How to choose the right VMware type-2 hypervisor

Last updated:May 2015

Editor's note

Type-2 virtualization continues to evolve to keep up as IT roles expand and cutting-edge technologies mature. VMware has a number of these desktop virtualization tools for users who want to test and develop VMs before pushing them into the production environment.

When choosing what best fits your desktop virtualization needs, the top factors typically include price, features and OS that will support the Type-2 hypervisor. VMware Workstation, Player and Fusion are three products -- each one varying to some degree, which can make it difficult to select one over the others. To help you in your efforts, we've broken down the details of each tool and which ones work best in certain scenarios.


VMware Player is also a Type-2 hypervisor that is a standalone product that can run virtual machines in a window. VMware Player is free for personal use, while VMware Player Pro is licensed for commercial use and can run restricted virtual machines. Although they don't share all of the same features, VMware Player Pro can accomplish some of the same things while avoiding some of the cost of Workstation.


There are quite a few administrators running MacBooks that will need a hypervisor to run a Windows operating system. VMware Fusion and Fusion Professional virtualization platforms both support Apple OSes, which is something that VMware Workstation can't do. Although Fusion and Workstation have some similar features, such as a snapshot manager, they have different focuses.