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VMWare Inc. Releases Free Virtual Machine Runtime

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the just-like-the-real-thing dept.

Software 318

rfinnvik writes "VMWare Inc. has released a new free (as in beer) virtual machine runtime called VMware Player. According to VMWare, this free VM runtime makes it possible for anyone to run virtual machines created in their Workstation, GSX or ESX products. It also runs virtual machines created in Microsoft's virtualization products. The runtime is available for both Windows and Linux."

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318 comments

this does what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840254)

Not sure what this is supposed to accomplish, but VMware has been godly for a very long time, and it's good to hear more from them :)

Re:this does what? (2, Informative)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840269)

Basically, have you seen how there's a QEMU image of ReactOS, and I'm sure other OSes have QEMU and Bochs images?

Well, this means that they can now use a VMWare image, and link to the VMWare Player.

Re:this does what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840296)

Basically, have you seen how there's a QEMU image of ReactOS, and I'm sure other OSes have QEMU and Bochs images?

gah?

Re:this does what? (2, Interesting)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840458)

Not just the VMWare images, but (more interesting for our company) also Virtual PC/Server images.
At least, that's what they claim. Tested the player with VPC and VServer images, but they all stop with an error in the log about importing something into the registry which is not in registry format. But then again it's still in beta.

First virtual post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840255)

It's not really here...

Re:First virtual post (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840504)

Why do Linux-users always need virtual maschines or emulators? Is it because there is no good software for Linux or is it because they wnat to play their pirated games?

Or is Linux just plain inferior (have the stability problems been resolved?)?

see, now I'm gonna try linux.. (2, Funny)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840267)

why- cause it really WONT cost me anything to try...

Just pray I'm a vocal member of a new majority...

Or you could download Ubuntu (2, Insightful)

Solr_Flare (844465) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840328)

Unbuntu has two different versions. One is an install CD, the other is a run CD that lets you launch linux from disc without installing anything. Now, of course, the CD version is going to be more limited, but given that you can read/write fat32 and network NTFS(and read local NTFS) you can still do a decent bit with it. It's not bad at all if you just want to give linux a whirl and see what it is all about/teach yourself how to use some aspects of linux.

Re:see, now I'm gonna try linux.. (2, Informative)

Nik13 (837926) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840730)

No need for VMWare for that really. Knoppix is pretty good, and you can even find versions of it that come with QEMU. No need to install anything.

Re:see, now I'm gonna try linux.. (5, Interesting)

Chasuk (62477) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840750)

I'm using the VMware Player to browse Slashdot, RIGHT now, with something called the "Browser Appliance," which I also downloaded from their site. "Browser Appliance" consists of a version of Ubuntu and Firefox 1.0.7. It works slicker than shit, with almost zero system degradation.

I'm impressed!

Existing virtual machines? (4, Informative)

eMartin (210973) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840278)

AFAIK, the existing virtual machines really just consist of a simple plain text file that describes the machine, and a disk image that can be one created by VMWare or another text file that points to a "standard" image file type.

So, does this mean that if I create those files myself, I don't need the commercial products at all?

Re:Existing virtual machines? (1)

eMartin (210973) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840308)

And yes, I know that it doesn't offer the more advanced features such as snapshots, but I'm just trying to figure out why they would leave out the creation of virtual machines, if that's a relatively easy task.

Re:Existing virtual machines? (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840564)

I'm just trying to figure out why they would leave out the creation of virtual machines,

M-o-n-e-y. Being able to play back a VM is really cool, but they will make thier money off selling workstation, GSX, ESX, etc. This is a great way to distribute demo software. Think about it, Knoppix and other bootable Linux's are useful, but I don't use them for the same reason I don't dual boot. I want to run both Windows AND linux at the same time. I can do that with VMWare.

Re:Existing virtual machines? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840312)

Sounds like it, but watch out... those "text" files may contain patented information...

Re:Existing virtual machines? (3, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840319)

As far as I'm aware, there is nothing out there which can create (Bochs and Qemu can read) VMWare disk images, and they're more advanced than simple raw or dd-created files with filesystems slapped onto them.

Re:Existing virtual machines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840403)

Format I think is cow or a close releation. There are VMware Image converted to boch and qemu I don't think there is qemu and boch to VMware.

Re:Existing virtual machines? (5, Informative)

yeremein (678037) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840518)

As far as I'm aware, there is nothing out there which can create (Bochs and Qemu can read) VMWare disk images, and they're more advanced than simple raw or dd-created files with filesystems slapped onto them.

Actually, if you create a "pre-allocated" virtual disk (as opposed to dynamically growing), you'll end up with a text file "something.vmdk" that provides disk geometry and points at a raw bit dump "something-flat.vmdk". VMware (Workstation 5.0, anyway) can use an existing dd dump if you create a .vmdk file that refers to it. I've done this several times.

