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VMware's workstation software is already free. Well, mostly free, so long as you already have your VMware images.
Vmware workstation is not free.
Vmware Player is, however you can't create images with it.
Only Vmware Server, formally known as GSX is free.
You can create images...if you want to make them by hand. All you need is vi--the HDD files are available online also.
Ah, VMware Player, I couldn't remember the exact name.
if you go for the vmware player, you can use qemu to create the disk image; the format is the same.
then create a .vmx file by hand and you're done.