• long running

Free for Personal Use - VMware Workstation Pro 17 (Windows, Linux), VMware Fusion Pro 13 (Mac) @ Broadcom


Hey everyone!

You can currently get VMware Workstation Pro 17 (Windows, Linux), VMware Fusion Pro 13 (Mac) for free personal use.


  1. Create a Broadcom account
    Instructions how to create an account

  2. Select Software

  3. VMware Fusion or VMware Workstation

  4. Enter an address and then download.

Find direct download links supplied in these comments by lawyerz

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  • +23

    yeah, make it free but 20x the costs of everything else in enterprise. It's a great commercial strategy but leaves a foul taste when you know how much the receiving customers/businesses are getting bent over

    • +4

      if there are companies set up to migrate your stuff off of VMware then you dun fucc'ed up

      i dont know what Broadcom were expecting by alienating big corporates

      • +1

        They were testing the waters and did not pay heed to the tsunami.

      • +5

        Many big corporations have a strict do not deal with Broadcom policy, so YES there are MANY organisations working on active mitigations should Broadcom due their usual "Take-It or Leave It" price increases. Multiple organisations have already been hit with a 600% pricing increase since the vmware Aquisition once their renewals were due.
        This is typical form for Broadcom, refer to their purchase of CA and Symantec as further examples. Symantec they stuff-up so badly, they re-sold the business.
        Broadcom have a strong track-record of price gauging while ceasing development while providing questionable support.

  • +14

    Spent 10 minutes, could not find the download link…OR find any vmware product download link..

    Broadcom is pretty good at killing good companies..

    • +4

      Did you read the article that's linked to in step 2 of the deal description?

      To download Broadcom products:

      1. Choose the appropriate Download Center on the Broadcom Support Portal.
        • Mainframe Software
        • Enterprise Software (CA)
        • Cyber Security Software (Symantec)
        • Payment Security Software
        • Tanzu
        • VMWare Cloud Foundation
        • Application Networking and Security
        • Software Defined Edge
    • +42

      it's a shitshow process. they ask for your personal info as you sign up, then ask for more when you finally find the link to download.

      Here's a direct link for windows: https://softwareupdate.vmware.com/cds/vmw-desktop/ws/17.5.2/…
      just need to unzip
      back up a few directories for other versions/software

      • IMHO, version 16 is better in quite a few ways than 17, if you can find the link.

        • +7


          take your pick

          Be aware if you have workstation player (the free one previously) - installing Vmware Workstation Pro will uninstall it and replace it with the pro

        • Anyone care to explain which is better & why, v16 vs v17?
          I've used Player in the past, and was going to install it on my new Win11 PC, but presumably Pro would be a step up. My use-case is Win Apps I don't want to install on my 'native' system, and when I need a unix environment

          • +1

            @BigBirdy: I'm not sure about the inner workings and performance differences but the most significant difference for my use cases was that they removed the autostart feature in version 17.

            It was included and a feature of all vmware workstations up to version 16, so you could set a VM to auto start with your machine, but it was removed in version 17.

        • "16 is better in quite a few ways than 17"

          Such as?

    • Complete shitshow. I agree.

      Thanks to those who provided the direct link for Windows.

      Anyone got a link for the Mac version? Thanks in advance.

        • So, I have vmware fusion player 13.
          When I downloaded the tar and extract the zip, I can see the application is extracted.

          I then overwrite the existing fusion player with the new application extracted.

          But then, when I tried to open vmware fusion, it still shows the vmware fusion player (not the pro one).

          Did I miss anything here?
          My license also stated it's the fusion player edition too?

          Thank you!

          • @BigLeviathan: You extract the zip then double click to install, not replace the .exe file.

            • @lawyerz: hm… I double clicked it, it didn't do anything…it shows "initializing" and then disappear…
              let me try again… with mac restart this time… who knows it requires a restart…

              Thanks for getting back to me!

              • @BigLeviathan: Oh Mine's windows. If you're Mac I'm not sure but it should work the same way.

                For what it's worth, I had the workstation player 17 (windows) and installing this pro one overwrote my player installation

                • @lawyerz: did it ask for a new license code?