Re:Existing virtual machines? (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840584)

That's the most interesting thing I've heard on this site in ages. Would you mind giving an example? Maybe tell us what you'd type into a vmdk file (viz-a-viz geometry) to refer to an 2 gigabyte file (which I assume you'd make with the dd line: "dd if=/dev/zero of=something-flat-vmdk obs=1M count=2000"?)?

Re:Existing virtual machines? (3, Interesting)

mvdw (613057) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840720)

Whatever their format, is there something in the VMWare license that says you can't share them? Because if it's possible to share them, then someone with a valid copy of VMWare (or even, dare I say it, an evaluation version), can create a whole bunch-o-images, and the rest of the world can benefit.

Re:Existing virtual machines? (1)

jtstowell (239815) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840464)

Creating the file may be difficult, but it doesn't sound like anything prevents booting a CD inside the VM and reformatting/reinstalling whatever OS you want inside.

So, just grab a pre-built VM image that's big enough and do your thing...

Re:Existing virtual machines? (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840576)

They might not have the option in the player to install the VMWare tools for the OS you install. Without those, your video performance is going to suck pretty bad for many things.

Re:Existing virtual machines? (1)

jtstowell (239815) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840636)

True... but they could grab the tools .iso files from the evaluation version of VMWare Workstation.

Performance is also okay without tools on X.

Tom

So, can someone upload a blank virtual machine? (1)

karji (114631) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840609)

Can someone upload a blank virtual machine, so we can get it and install our own OSes on it and run them under VMware?

Soft bigotry of "Inc." suffix? (-1, Offtopic)

kma (2898) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840280)

Sorry to get all "meta" on this topic right out of the box, but what's with the "Inc." suffix? Does slashdot plan on referring to RedHat as "RedHat Inc.", now? Is there, e.g., a charitable organization named "VMware Outreach for Urban Poverty" with which we are trying to prevent confusion?

Re:Soft bigotry of "Inc." suffix? (2, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840343)

I think they wrote "VMWare Inc." rather than "VMWare" to avoid confusion... because alot of people, when they hear "VMWare" will think of the application/product, and not the company. Yes, I know that it would be hard for a product to release another product, but still. The "Inc." qualifier was just thrown in to make it obvious that they were talking about the company.

Re:Soft bigotry of "Inc." suffix? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840423)

The day a product releases another product I'll REALLY worry.

Re:Soft bigotry of "Inc." suffix? (1)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840499)

No, no, the day to worry is when a product releases an Inc., i.e. starts up its own company.

Re:Soft bigotry of "Inc." suffix? (2, Insightful)

croddy (659025) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840367)

I suppose this is only a problem if you're already bigoted against anything "Inc."

This could be very cool for demoing Linux apps (4, Interesting)

multiplexo (27356) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840292)

Right now you have live CDs that you can boot from to run Linux on a Windows machine without touching the hard drive, but you then have to reboot the machine into Windows to run your Doze stuff, now you could run Linux apps in your Windows environment. Another cool application might be a virtual machine that runs your browser and another one that runs your e-mail, get a virus? Not a problem, it's isolated in the virtual sandbox. I haven't worked with vmWare in a long time, how does the performance stack up these days? I might have to get a copy and play around with this.

Re:This could be very cool for demoing Linux apps (4, Insightful)

cerelib (903469) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840323)

If you check out their prepackaged virtual machines you will see one called "Browser Appliance". I think it is essentially a sandbox machine that just runs a browser isolated from your host OS.

Re:This could be very cool for demoing Linux apps (3, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840610)

This would be perfect for my office. In fact the only thing better would be if I could get virtual employees. Causing problems? No problem, just load another secretary image.

Re:This could be very cool for demoing Linux apps (1)

Cromac (610264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840824)

817 meg after unzipping that "Browser Appliance". Seems a bit on the heavy side for just a browser. I haven't run it yet but I hope theres more to it than just Mozilla.

Re:This could be very cool for demoing Linux apps (2, Interesting)

jdray (645332) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840329)

How about that I could create a Windows image here at work where we use VMWare (Windows on Windows) and take it home where I would use this free tool that runs on Linux to run occasional Windows apps (Visio or TurboTax)...?

Re:This could be very cool for demoing Linux apps (3, Insightful)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840438)

pfft.. think, limited time trials of EXPENSIVE apps,, that you can 'roll back' to the original date

Re:This could be very cool for demoing Linux apps (4, Insightful)

notb4dinner (558244) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840832)

By doing that you're still breaking the license agreement so it's really no better than pirating them.

Re:This could be very cool for demoing Linux apps (1, Informative)

cobbaut (232092) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840396)

I haven't worked with vmWare in a long time, how does the performance stack up these days?

I have sarge on a P4-3Ghz with 3GB RAM, this allows me to run several vmware machines (Suse 10, FC4, Solaris 9, Solaris 10, MS 2003, MS XP) simultaneously without any visible performance loss. Great for playing around with samba/postfix/whatever networking stuff...

cheers,
pol :)

Re:This could be very cool for demoing Linux apps (1)

LLuthor (909583) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840484)

When you click a link in your e-mail client, how do you expect a browser to pick it up??

