for virtual machines
  • Lets users try new operating systems
  • Provides stable performance
  • Makes a secure sandbox for running JAVA and other insecure applications

Cons

  • Can't save snapshots
  • Cannot create virtual machines

Other programs to consider

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