How to Install VMware Workstation Player on Ubuntu

The VMware Workstation Player, formerly known as VMware Player, is a desktop and server virtualization application that allows you to run one or more operating systems on a single computer. 

VMware Player allows you to run a second and isolated operating system as a virtual machine on your host desktop. Supposedly you have an Ubuntu-based computer, but you need a Windows-based one to run a particular application or vice versa. There are multiple solutions for this scenario, including purchasing another computer, using a dual-boot feature, and applying a virtualization technology.

The easiest and most convenient method among the three (3) is virtualization technology by installing VMware Workstation Player. That is because you don’t have to spend any amount of money and run both operating systems on your computer simultaneously.

Due to its simple user interface, unmatched operating system support, and portability, the VMware Player is popular among IT professionals and aspiring students. The free version of the VMware workstation player is available for personal, home, and non-commercial use. However, this application is not open-source.

Before we begin, your system should meet the following criteria to have a proper installation and decent operation of VMware Workstation Player:

  • 2GHz 64-bit processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • Enough disk space depending upon the guest operating system you would be installing 

Installing VMware Workstation Player in Ubuntu

This tutorial will show you how to install VMware Workstation Player on Ubuntu-based computers with a few simple steps. The steps are numbered for your convenience.

1.    Update the System

Before anything else, you first need to update the system to the latest version. Launch the terminal by pressing the keys “Ctrl+Alt+T” and run the following commands.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

2.    Install the Needed Prerequisites

The gcc package and build-essential are both required when installing the VMware Player for Ubuntu. To install them, enter this command:

sudo apt install build-essential

If the installation is successful, it will look like this:

install VMware workstation player on ubuntu

3.    Download the VMware Workstation Player for Ubuntu

Open your preferred web browser and navigate to the VMware download page. Then select the VMware Workstation Player Linux version and download.

install VMware workstation player on ubuntu

4.    Move to the Download Directory

Once the file is finished downloading, it should be stored in the local downloads folder. Then, in your Terminal, move to the downloads directory by inputting this.

cd Downloads
install VMware workstation player on ubuntu

5.    Change Permission

Use the following command when changing permissions.

chmod +x VMware*
install VMware workstation player on ubuntu

The wildcard character “*” is used above to shorten typing long filenames and paths. Linux automatically selects the first match of the inputted name in the folder.  However, you have to be careful if you have multiple versions of Player .bundle files present. If that is the case, it is best to use the full filename to avoid installing the wrong version.

6.    Run VMware Downloadable File

Input the command below to run and install the VMware Workstation Player downloadable file.

sudo ./VM*
install VMware workstation player on ubuntu

How to Run VMware Workstation Player

After installing the necessary components, the VMware Workstation Player is now ready to run. Follow these four (4) simple steps. 

1. Open Activities Menu

Located at the top left of your desktop is the Activities Menu, click it.  Next, start typing “VMware Player” in the search bar, and the icon with the arrows will appear. Select it, and it will launch the app. 

activities menu

2. Accept License Agreement

The first thing to appear when the VMware Workstation Player is launched is the license agreement. Select the “I accept the terms of the license agreement” and

license agreement

click the “Next” button.

The following prompt will ask you if you want to receive updates during the app startup. You will choose between “Yes” or “No”, and then click the “Next” button.

install VMware workstation player on ubuntu

In the next prompt, you will choose “Yes” if you need to participate in the VMware Workstation Player customer experience and “No” if not. After choosing, press “Next.”

install VMware workstation player on ubuntu

The final prompt will ask if you have a VMware Workstation Player license key you can use.  Don’t fret if you don’t have a license key since a free non-commercial version is available. After that, press the “Finish” button.

installation wizard

3. Authentication

Authentication is necessary to apply the changes. Enter your password and then press Authenticate”. A message will appear and click the “Ok” button.


4. Welcome to Your VMware Workstation Player

After finishing all these steps, you installed the VMware Workstation Player in Ubuntu, and it’s ready to use.  

install VMware workstation player on ubuntu

VMware Workstation Player is commonly used in organizations to deliver managed corporate desktops. Meanwhile, educators and students alike use it for training and learning. We have now shown you how to install a VMware Workstation Player in Ubuntu. You can now explore the application options and experiment on creating your very first virtual machine.

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