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Top 10 VMware Workstation Alternatives

Virtualisation is the process by which one can run an instance of a computer on another one. This helps one to run multiple operating systems on the same computer.

What is VMWare?

VMware is arguably the most popular choice for people looking for similar services. VMware is known as one of the best services for providing solutions to macOS, Windows, and Linux on genuine Apple hardware. It runs on its dedicated servers in various data centres. The private cloud environments which are offered by the service include features such as vSphere and vCenter app. 

This helps in managing and scaling efficiently. VMware offers efficient protection against hardware failures. It monitors and controls the virtual machines, which can host the servers to reduce the application downtime.

Here we list the best Alternatives to VMware workstation, which can help the users select their desired service.

Top 10 VMware Workstation Alternatives

  1. VirtualBox

VirtualBox is a generalized virtualizer for x86 hardware, a targeted server, desktop, and embedded use. It has several features that include great hardware support. This can be considered as an  Alternative to VMware workstation

It has several software packages that can be installed in the support guest systems.  

Features of Virtual Box:

  • Portability with the 64-bit operating system.
  • Guest Additions with shared folders, seamless windows, and 3D virtualisation.
  • Great Hardware support.
  • Guest multiprocessing.
  • USB device support.
  • Hardware compatibility.
  • Full ACPI Support.
  • Multiscreen Resolutions.
  • Multigenerational Branched Snapshots.
  • VM groups.
  • Clean Architecture.

  1. QEMU

This VMware Workstation alternative has a full system emulation, which can emulate a full processor and various peripherals. It can be used to launch different processors compiled for one CPU on another CPU. Also, it has a User mode emulation, which can launch processes for one CPU to another. 

It can be used to launch the Wine Windows API emulator. 

Features of QEMU

  • It can run without a host kernel server.
  • It uses dynamic translation for native code for reasonable speed.
  • It is portable to several operating systems.
  • It has a Generic Linux system call converter.
  • Accurate Signal Handling.
  • Uses a full software MMU for maximum profitability.

  1. Kernel-Based Virtual Machine

Kernel-Based Virtual Machine is an open-source virtualization technology which is built with Linux. Mainly, KVM allows the user to turn Linux into a hypervisor. The VMware Workstation alternatives allow the host machine to run multiple, isolated virtual environments. These environments are called guests or virtual machines. 

Features of KVM

  • Converts Linux into a Type-1 hypervisor.
  • Implemented as a regular Linux Process.
  • Supports Virtualisation Capabilities.
  • Lets you swap resources amongst guests.
  • Shares common libraries.
  • Optimises system performance.

  1. Parallel Desktop

This service has features that offer the best in class features for the convenience of the users. When considering this VMware Workstation alternative, it is perfect for connections with Xbox games in Windows 10 and also, supports for Sidecar in macOS. Throughout, it has received a positive response, and the additional features have been highly appreciated by the users. 

 This can be considered as one of the quite viable Alternatives to VMware workstation

Features of Parallel Desktop:

  • Applications on Home Screen.
  • Seamless Navigation.
  • Full-screen applications.
  • Lock and Go Magnifying Glass.
  • App Launcher.
  • Optimised Screen Resolution.
  • iPad Multitasking.
  • iOS partner support.

  1. Portable VirtualBox

Portable VirtualBox allows the users to move and switch between computers, by storing the applications and setting them up to a USB stick. 

This can be considered as an Alternative to  VMware workstation. It allows you to create portable operating systems, which help in running the service on any device. 

Portable VirtualBox allows you to take virtual machines with you, without any worries for installation or configuration. 

Features of Portable VirtualBox:

  • It is a wrapper for VirtualBox.
  • Provides optional configuration.
  • It has Hockey settings as well.
  • Has a Splash screen.
  • Has Configuration Home Directory.
  • Saves File sin editable formats.

  1. VMware Fusion

This VMware Workstation alternative gives Mac users the power and liberty to run Windows on Mac along with several other Operating Systems at a time. It is extremely simple for people who wish to use it at home. VMware Fusion can be powerful for people with professional requirements, including IT professionals.

Features of VMware Fusion

  • Ready for Mac Catalina.
  • Supports the latest Windows 10.
  • Powerful Graphics.
  • Fusion Rest API.
  • Unity View Mode.
  • Improved Vsphere connectivity.
  • Provides solutions for graphic users.

  1. Oracle VM VirtualBox

This service comes with a strong hardware system, with a focused server, computer system, and generalised uses. Also, this VMware Workstation alternative has different software systems, which are also supportive of newer and guest systems. 

Along with these, it can run on mobile systems, but on battery. 

Features of Oracle VM VirtualBox

  • Portable.
  • It has Guest additions, which come with shared files.
  • Great Hardware support.
  • Offers Guest Multiprocessing.
  • Provides full ACPI support.
  • PXE Network Boot.
  • Multiscreen Resolutions.

  1. VMware ESXi

VMware ESXi is a free hypervisor, which also has a paid alternative with a host of additional features like the pooling of computing and storage resources over different physical servers.  

It can support up to 128 virtual CPUs and up to 4GB of RAM. 

Features of VMware ESXi

  • Can function on integrated software.
  • Extremely User-friendly.
  • Consistent Virtual interface.
  • Can perform administration tasks.
  • Provides Management functionality.
  • Has security and administrative features.
  • Requires no additional installations.

  1. Nutanix Hyperconverged infrastructure

This service helps the customers to modernize their datacentres. It can run the applications at any place and also, on any scale which makes it a great VMware Workstation alternative.

It is perfect for unifying private, public and distributed clouds. It empowers IT to deliver applications and data that power the businesses. 

Features of Nutanix Hyperconverged infrastructure

  • Completely software-defined.
  • Integrates compute, virtualization, storage, and networking.
  • Unifies IT operations and brings frictionless application mobility.
  • Partnered with an experienced guide.
  • Can run any app on any scale.
  • Can modernize your datacentre.

  1. VSphere

It uses the power of virtualization to transform the datacentres into simplified computing. It enables IT organisations to deliver flexible and reliable IT services. 

Also, it provides features such as plugins that extend the functionality of the product.

Features of VSphere

  • Virtualization Basics
  • Physical Topology of VSphere Datacentre
  • VSphere Data components
  • Client interfaces for VSphere
  • Vcentre Plugins
  • Optional vSphere servers


So, this was the list of the best VMware Workstation alternatives. Well, we would surely ask you to choose the best alternatives that meet all your needs without leaving out a big dent on your finances and enjoy the services to the most!

About the author

Avishek Paul

A Mechanical Engineer by Education, A Computer Engineer by Profession and A Writer by Passion, Avishek loves taking new challenges when it comes to writing. He has a real knack to technical and sports articles and enjoys researching on them


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  • Hi Avishek Paul

    Nice list. I have been using both VMware ESXi for years, but have switched to Hyper-V. It is available in Windows 10 and as long as you have enough memory it is a great way to test different kind of operating systems when you want to.

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