As you all know, I am a big fan of VMware Workstation. About a year and half ago, I published my first book called The VMware Workstation 5 Handbook and have been happy with its progress. I am pleased to announce that VMware Workstation 6 is currently in beta and you have to check it out.
I have been using it for awhile with Windows Vista as my Host and have had great success. Before moving to Windows Vista, I performed a physical to virtual conversion of my entire laptop on Windows XP. Next, I reformatted my hard drive and installed a fresh copy of Windows Vista Ultimate on my same laptop.
I loaded Workstation 6 and fired up my P2V conversion of Windows XP. I now have Windows Vista loaded and if any critical apps are having a problem running in Windows Vista, I can work with them off of my XP installation that I converted to a VM. Don't you just love cool technology?
Here is a excerpt taken from their release notes that talks about their advancements and improvements in this release. I am now able to publish some galleries and videos since the beta went public.
Chime in and let me know your thoughts.
New Support for 32-Bit and 64-Bit Operating Systems
This release provides experimental support for the following operating systems now in Beta:
- 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista as host and guest operating systems
- 32-bit and 64-bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.5 (Beta, formerly called 4.0 Update 5) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0 (Beta) as host and guest operating systems
- 32-bit and 64-bit SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 SP4 (Beta) as host and guest operating systems
- 32-bit and 64-bit Solaris 10 Update 3 as guest operating system
This release provides full support for the following operating systems:
- 32-bit and 64-bit Ubuntu Linux 6.10 as host and guest operating systems
- 32-bit and 64-bit Mandriva Linux 2007 as host and guest operating systems
- 32-bit Novell Netware 6.5 SP5 as guest operating system
New Features in This Release
- Multiple Monitor Support — At the click of a button, the guest can now span monitors and also reflect the monitor topology — meaning that applications, task bars, and so on inside the guest appear as you would expect them to on a multi-monitor system. You can specify how many monitors a virtual machine can detect, regardless of how many monitors are attached to the host. This feature is especially useful if you plan to deploy the virtual machine to a different host after you create it. You can also specify what screen resolution to use and how much video memory to allocate.
- Easy Upgrade or Downgrade of VMware Virtual Machines — A new Convert Hardware Version wizard steps you through the process of upgrading or downgrading virtual machines between Workstation versions 4, 5, and 6. The wizard helps you determine which virtual hardware version to use for various VMware products. You have the choice of either changing the version of the original virtual machine or creating a full clone.
- Automation Via Expanded VIX 2.0 API — The VIX API (formerly known as the Programming API) is now compatible with Workstation 6. This API allows you to write scripts and programs to automate virtual machine operations. This release of the API is available in the C language. There are additional language bindings for Perl, COM, and shell scripts (vmrun).
- Enhanced Import Functionality (Windows Hosts Only) — Included in this release is the Importer wizard from the VMware Converter product. Using the Importer wizard enables you to convert a virtual machine from one VMware virtual machine format to another, and convert virtual machines or system images from popular third-party vendors.
- Automatic Update to the Latest Version of VMware Tools — You can now set VMware Tools to automatically upgrade itself when the virtual machine is powered on.
- Integrated Virtual Debuggers — With the new Workstation IDE (integrated development environment) plug-ins, software developers are provided with menu items and toolbar buttons in Visual Studio (Windows only) or Eclipse (Windows or Linux) to easily develop and debug programs in virtual machines.
- Appliance View for Virtual Appliances — Rather than having users see a console view for an appliance, you can now configure the new appliance view. It gives you a brief description of the type of server or appliance and provides a link that opens the browser on the guest system and connects to the correct port for the server console.
- Run Virtual Machines in the Background — You can now leave virtual machines and teams running in the background when you exit Workstation. On the host, a system tray icon indicates how many virtual machines are running in the background. Click the icon to open a virtual machine.
- Enhanced File Sharing and Copy and Paste Functionality — You can now use shared folders on a Solaris guest. You can copy and paste text and files between Linux and Windows hosts and Linus, Windows, and Solaris guests.
- Cross-Platform Drag-and-Drop Functionality — You can now drag and drop files and directories from a Linux or Windows host to a Linux, Solaris, or Windows guest, and vice versa.
- Virtual Machines Can Act as VNC Servers — You can set a virtual machine to act as a VNC server without having to install any specialized VNC software in the guest.
- New Online Help System for Workstation — The help system includes full-text search, bookmarking ability, index, and table of contents. Note that for this beta release, you need an Internet connection to use the help system.
- Battery Information Is Now Reported in the Guest — If you use a laptop to run a guest in full screen mode, you will now be able to see status information about the host's battery.
- Increased RAM Support — The previous limit of 4GB total RAM that could be used for all virtual machines combined has been removed. The amount of memory used by all virtual machines combined is now limited only by the amount of the host computer’s RAM and page file size. The maximum amount of memory that can be allocated per virtual machine has been raised from 3.6GB to 8GB.
- Support for Paravirtualized Linux Kernels — If you have a VMware VMI (Virtual Machine Interface) 3.0 enabled kernel in a Linux guest operating system, you can now enable paravirtual support in the virtual machine.
- User Interface for Mapping a Virtual Disk to a Drive Letter on the Windows Host
- Support for High-Speed USB 2.0 Devices
- Improved 64-bit Guest Support — Intel EM64T VT-capable processors are now fully supported.
- New 64-bit Sound Driver
- VMware Player 2.0 — The new Player Welcome page gives you the option of browsing to a virtual machine file or downloading a virtual appliance from the VMTN (VMware Technology Network) web site. You can then use Player’s new appliance view when running a virtual appliance.
- Player Extensions Framework — A new development framework enables you to create new controls in VMware Player. You can embed custom toolbar and menu items in the Player chrome, thereby enhancing the end user’s Player experience.