                  • +1

                    @BigLeviathan: Yes during installation then there's a button right above it that says personal use. Once you choose it no licence code is asked.

  • +4

    Yeah nah. Free for now perhaps

    • +1

      Then they will bundle support with the free version. They'll tell you that you just need to pay for the useless support.

  • +4

    Gone for hyper-v

    • Hopefully it does not go the way of VMware

      • +1

        Hope so but I was actually forced to use it becuz of Docker Desktop.

        • Hyper-V is actually pretty good, but good move getting into docker. Docker Desktop now supports air-gapped containers, it's actually a half decent product.
          Only point to note, on WINDOWS docker desktop accesses DISK Volumes via SMB, so not the best host platform if you need fast access to storage, otherwise it works very well.

  • +43

    Definitely a PR move.
    Recent community sentiment on VMware in the sysadmin community has been pretty uniform: Bail out if you can.

    I wouldn't trust this to continue into the future, as Broadcom has made it abundantly clear they don't give 2 shits about their smaller customers.

    • +3

      100% this

    • I wouldn't consider ESXi in an enterprise context anymore, but what's wrong with Fusion Pro 13? As long as it works it's the best product to virtualise on Apple Silicon.

      • +4

        But it's not, Parallels is better

        • +4

          But it's not, Parallels is better

          Debatable, but also Parallels is not free, so not really equivalent.

          • @bio: It's not debatable, Parallels has far better integration with macOS than what Fusion Pro has. I've just installed Fusion Pro again, last time I tried was when they had their beta for Apple Silicon, and it still feels like a beta product with their driver support among other things. It is an equivalent comparison, Fusion Pro was a paid product up until very recently so it's fair to hold them to the same standard as Parallels. Especially with a company as big (and as bad) as Broadcom behind them.

            • @ldd-mn: I was a long term Fusion Pro user but after using Parallels I will stick with Parallels. Fusion Pro seems outdated and performance was very crap.

      • +1

        Cough UTM cough.

        • +1

          UTM is like a technology preview. It works, but it's nowhere as nice as Parallels/Fusion. I'd choose Fusion over UTM given that they are both free now.

    • +3

      Agreed, I've now moved my home lab servers to proxmox.

  • +8

    My company moved to Proxmox. Been using proxmox for personal use as well and find it enough for what we need.

  • +8

    Proxmox all the way to the Bank!

    • Yep, ported my VMs from vmware/virtualbox to proxmox and kvm. It's the only way.

    • I have been managing Proxmox for 6 years now. It was version 5 when I started and it has been really good experience. There is also xcp-ng but I could never get around the GUI got used to proxmox. For personal use HyperV is also easy to learn.

      VMware is not the only VM solution, i don't even know how Broadcom had the cheek to slash their customers. It's like cutting off own food source.

  • +1

    did this used to be like 100 bucks for mac?

  • Can you run Windows on Apple Silicon Mac ?

  • +1
  • Can I run MacOs on VMware ?

    • Yes, on version 16 and below.
      MacOS/OSX is actually based on a free Unix called BSD Darwin.
      Do some Googling as the links involve a patch after Apple complained.

      • +1

        Apple complained about Windows users running macOS in a VM but it’s ok for mac users to run Windows in a VM.
        From my experience, older versions of macOS ran well in VMware workstation on Windows, I’m talking Mountain Lion etc, but the newer versions don’t seem to perform too well. It’s due to VMware not being able to allocate enough GPU memory for the macOS guest.
        There is also work being done to get macOS run on hyper-v. https://elitemacx86.com/threads/how-to-install-macos-on-hype…

        • because you buy mac hardware the OS comes free.
          On windows you buy windows for the PC you bought from another vendor (most times)

    • Yes, it's the only reason I still use VMWare.
      btw - if you have an AMD processor, it requires quite a few more hoops to go through for the recent versions of macOS.

      • Any tips on where to start? Been Googling/reading and mindful that the variety of articles are from different versions/ages, and even before I get to AMD specific, one of the recent articles (mid 2023) suggested running a compatibility patch too.

        • +1

          Monterey is easy - from memory you just need to change a few things in the .vmx file. Big Sur and Sonoma can run with Opencore but performance is terrible if you don't have a supported graphics card, with no patch available.
          I broke my Sonoma installation on the weekend and I can't get it going again - so I gave up. I'm just keeping/maintaining my Monterey VM for 'just in case', really - I don't plan on doing anything with it (ever).

