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Using VMware Workstation virtual machines in VMware Fusion (1002320)

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This article provides information about using VMware Workstation virtual machines in VMware Fusion.


Fusion and Workstation virtual machines are interchangeable. There is no need to use VMware vCenter Converter when moving a virtual machine between Workstation and Fusion. The virtual disk formats are the same and the virtual machines can be used in either program.

To locate the virtual machine files, see Locating a hosted virtual machine's files (1003880).

However, when moving a virtual machine between Fusion and Workstation or vice-versa, remember these points:
  • Workstation virtual machines keep their files in folders, whereas Fusion virtual machines keep their files in a virtual machine bundle. Fusion can use the folders created by Workstation without issue, and Workstation will see the Fusion bundles as folders.

    Note: To convert a Workstation virtual machine folder on your Mac to a bundle, add .vmwarevm to the virtual machine folder's name. For example, a Workstation virtual machine folder called Windows 7 would be a bundle on the Mac if it is renamed to Windows 7.vmwarevm.

  • Workstation has some features that Fusion does not. Depending on the feature, Fusion shows a warning (but still works) or ignores the feature:

    • Snapshot trees: Fusion supports snapshot trees, like Workstation, but the Fusion 3.x and earlier interface does not display the trees. Instead, it shows a list of snapshots.
    • Teams: Fusion does not support teams and ignores them.
    • Parallel ports and serial ports: Fusion does not run on Macs that have either of these devices. If a virtual machine that has a parallel port or serial port connected is powered on in Fusion, Fusion presents a warning that the connected device does not exist. The virtual machine continues to power on when the warning is dismissed.

  • Fusion does not necessarily support all guest operating systems that Workstation does, and vice-versa. Check the VMware Compatibility Guide to ensure that your virtual machine's operating system is supported.

  • If the virtual machine is encrypted, remove the encryption before using the virtual machine in the Fusion.

  • Linux virtual machines may be optimized for the processor on which they were created. All Macs use Intel processors, but your Workstation host may have an AMD processor. If this is the case, see Migration to a different processor (1011788).

Additional Information

For translated versions of this article, see:

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