The goal is to have as many teams as possible take part in the competition. We understand that some schools and organizations do not have as much access to equipment as others, so technical specifications have been kept to a minimum. In every round except the National Finals competition, teams can participate from any location. Many teams participate at their school, their organizational headquarters, or a library.


Teams using 32-bit, host computers or operating systems will have compatibility issues with the CyberPatriot competition software and VMWare Workstation Player 14.1.2  and higher versions.  Issues resulting from the use of 32-bit systems will not be grounds for special consideration. Plan now so you can successfully compete in CyberPatriot.  

If you have any questions concerning 64-bit system requirements or need help please read the hardware and software requirements below or contact the CyberPatriot Program Office at [email protected] or tel. 877-885-5716. 
To determine if your Windows operating system is 32-bit either:
1. Go to Control Panel and Click the System icon
2. ​Click the Start or Windows button
   – Right click on the Computer or This PC icon
   – Click Properties
In either case, the System screen appears. In the System section of the screen your system type will be identified like this:
System type:    32-bit Operating System (or something similar)


The following are the hardware requirements for CyberPatriot. It is recommended that teams use one host machine for each image in around. If teams do not have access to enough host machines, it is recommended that they do not run more than one image on a single machine at one time. If they do so, these specifications will be inadequate.
  • 64-bit x86 Intel Core 2 Duo Processor or equivalent, OR AMD Athlon™ 64 FX Dual Core

    1.3 GHz or faster core speed with virtualization technology/extensions (e.g., VT, Vx) ENABLED in BIOS

  • 4 GB of RAM minimum / 8 GB of RAM recommended
  • 40 GB of free disk space​
  • XGA (1024×768) or higher display/1280×1024 recommended
NOTE: Some competition images will not work with the virtual technology disabled in the BIOS.
In order to participate in CyberPatriot, a host system must be able to run VMware Workstation Player 14.1.2 and higher versions on their host systems. VMware Workstation Player is free software that runs on 64-bit host operating system.  Some host systems will appear to conform to the above requirements but are still unable to run VMware Workstation Player 14.1.2. If you are not sure whether your system is capable of running the software, please refer to the VMware Workstation Player Documentation.


    • Operating Systems64-Bit Windows 7or later.  Must be capable of running VMWare Workstation Player 14.1.2 or later.  Other operating systems such as Apple Mac Operating Systems and Linux Operating Systems may be used at the team’s own risk, but issues resulting from their use (e.g., the image does not open, image locks up, score checks do not work, etc.), are not grounds for appeal or special consideration. Teams with Mac and other non-Windows operating systems should have at least one Windows computer that meets technical specifications for the competition.
    • CyberPatriot Competition System (CCS) Connection Test
      • Used to check network connections to the scoring server without using an image.
    • WinMD5
      • Used for verifying the checksum of the images to ensure that they have been fully downloaded
      • Install guide
    • 7-Zip
      • Used for unzipping the images after they have been downloaded
      • Install guide
    • VMware Workstation Player 14.1.2 or later for Windows
      • Used to play the images after they have been unzipped
      • How to open a virtual machine image
      • VMware Workstation Player is free software that runs on 64-bit host operating system. The official version of VMware Workstation Player will be announced before the competition season because updates made by VMware may provide better compatibility. Earlier versions of VMware Player are available, but issues stemming from the use of these versions are not grounds for appeal.
    • Cisco Packet Tracer 7.1
      • Used for the Cisco Networking Challenge.
      • Free to use for registered teams
      • Downloaded from a user account at


  • Due to the paid nature of VMware Fusion and the limited number of teams using Mac systems, the CyberPatriot Program Office does not test or provide support for this software or other Apple Mac software.
  • Teams using Apple Mac computers should have a Windows computer available during the competition in case there is a compatibility issue with the software. The Windows computer must meet technical specifications listed on this page to be compatible with the CyberPatriot software.
  • Issues stemming from the use of Apple Mac software, Fusion, or other Apple Mac software are not grounds for appeal or special consideration. If you have access only to Apple computers, please see this unofficial guide for a Coach’s advice on how to participate in the competition: CyberPatriot Mac Guide


Virtual extensions or similar settings must be enabled in the host computer BIOS if the VMware Workstation Player fails to function correctly.


The minimal website access required to participate in CyberPatriot is listed below.  The website access list is not all-inclusive and does not include research and updates for applications.

Website                                          Reason for Access   Coach’s Dashboard, Competition Information          Information on Windows OS and Updates            VMware software required to compete                7-Zip compression software is required to compete         Ubuntu software updates             Ubuntu information           MD5 checksum required to test competition file integrity            Cisco Networking Academy website for the Cisco Networking Challenges and training          Links to competition information

Search Engine                  Google, Bing, etc. for research and to find updates
Web Browsers                  Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc. for updates, etc.


   CyberPatriot requires a DSL or faster network connection. The most common difficulty encountered by teams during competition is having their traffic blocked by a school firewall, filter, or proxy server. All teams will need unrestricted access to HTTP on Port 80 to participate in CyberPatriot. If your school has restrictions on access through Port 80, please contact the CyberPatriot Program Office at [email protected]