A few days ago VMware released a brand new version of their desktop virtualization product, Workstation 9.0. This release brings a lot of new features, but the biggest one is full support for Windows 8 and multi-touch. You can check out the full release notes here. Its great to see nested virtualization support, so you can run ESXi inside of Workstation 9 and power-on 64-bit VMs inside the nested ESXi instance. Great for home labs that don’t have the budget for dedicated physical ESXi servers. It’s also funny that Hyper-V is now an OS choice to run inside of Workstation…..wonder what Microsoft thinks of that?
VMware just released Workstation 8.0.2, up from 8.0.1. This is not a major release, but has a few enhancements:
- Ubuntu 11.10 is supported as a host.
- Fedora 16 is supported as a guest.
Fixed bugs include:
- The ACLs on the PID files needed improvement. VMware thanks Inode0 for bringing this to our attention.
- Releasing input from the guest to the host, for example, moving the cursor from the virtual machine window to the host screen, failed with an unrecoverable error.
- Copying and pasting from a guest to an Ubuntu 11.10 host failed.
- Shared folders did not work in Fedora 16 and OpenSuse 12.1 guests.
- In Ubuntu 11.10 hosts, key repeat was disabled after ungrabbing or quitting VMware Workstation.
- On a Windows host, a virtual machine configured to use a physical disk or partition failed to power on if the host had a volume backed by more than one physical disk, for example, a RAID system.
- On a machine with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 SP1, vix-perl installation failed with dynamic link errors.
This is a free update for all Workstation 8.0.2 owners. Workstation 8.0.1 included dramatic graphics acceleration with IE9, so if you are still on 8.0.0 and using IE9 in guests, you really should upgrade.
If you want to experiment with ESX(i) on your home computer and have VMware Workstation 6.5, it’s pretty easy to do. Two key steps are needed in order to be successful.
1. When creating a new VM inside Workstation for ESX(i), chose Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 64-bit.
2. After you have created your new VM in which ESX(i) will live, two additions are needed to the associated VMX file:
monitor.virtual_exec = hardware
monitor_control.restrict_backdoor = TRUE
Quick, run, don’t walk to the Workstation 7.0 release candidate download!
- Full Windows 7 Host and Guest support including the ability to run Aero!
- Improved 3D Graphics for Windows guests with OpenGL and Shader Model 3.0 support
- Support for many new OSs including Windows Server 2008 R2, Debian 5, and ESX (Yes, you can vMotion!)
- Create Virtual Machines with up to four processors and/or four cores and 32 GB of memory
- ThinPrint integration enables virtual printing and makes the host printers available within the guest
- Smart Card enhancements to enable secure authentication
- 256-bit AES encryption of your virtual machines
- ALSA sound for Linux users
- Dynamic update of VMware Tools
- Drag and Drop now works with formatted text, graphics and file attachments
- AutoProtect your VMs with the ability to regularly schedule snapshots to be created
- Pause a VM to instantly free up your processor
- Replay Debugging is even more powerful and now works remotely
- A redesigned Virtual Network Editor that is much easier to use
You can download it from VMware here.
VMware is doing a private beta/preview of Workstation 7.0. While I can’t reveal the new features due to a NDA, other people have leaked some of the possible new features. Google is your friend! Today I asked a VMware guy when the planned release was, and decoding his carefully worded statement it seems the release will be near the Windows 7 release in October. Workstation 7.0 has some great new features, so keep your eyes pealed for a public beta or the general release. I plan to install the preview later this week and start playing around with it.