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If you need a reliable virtualization solution to run multiple operating systems, VMware Workstation is one of the best tools to get the job done out there. However, it is unavailable on your Mac. When it comes to alternatives to VMware Workstation, the sheer number of options available can be overwhelming.

This article will explore everything you need to know about the best alternatives to VMWare Workstation for macOS and how each one embraces its unique features.

Read ahead and make the most informed decision on choosing the best open-source virtualization platform for your business.


VMware Fusion

Pros Cons
  • Can virtualize most of the Intel-compatible OS as well as macOS
  • Multi-OS Support
  • Offers a free limited version for personal use
  • No support for ARM-based guests or hosts
  • Lacks kiosk style rollback feature

The very first and of course the best alternative to VMware Workstation for macOS is VMware Fusion.

VMware Fusion is a software developed by VMware, Inc. that enables users to run multiple operating systems and applications on the same computer seamlessly. It’s particularly useful for Mac computers, as it allows you to run Windows or Linux distributions alongside macOS in order to use any Windows-exclusive applications, such as Visual Studio or AutoCAD. 

It is a full desktop virtualization solution that enables macOS users to leverage all of the advantages of running different operating systems, with near-native performance. With its easy-to-use interface, you can quickly set up and customize virtual machines even if you have no prior experience with virtual machine software before.

It offers seamless transitioning between macOS and Windows with just one click – an advantage over other solutions that require restarting your computer every time you switch between them.

Customizable memory settings allow you to allocate exactly how much RAM your VM should have. It is perfect for resource-hungry applications or programs that need specific settings for optimal performance.

Who Is VMware Fusion Best For?

VMware Fusion is ideal for anyone who either needs access to platforms their Mac doesn’t natively support – like Windows apps – or wishes to segment their computational activities without rebooting their computer each time they want to do something else.

From software developers testing compatibility between systems on different platforms to photographers transferring large batches of images from OS X onto Windows without fear of data loss, Fusion gives anyone with a Mac computer access to powerful solutions they wouldn’t otherwise have access to!



Pros Cons
  • Open-source
  • Easy to use and install
  • Possibility of different configurations
  • Has great features for an open-source virtual machine tool
  • Display resolutions can be problematic
  • Not well-recognized

VirtualBox is a cross-platform virtualization software that allows you to create and manage multiple virtual machines (VMs) on the same computer. 

It is an open-source program released by Oracle Corporation, which allows you to create virtual machines on your own system and run different versions of Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and other operating systems as well.

It was initially released in 2007 but has since been updated about 20 times.

The main goal of VirtualBox is to provide a way for people to use multiple operating systems on their computers without having to buy licensed copies of each system.

VirtualBox has many features that make it suitable for both professionals and home users alike.

Some of its features include full hardware virtualization (which means it uses your computer’s hardware resources rather than relying on software simulation for all operations), and support for direct access to removable media such as USB drives and optical disks.

It also offers guest additions (additions that allow you to better interact with the guest operating system); drag-and-drop support between host and guest systems.

Who Is VirtualBox Best For?

Because VirtualBox runs on both Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux environments, anyone can benefit from its comprehensive feature set.

In terms of professional use cases, IT administrators often use VirtualBox in order to install various networking tools quickly in isolated environments or test out new applications without risking any damage or changes in production environments.

On the other hand, end users tend to appreciate the convenience of running multiple operating systems on the same machine simultaneously with environment isolation capabilities provided by VirtualBox.

Additionally, students or enthusiastic hobbyists might find interesting challenges or educational goals after playing around with multiple OSes at once through VirtualBox.



Pros Cons
  • Makes custom IPSW URL validation less strict
  • Reliable
  • Fast
  • Cost-Effective
No such cons

VirtualBuddy is an advanced virtual machine software that allows users to create and manage different types of environments within their computers. The software works by creating a ‘virtual environment’ where applications can run in isolation from the rest of the computer’s operating system, ensuring maximum performance and security for all activities.

Virtual Buddy offers several key features that make it stand out from other virtual machine softwares. Some of these include:

– Ability to save multiple snapshots of your virtual environment

– Support for multiple operating systems

– Support for multi-processors and multi-core processors

– Ability to transfer files between the host computer and the guest operating system

– Advanced graphics support

– Easy setup and configuration

Who Is VirtualBuddy Best For?

VirtualBuddy is ideal for any individual or business needing to create or manage multiple virtual environments on their computers.

This includes IT professionals and web developers who need to run applications in a secure environment; gamers looking to maximize hardware performance; system administrators managing a variety of platforms; or anyone needing access to multiple operating systems simultaneously.



Pros Cons
  • Can be configured to run with multiple sources
  • Open-source
  • Well maintained
  • Has an active community
  • Has a learning curve
  • Removing “getting-started” documentation can be hard to remove

QEMU is an open-source, popular machine emulator and virtualizer used to run different operating systems on various hardware platforms. It functions as a bridge between the processor and memory of computer systems and the operating systems that are running on them.

QEMU can emulate various operating systems including Linux, Windows, Solaris, BSDs, x86_64, and ARM processors.

