MCTI Program Laptop Specifications

Important! Students admitted to the MCTI program must bring their own laptop (system), configured according to the instructions specified below.

MCTI is a very hands-on program, and as such, we strongly urge you to arrive to the program with a system meeting all the requirements specified below. It is important to carefully read and follow these instructions so you will be able to participate in hands-on exercises. Please also ensure you back up your system before class, and avoid storing any sensitive data on your system (we cannot be responsible for your system data):

  • CPU: 64-bit Intel i5/i7 (4th generation+) - x64 bit 2.0+ GHz processor or more recent processor is mandatory.
  • CRITICAL NOTE: Apple systems using the M1 processor line cannot perform the necessary virtualization functionality needed in some courses and therefore cannot in any way be used!
  • It is critical that your CPU and operating system support 64-bit so that our 64-bit guest virtual machines will run on your laptop: VMware provides a free tool for Windows that will detect whether or not your host supports 64-bit guest virtual machines: For further troubleshooting, this article page provides good instructions for Windows users to determine more about the CPU and OS capabilities. For Macs, please visit the Apple Support page to determine 64-bit capability
  • BIOS settings must be set to enable virtualization technology, such as "Intel-VT": Be absolutely certain you can access your BIOS, in case changes are necessary.
  • 32 GB (Gigabytes) of RAM or higher is recommended
  • USB 3.0 Type-A port is required: At least one open and working USB 3.0 Type-A port is required. Therefore, a Type-C to Type-A adapter may be necessary for newer laptops. Some endpoint protection software prevents the use of USB devices - test your system with a USB drive to ensure you can load the course data.
  • 200 Gigabytes of Free Space on your System Hard Drive: Free Space on Hard Drive is critical to host the VMs we distribute.
  • Local Administrator access is absolutely required.
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 capability is mandatory: You will need to connect to an in-class Wi-Fi network in some courses.
  • Host Operating System: Your system must be running either Windows 10 Pro, Linux or macOS 10.14 or later that also can install and run VMware virtualization products.
  • Updated Operating System: It is necessary to fully update your host operating system prior to the class to ensure you have the right drivers and patches installed to utilize the latest USB 3.0 devices.
  • Those who use a Linux host must also be able to access exFAT partitions using the appropriate kernel or FUSE modules.
  • Download and install 7-Zip (for Windows Hosts) or Keka (macOS): Without these extraction tools, you'll be unable to extract large archives we'll supply to you in class.
  • Download and install the latest version of VMware Workstation Pro or VMware Fusion Pro versions: If you do not own a licensed copy of VMware Workstation or Fusion, please contact us to provide you a license.
  • You must get the versions of the products that have "Pro" in their name. The free non-Pro versions of these products (e.g., VMware Workstation Player) are not sufficient because they do not support snapshot functionality, which we will need to use.
  • Other virtualization software, such as VirtualBox and Hyper-V, are not appropriate because of compatibility and troubleshooting problems you might encounter during class.
  • VMware Workstation Pro on Windows 10 is not compatible with Windows 10 Credential Guard and Device Guard technologies. Please disable these capabilities for the duration of the class, if they are enabled on your system.