Recently, there has been a great upsurge of interest in studies related to several aspects of microbial lipid production, which is one of the top topics in relevant research fields due to the high demand of these fatty materials in food, medical, oleochemical and biofuel industries. Lipid accumulation by the so-called "oleaginous microorganisms" can generate more than 20% w/w of oil in dry biomass and is governed by a plethora of parameters, such as medium pH, incubation temperature, nutrient limitation and C/N (carbon/nitrogen) ratio, which drastically affect the lipid production bioprocess. Until now, considerable work has been undertaken to find the cheapest substrate to enable lipid fermentation by oleaginous microorganisms. This review principally details information regarding microbial lipids, suitable production conditions and focuses attention on using the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica to achieve these objectives. Lipid production by this yeast is discussed and the necessary conditions and suitable substrates are reviewed.