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Number of virtual machines that can be run simultaneously in VMware Workstation (80)

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This article provides information on how many virtual machines can be run simultaneously on a specific host machine.


There are several factors that determine how many virtual machines can be run on a specific host machine. Because of this, it is not possible to directly specify how many virtual machines a given host can run at once. The factors can be roughly sorted in this order of importance:


  • Each virtual machine requires some overhead memory to manage it, which means each uses a total of up to about 1.3 times the amount of memory (RAM) given in the virtual machine settings.
  • Total virtual machine memory restrictions, for different versions of VMware Workstation:

    • 4.5.1 and earlier: a maximum of 1GB total available for all running virtual machines.
    • 4.52 - 5.5: a maximum of 4GB total available for all running virtual machines.
    • 6.x and later: No maximum limit for the total available for all virtual machines.


The number and speed of host machine CPUs determine the performance of multiple virtual machines.

Hard drive speed

The faster the drive on the host system, the better a virtual machine performs.

Host Operating System

At this time, a Linux host operating system seems to require less memory to run, and it seems to handle task switching better than Windows.
However, Windows host machines handle video redraw with better speed than Linux.
For more information, see the Using VMware Workstation guide.

Update History

09/21/2011 - Added link to the Using VMware Workstation guide. 01/02/2013 - Updated Products section

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