It essentially functions as a bridge between the physical hardware of a computer system, where your programs are stored in memory (RAM) or on disk (HDD), and the virtual machines it runs.

The program provides an interface for you to connect several virtual machines to each other; connecting instructions originally intended for one machine with instructions originating from another machine.

Additionally, QEMU can be used to check hardware compatibility, test new patches before being applied to running systems in production environments, simulate modern data center designs using ARMv8/Aarch64 architectures, and more.

Who Is QEMU Best For?

QEMU is an extremely versatile software tool best suited for developers or system administrators who need access to multiple machines simultaneously in order to assess performance changes or test new applications or updates before deploying them live across any given environment.

Generally speaking, those who are looking for maximum control of all aspects of their system should look into using this software solution.


Apple Boot Camp

Pros Cons
  • Fast performance
  • Full-retina display support
  • Windows environment is great
  • Couldn’t find macOS startup disk
  • Windows will shorten battery life
  • Requires huge allocated space 

Apple Boot Camp Virtual Machine (BCVM) is a software interface that helps Mac users access Microsoft Windows applications. It combines powerful hardware with an intuitive user experience which allows consumers to progress faster in their computing pursuits.

The BCVM’s dual-boot feature eliminates the need for rebooting every time someone moves between OS systems, and keeps separate files associated with each operating system in their original locations so that nothing is ever lost during transitions.

BCVM benefits from all sorts of features that make it appealing for Mac users who want a simple solution for accessing Windows applications:

One benefit of Apple Boot Camp is its automated update feature, which ensures issues are always addressed quickly and easily so the user can remain productive whenever they use it.

Accessibility is yet another pro of Apple Boot Camp. This feature also makes it easier for people who may be visually impaired as they will be able to access Windows applications from within the comfort of their own homes.

Who Is Apple Boot Camp Best For?

Apple’s Boot Camp Virtual Machine technology is ideal for users who need access to both Apple OS and Windows without having to reboot or purchase additional equipment and software licenses every time they need something new.

This solution also lends itself well to using licensed versions of popular PC games on Apple devices like iMacs and MacBook Pro models running either High Sierra or Mojave editions of macOS.

This allows gamers the ability play away from traditional platforms like those offered by Microsoft Xbox® Live or Sony PlayStation™ Store outlets.

Finally, small business owners and professionals dealing with high-resolution legacy applications requiring superior performance are likely candidates for implementing this type of solution into their existing workflow environments.


Parallels Desktop

Pros Cons
  • Kiosk-like rollback model
  • Smooth graphics performance
  • Runs ARM-based Windows
  • Faster than most rivals
  • Potentially confusing integrations
  • Not as stable as VMware Fusion

Parallels Desktop is a virtualization software developed by Parallels Software International Inc. that allows users to run several operating systems simultaneously on their Apple Macintosh computers without requiring them to reboot.

This means that users can access both a Windows and Mac version of an application side-by-side with just one click, allowing for faster and more efficient multitasking.

Parallels Desktop offers many features designed to make working with multiple OSes easier than ever. Some of the most important features include support for both Intel-based and ARM processors, shared folders, snapshots, automatic updates, support for DirectX 10/11/12, seamless copying and pasting of files between applications in different Windows or Mac environments, ability to mount USB 2/3 drives in either environment, etc.

Who Is Parallels Desktop For?

Parallels Desktop is great for any user looking to use two or even three different versions of software at the same time without needing to reboot their machine in order to access them all separately.

It is an ideal solution for you if you’re a video editor switching back and forth between Adobe Creative Suite tools on your Mac OSX computer and AutoCAD on your PC.

If you are also just wanting to try out new pieces of software made only for certain platforms like Windows XP or 7 – Parallels desktop has you covered. Other common uses include running web development stacks on a local machine as well as testing websites in multiple browsers.



Pros Cons
  • Simple to use
  • Intuitive
  • Simple migration path to MS Azure
  • Reliable
  • Cost-effective
  • Support may be poor
  • Lack of new feature growth
  • Changing licensing terms

Hyper-V is a Microsoft technology that enables users to host multiple isolated guest operating systems on a single physical computer or server. It also provides tools for creating, configuring, managing, and monitoring virtual machines (VMs) and their resources.

With Hyper-V, you can partition a physical server into several isolated VMs that are secured from one another.

The technology also makes it easier for IT administrators to manage their businesses IT infrastructure in a highly secure and agile way by controlling applications running in the cloud or providing remote access to them from any type of device.

Secure multi-tenancy – With Hyper-V, each VM has its own unique protected system resource pool which reduces the chances of data breaches due to unauthorized access or malicious code injection done by different tenants sharing the same physical hardware

Continuous availability – All VMs running on the same hardware are completely isolated from each other with no influence on one another’s performance. This prevents downtime due to rebooting either Windows Server or any of its applications.

Scalability – You can easily scale up and down as needed without having to invest in new physical servers or make changes in existing server configurations. This reduces the cost associated with acquiring expensive hardware while still meeting customer requirements

Who Is Hyper-V Best For?

