I am studying CS50 through edx.org

In order to solve pset1, I have to download vmware workstation. However, the software is not free and the website is requesting me to pay 200 USD.

Is vmware free or chargeable?? and how can I download it for free??

3 Answers 3


As an alternative, you might try the open source VirtualBox, available at https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads. It handles the CS50 appliance well.

  • Thank you so much. Virtualbox was downloaded successfully and now I have the appliance on my laptop. But I can't download dropbox from the appliance itself. I am getting the following msg: "Trouble connecting to dropbox servers. Maybe your internet connection is down, or you need to set your http_Proxy environment variable." Oct 28, 2015 at 9:10
  • The next thing is to check the settings for the network. Do you have an adapter set to NAT?
    – KimPhilby
    Oct 28, 2015 at 13:54
  • I checked the network and added the NatNetwork. But the same error msg appeared again. Oct 28, 2015 at 19:57
  • I read the Q&A of others who have the same problem and tried all the suggested solutions. But nothing worked out so far. Oct 28, 2015 at 20:22
  • Next, I would look a how your host computer connects to the web, e.g., are there issues with the firewall? Can you ping google.com?
    – KimPhilby
    Oct 29, 2015 at 15:28

VMWare is free for this course. You should follow the installation instructions precisely, located at https://manual.cs50.net/appliance/2014/

Also, take note of the following (from the windows version of the instructions)

2.The VMware Software Center is set up like a store. On the "store front" 
page, click on VMware Workstation 11. If you see both a free and a non-free 
offering of the product, choose the free one. In the drop-down menu labeled 
Choose a platform, make sure that Windows is selected. Click the Add to 
Cart button, then proceed through the check-out process until you reach a 
screen with a Start Download button. After a momentary delay, your unique 
product key should appear in red on that screen. Copy that key into a place 
where you keep software serial numbers and license keys. You’ll need it to 
install Workstation 11 now and to reinstall it later if the need arises.

Mac instructions will be different, but you get the idea.

If this answers your question, please click on the check to accept. Let's keep up on forum housekeeping. ;-)

  • I did exactly what is stated in the instructions, but the VMware Software Center asked for my credit card details and asking me for confirmation in order to bill me 60$. There is no free offering of the product. There is no drop down menu labeled Choose a platform. I downloaded a free VMware workstation from another website, but I am getting an error msg and the installation stops. Oct 15, 2015 at 11:16

I consulted with a computer engineer:

The first problem we faced is that the free version is not appearing on my browser because of the IP address so we had to use VPN. It worked out and I managed to get the file for free.

The second problem we faced is an error that keeps stopping the installation process. It seems like a common problem if you have Windows 7 Home Premium Service Pack 1.

I am continuing to study CS50 through edx platform, but I am totally frustrated that I won't be able to submit any assignment and get certified.

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