How to Install VMware Workstation on Ubuntu


This simple tutorial shows you how to install VMware Workstation on Ubuntu.

Running a virtual machine (VM) on a personal computer has never been easier. With the help of a hypervisor, one server can share its resources to create many virtual ones.

Hosted hypervisors are installed on top of the host operating system and enable the user to add multiple guest operating systems using the same physical resources. VMware Workstation Pro is a virtualization application that works as a hosted hypervisor.

Start exploring the power of virtualization with our guide on installing VMware Workstation Pro on Ubuntu 18.04 or Ubuntu 20.04.

How to install VMware Workstation Pro on Ubuntu.


  • Ubuntu 18.04 or 20.04
  • A user with sudo privileges on Ubuntu
  • Access to a terminal/command-line
  • The apt tool, pre-loaded in Ubuntu and other Debian-based distros.

Installing VMware Workstation Pro On Ubuntu

Step 1: Download VMware Workstation Pro

To install VMware, first, download the binary package on your system. The best practice is to find the latest stable version on the official VMware website.

1. Open a web browser, go to the official VMware website and navigate to the Try VMware Workstation Pro page by following the path:

Products > Workstation Pro > Try VMware Workstation Pro

2. Since you are installing on Ubuntu, find the installation software for Linux and click on Download Now.

Download VMware Workstation 16 Pro for Ubuntu Linux.

3. Select Save File and wait until the download is complete.

Step 2: Install Prerequisites

GNU Compiler Collection and Build Essential are software prerequisites needed to install VMware Workstation.

If you do not have it on your system, install them with the following steps:

1. Open the terminal from the Downloads. Right-click on the VMware file and select Properties.

2. Navigate to the Permissions tab, check the option Allow executing file as program and close the Properties window.

Make VMware Workstation package executable for installing.

3. While still in the Downloads folder, right-click on the window and selecting Open in Terminal.

Open the downloaded file in Terminal window.

4. A terminal window will appear. Before installing any software, make sure to update the package repository with the following command:

sudo apt update

5. Then, install the prerequisites, GNU Compiler Collection and Build Essential, which will be used during the installation process. Run the command:

sudo apt install gcc build-essential

Press y to confirm the installation and hit Enter.

Step 3: Extract VMware Installer

Before moving on to the formal installation process, extract the downloaded VMware file.

1. List the files in the Downloads directory with the following command:


The output will reveal the full file name of the downloaded bundle, as in the image below.

Determine filename downloads VMware Ubuntu.

Copy the full file name, you will need it for the next step.

2. Next, extract the file by typing the command sudo ./ followed by the full file name:

sudo ./VMware-Wrkstation-Full-16.1.2-17966106.x86_64.bundle
Initiate the VMware installation process.

Step 4: Install VMware Workstation

1. Search for VMware Workstation by typing the name in Ubuntu Dash. Open the virtualization software by clicking on the icon.

Start VMware from Ubuntu GUI.

2. Review the license agreement and check the option I accept the terms in the license agreement. Then, click Next to continue.

3. Select whether you want the software to check for updates on startup and click Next.

Setting up updates on startup for VMware Workstation Pro 16.

4. Next, the installer will ask you whether you want to the VMware Customer Experience Improvement Program. Select Yes or No to continue.

4. Before you land on VMware Workstation’s Home window, it will ask you to:

  • Enter a license key
  • Try the software for 30 days for free.
Finish installing VMware Workstation Pro on Ubuntu.

5. Once this is selected, it will open VMware Workstation and you can start creating and managing VMs.

VMware home page displayed.


You now know how to install VMware Workstation Player in Ubuntu.

Our recommendation for the next step is to install VMware Tools on Ubuntu which improve video resolution, mouse movement, and adds the ability to share files between a host and guest system.

After installation, you can create new virtual machines, open existing ones or even connect to a remote server.

You may want to read VMware Vs Virtualbox next to learn a bit more about VMware and its features.

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Sofija Simic
Sofija Simic is an experienced Technical Writer. Alongside her educational background in teaching and writing, she has had a lifelong passion for information technology. She is committed to unscrambling confusing IT concepts and streamlining intricate software installations.
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