Hyper-V is best for companies that need an extremely reliable and high-performance virtualization platform with maximum control over their system resources that allows easy scaling up or down depending on current user demand at any given time.

It also works great for organizations with limited IT budgets as they don’t have to invest in expensive server hardware while still enjoying all benefits of the powerful virtualization solution provided by Microsoft’s latest software technologies.


Red Hat Virtualization

Pros Cons
  • Allows easy automation of repetitive tasks
  • Allows installations of OS images quickly
  • 5-engineering team has to be more reactive

Red Hat Virtualization (RHV) is an open-source virtualization solution built on the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor. RHV allows users to deploy virtual machines directly alongside existing physical infrastructure and leverages the same APIs and processes across multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux, macOS, OpenStack, & more.

Two of the most striking features of Red Hat Virtualization are:

Powerful Hypervisor – RHV leverages KVM as its core hypervisor technology which provides reliable performance for both single-node & multi-node deployments regardless of workloads or architectures. Additionally, it enables organizations to consolidate multiple vendors into a single platform through its support for many popular operating systems & applications.

Streamlined Security – RHV’s sophisticated security measures protect organizations from malicious attack vectors while providing full visibility into user activity who accesses a VM instance remotely; or via local access points like USB drives or external hard drives.

Who Is Red Hat Virtualization Best For?

Additionally, system admins can take advantage of its encryption methods which further strengthen data confidentiality throughout various layers of the IT stack. Examples include databases & internal communications networks used by employees/customers/partners alike.


Pros Cons
  • Up to date
  • Platform integration
  • Optimized guests
  • Native hypervisor
  • Not well-known

MultiPass allows you to run multiple operating systems, such as Windows and Linux, on a single computer. This technology is making it possible for businesses of all sizes to remain competitive in the digital economy by simplifying applications and speeding up computing processes without breaking the bank. 

With MultiPass’s technology, your software and applications can be moved between different computing environments without the need for complex reconfiguration or migration tasks. 

Who Is Multipass Best For?

MultiPass is best suited for enterprise IT teams looking for cost-effective ways to manage and operate multiple servers in a secure, private environment without sacrificing any performance or scalability capabilities.


Kernel Virtual Machine

Pros Cons
  • Open-Source
  • Has all the features an enterprise server needs
  • CPU Clustering
  • Device Management
  • Centralized setup risks data loss
  • Bigger learning curve
  • Does not support Windows-based distributions

KVM is an open-source hypervisor that installs directly on top of your server hardware, allowing you to create and manage multiple virtual machines in one physical domain.

The goal is to have server applications and other services running on different virtual machines share underlying computing power while having each “guest” system remain isolated from the others.

Each virtual machine (or guest) has its own settings, most notably its own operating system, storage allocation, CPU cycles, and memory usage.

Who Is KVM Best For?

Organizations that want better resource utilization out of their current physical server infrastructure are best suited to use KVM. Of course, this means they will have an able ICT support team who can effectively maintain a virtualization setup like KVM.

For managed hosting companies this would be more efficient in terms of cost since they do not need additional machines or additional licenses once software components are running in a KVM-based system.


Ranking Metrics – How Did We Rank The Best VMware Workstation Alternatives For Mac?

Virtualization technology has become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing users to run multiple operating systems and applications on the same computer. Below we have discussed how we ranked some of the best VMware Workstation alternatives for Mac:


Flexibility was a major factor in our decision-making process when it came to selecting the best VMware Workstation alternatives for Mac. 

Our top recommendations offer various features such as multi-platform support (Windows/Mac), remote access capabilities, and support for hardware acceleration technologies like GPU passthrough.

In addition, we also looked at features related to networking (IP assignment) and virtual environment customization (disk space).


Price is always a major consideration when choosing software solutions. We looked at pricing models such as per user/month or pay per VM/month plans to determine which solutions offered better value for money over time.


The performance of each alternative was a key factor in our rankings. We looked at how many resources each solution requires both during installation and operation to ensure that no single option uses too many system resources while running – neither slowing down nor completely draining an existing project workload.

Ease of Use

Usability is another integral criterion that we took into account with regard to ranking the various VMware Workstation alternatives for Mac. 

We examined onboarding processes; platform interface design; resource configuration steps; and more to get an overall picture of how easy it is to get up and running on each platform without any technical background prior knowledge or help from IT professionals or customer service staff.

Customer Service

Quality customer service was also taken into consideration when determining our final rankings of the best VMware Workstation alternatives for Mac users. Support teams should offer dedicated assistance almost every step of the way.

Security & Reliability

This criterion focuses on how secure each package is from cyber threats, as well as its stable track record against bugs or corrupted data instances, etc., How well does it comply with all appropriate security protocols? How reliable has it been in protecting user data from external threats such as hackers?

Summing Up!

So, there you have it – the best alternatives for VMware Workstation for Mac. If you looking for more alternatives of various tools and applications that are otherwise unavailable for Mac, check out our posts and stay tuned for more!


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