          • @tangcla: The only thing I'm doing this for is after selling my Macbook Pro, I miss having iMessage on my desktop and also running remote desktop too. The Windows phone link just isn't the same. I'll spend more time reading up on this and seeing if I can get this to work!

            • @jace88: @jace88 I don't know if iMessage works on a VM. I think it requires a specific hardware ID, from what I read. I never investigated it though.

    • +1

      Yes, 17.5.1 runs Sonoma. VM needs to be patched with unlocker (github).

  • I registered and tried to download but I get a message "Account verification is Pending. Please try after some time."

    What is this complication for?

    • +1

      drink verification can

  • it does a compliance check on broadcom

  • yeah doesn't let you download it.

  • So how does VMWare 13 for Mac compare to the parallels ? Is it as good?

    • similar I used to use vmware fusion back on intel macs back in the day it was good with bootcamp images.

      • Yes I have a 2020 iMac Intel running i5 with 40 GB of RAM and 256 Storage.
        I do also have an M1 laptop but don't run windows on that.

    • I found parallels worked way better for my 2019 intel macbook pro. It was noticeably snappier in performance

  • +2

    word is that they are discontinuing this product and so its last dibs on an unsupported app

  • they need to make boot camp available for apple silicon. I used to love just owning a mac pro and running a windows partition and mac os partition.

  • What is the benefit over the free version that is easy to download?

    • you can't even download it, it runs a screening process.

  • +5

    For Mac users, just use UTM.

    It’s the same thing, and it’s free.

    • +2

      Not the same, it's better.

    • Never dream about able to run Windows XP in a phone back in the old days LOL

      • a $99 phone i have now has better specs than a Windows domain controller I used to run for a billion dollar multinational company that had hundreds of local staff here…

        • So why does it take so long to do everything?

          • @CascadeHush: That $99 phone support USB 2 only… that explain everything … XD

    • +2

      According the FAQ its for iPhone or iPad, not Mac!

      UTM is an app for running other operating systems on your iPhone or iPad.

      Different Link for Mac version https://mac.getutm.app

      • Thanks. That is indeed the correct link.

  • +8

    Throwing in a comment just to be able to neg the thread.

    Broadcom has turned VMWare into an utter shitshow in the past couple months. This is a small PR scramble to try to recover a bit, but longer term VMWare is screwed. And home lab enthusiasts will be forced to move onto something else.

    • +6

      Comment posted 10 min ago.
      Hey, you forgot to neg. 😂

      • aha, thanks for the reminder!

      • +1

        Haha most posters get butt hurt if they get a neg and here you are reminding for one 😂

    • Anyone have thoughts on 'something else' / alternatives for home use would be great. Virtualbox is the only alternative I've used but apparently that's ancient.

      • The sysadmin community as a whole seem to be mostly recommending Poxmox now.

        • type-1 though, i'm after type-2

          • @lawyerz: if you're after type 2, then you're getting it for free from vmware (for non-commercial use)

            the changes everyone is up in arms about is for type 1

            • @peter05: mm okay thanks. yeah both vmware or virtualbox is working fine for me right now so just looking for options if i needed to change.

            • @peter05: What are the changes everyone is up in arms about?

              • +5

                @lawyerz: software licensing costs have increased, maybe on average 15x? some lines only go up 2-3x, others as high as 30x.

                When you have no input costs and your product has not significantly changed in the last multiples of versions, its a pretty hard way to tell your customers suddenly they need to pony up 20 times the cost of what it was the last time it was used, hence the bending over part

                Broadcom also has a history of doing this, buying out companies and extracting value out of it as quickly as possible to pay off the return. Anyone that is still on the ship will be paying through the nose for a software ecosystem that frankly they're unlikely to be further investing in (other than giving out free stuff to non-commercial, to potentially drive up familiarity in the pipeline for future sales)

                everyone's been hit with increases in pricing, netflix maybe increased 100% in the last couple of years (2x), you have google increasing subscription price around 80% in the last few years too. Every software company is doing it, but how do you justify 20x?

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