Technical Specifications
​​​​​​​​The goal of CyberPatriot 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.


VMWARE WORKSTATION PLAYER 16.1.2  is the standard Virtual Machine player for CP-XIV*

Cisco  ​Packet Tracer version 8.0.1 will be used for CP-XIV​

Teams unable to use Workstation Player 16.1.2 may use Workstation Player 15.1.0 or later at their own risk. Issues resulting from using versions below Workstation Player 16.1.2 will not be grounds for special consideration.
If you have any questions concerning 64-bit system or VMware Workstation Player 16.1.2 requirements or need help, please read the hardware and software requirements below or contact the CyberPatriot Program Office at or telephone 877-885-5716. 

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To determine if your Windows operating system is 64-bit either:

1. Go to Control Panel and Click the System icon
2.  Click the Start or Windows button
         - Click on the Settings icon then System
          - Click About at the bottom of the menu

In either case, the System screen appears. In the System section of the screen your system type will be identified like this:
                                                           Processor:         Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-7100 CPU @3.9 0GHz (or something similar)
                                                           System type:    64-bit Operating System (or something similar)

MINIMUM Hardware requirements

The following are the hardware requirements for CyberPatriot. Each host computer must be able to run VMware Workstation Player 16.1.2. It is recommended that teams use one host machine for each image in a round. 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.

Processors   (made 2011 and after)

 Intel: 64-bit i3 processor of the generation “Sandy Bridge” or better
AMD: 64-bit processor of the generation “Bulldozer” or better

Virtual ExtensionsVirtualization technology/extensions (e.g., VT-x, Vx) must be ENABLED in BIOS


Disk Space. 40 GB of free disk space

Display. XGA (1280x768) or higher display / 1280x1024 recommended

NOTE: Some competition images will not work with the virtualization technology extensions disabled in the BIOS.
To participate in CyberPatriot, a host system must be able to run VMware Workstation Player 16.1.2 and higher versions on their host systems. VMware Workstation Player is free software that runs on a 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 16.1.2. If you are not sure whether your system is capable of running the software, please refer to the VMware Workstation Player Documentation at the link in Software Requirements. 

Software requirements

  • ​Operating Systems. 64-Bit Windows 8.1 or later.  Must be capable of running VMWare Workstation Player 16.1.2 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. See the Download instructions for the round for the latest software.

  • 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 16.1.2 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 systems. 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​ 8.0.1​​​​

Notes on COMPETING WITH APPLE MAC Operating systems

  • 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 the 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


BIOS and virtual extension Requirements

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

Website access Requirements

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. If the websites can be reached from current school or organization computers, then there should be no special requirement for CyberPatriot access.

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, Microsoft Edge, etc. for updates, etc.

Network Requirements

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 OUTBOUND access to BOTH HTTP on Port 80 and HTTPS on Port 443 on the competition servers to participate in CyberPatriot. This does not mean Port 80 and Port 443 are wide open to the internet. The server IP address information is located on the Coach's Dashboard. Note that the website access requirements listed above should be whitelisted if they cannot be accessed through school or organizational computers. If your school has restrictions on access through Port 80 and Port 443, please contact the CyberPatriot Program Office at ​​​