Legality of using free VMware Workstation Player for alpha and beta testing of Ubuntu?

Aaron Rainbolt arraybolt3 at
Sun May 15 01:42:55 UTC 2022

Thank you for taking the time to reply. This is sort of what I was thinking
when I asked the question, but it's still close enough to a problem that
I'm worried about it. In addition, I intend on using Ubuntu for commercial
use in the not-too-distant future, so I'd rather not risk getting myself on
the bad side of a multi-billion dollar company. For now, I have
virt-manager, I can get Virtualbox (the open-source version, not with the
proprietary add-on pack), I've got some good physical hardware, and you
guys have VMware licenses for testing that part of things, so I think I'll
just use what I've got for the time being, and possibly buy a VMware
license at some point in the future.

On Sat, May 14, 2022 at 11:21 AM John Chittum <john.chittum at>

> Not a lawyer, so grain of salt.
> Ubuntu, the OS, is not a commercial product by itself. Ubuntu is offered
> as a free and open source OS. If you are testing non-commercial offerings
> of Ubuntu, as part of community work, then it should be fine to use VMWare
> Player, Virtualbox, or other items for non-commercial work. Community work
> is, by definition, not commercial.
> If you are working on a commercial product, for instance, testing Ubuntu
> Pro features offered by Canonical, or an appliance that will be sold to a
> customer, then you may be in violation. If you are an employee of Canonical
> employed to work on the OS, things get dicey _but_ there are options
> available (we have licenses available). Or if you are using it as part of
> your job (say, you're a sys admin, and part of your job is to vet Ubuntu,
> and you just happen to also contribute upstream when you find a bug). Then
> you should talk to your workplace about getting you a license.
> TL:DR if it's solely community work, it shouldn't be a breach. Other
> things would be case by case.
> On Sat, May 14, 2022, 10:50 Aaron Rainbolt <arraybolt3 at> wrote:
>> Thanks, that's what I needed to know! Virt-manager is more than
>> sufficient for my needs, and I can always cough up the $150-$200 if I
>> really want to do VMware testing.
>> Thank you for your time and help!
>> On Fri, May 13, 2022 at 3:51 AM Shane O'Sullivan <hitsuji at>
>> wrote:
>>> It's a breach of the EULA. I would highly recommend installing
>>> virt-manager as a suitable alternative.
>>> On Fri 13 May 2022, 08:17 Aaron Rainbolt, <arraybolt3 at> wrote:
>>>> I am digging deep into the world of Ubuntu development and am trying to
>>>> make sure my alpha and beta testing is as effective as possible. I also
>>>> don't want to cash out an arm and a leg for expensive software to do so.
>>>> I've been using virt-manager (QEMU/KVM) for testing on virtual machines,
>>>> and while things seem to be going well, I'd like to test on other
>>>> hypervisors too for the sake of catching as many bugs as possible.
>>>> VMware provides their Workstation Player product for free, *for
>>>> non-commercial use.* Problem is, I can't figure out if using VMware
>>>> for Ubuntu testing would be considered commercial use. One one hand, I'm
>>>> not a Canonical employee, nor am I using VMware for employment purposes, so
>>>> that would be non-commercial, but on the other hand, I'm helping a large
>>>> enterprise build an OS that is used for commercial purposes, so that seems
>>>> like commercial use.
>>>> Do any of y'all do QA testing in the free version of VMware Workstation
>>>> Player? Does anyone know if this is a legal use of VMware?
>>>> Thank you for your help and time.
>>>> (Note: I *think* these kinds of questions are what this mailing list
>>>> is for, but if I'm misguided and should have sent this to
>>>> ubuntu-devel-discuss, please let me know and I'll direct these kinds of
>>>> questions there instead.)
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