And do you really want to update 39 (the number of apps I have running at the moment) systems when there is a patch or update?

Re:This could be very cool for demoing Linux apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840548)

VMware has also put out an image for a "browser appliance" (which is an ubuntu hoary VM with firefox). Pretty cool.

Gee, that's nice. (5, Interesting)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840295)

However, given the compatibility problems with previous versions of VMWare I am not sure how much use it will be to people who download Open Source VMs off of the web to run (and I assume that's part of who this is aimed at). I've read a couple of places, for instance, that the current version of VMWare won't run the VMWare installation of Plan 9 that you can download from Bell Labs.

That said, you can run Qemu [qemu.org] with kernel acceleration on Linux, FreeBSD (a platform VMWare doesn't even support) and 2000/XP and get pretty good performance - and it's probably a better option than a mere 'runtime' given that not only does it support an additional platform (FreeBSD), but you can create a VM on one platform and run it on all the others (even ones w/out accerlation, such as NetBSD -though you really would not want to).

Speed Issues (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840381)

I run both, and have very little trouble with VMware and the OS that is being run under it.

If you want to compare speeds, QEMU still lags way behind VMware, and unless you have one hell of a machine, you cant use it in production as its way too slow.

QEMU also has major troubles with hosting windows installs, which is what most people in business use VMWare for. ( virtual servers )

Dont get me wrong QEMU is a great thing and its improving quickly, but i would still not trust it for production, yet.

Re:Gee, that's nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840461)

FreeBSD (a platform VMWare doesn't even support)

Not true at all:

http://www.vmware.com/support/ws5/doc/ws_newguest_ tools_freebsd.html [vmware.com]

Any questions?

Re:Gee, that's nice. (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840502)

By 'support' I meant that VMWare, Inc does not make a native binary which you can run on FreeBSD. They make binaries for Linux, and for Windows...if you run anything else, you either do without, or you use pkgsrc [pkgsrc.org] or FreeBSD ports (which uses a series of fairly crude hacks to get the Linux binary of an old version of VMWare to run on *BSD).

Re:Gee, that's nice. (1)

vigyanik (781631) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840611)

So let me get your arguments straight... a) This free runtime would suck because it doesn't run a Plan 9 vm. b) Since you guess VMware doesn't support freebsd, you recommend Qemu to run linux, freebsd and win*.

Well, my friend, that's not only twisting the facts, it's wrong.

Plan 9 is an unsupported OS and linux/win* are. So is freebsd [vmware.com] . Any vm created in a supported OS will run.

Secondly, Qemu's performance is way worse than VMware's.

Re:Gee, that's nice. (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840672)

I think I was quite clear in my post, actually:

>a) This free runtime would suck because it doesn't run a Plan 9 vm.

No, this no-cost (NOT 'free') runtime is less than optimal because it does not support older virtual machines which you can find out on the internet (Plan 9 was only an example; but basically VMWare 5 often has problems with running virtual OS installs created by older versions of VMWare)

>b) Since you guess VMware doesn't support freebsd, you recommend Qemu to run linux, freebsd and win*.

Since VMWare does not build a native binary for any platform other than Linux and Windows, I recommend using software which does run on other platforms [qemu.org] (at least until the unlikely day I can download a native binary for FreeBSD which will run without Linux emulation) so that you have Virtual Machines which are ready to go in the event you install NetBSD or OSX or whatever.

Re:Gee, that's nice. (1)

Dahan (130247) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840766)

Since VMWare does not build a native binary for any platform other than Linux and Windows ...

Why do you care? If FreeBSD will run the Linux binary with no performance degradation and with all the features that it would have if it were running on Linux, what difference does it make? I've never tried running VMWare under FreeBSD, so perhaps there are problems. You didn't mention any though, and in my experience, Linux apps run excellently on FreeBSD.

Re:Gee, that's nice. (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840839)

There are two problems:

1)configuration: setting up the emulated kernel drivers is obscure, to be polite; personally speaking I've never managed to get them to work.

2)the port only lets you use select older versions of VMWare (versions 4 and 2, if I remember correctly); you can't simply download the latest (or even a decently recent) version of VMware, you have to use the one that is available with the ports -assuming, of course, that you have the appropriate version's license key (which, for the versions available through the pkgsrc/ports you can only get via warez channels).

I'm a huge fan of pkgsrc and BSD, but VMware is a case where (through no fault of the ports or pkgsrc folk) they just don't cut it.

Response to new alternatives (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840302)

Anything free out of VMWare these days seems more like a response to free competitors like QEMU [qemu.org] (or it's faster virtualization form KQEMU) than anything else.

Still, in the time between QEMU catches up to VMWare feature-wise it's nice to have a legal-but-hobbled copy.

Great move (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840316)

At least until someone writes a program to build compatible VM's, if they haven't already. The low risk trialware aspect of this is pretty interesting, and you know that none of the free VM's will run Windows, if Microsoft has anything to say about it.

VM Machine Building For Free (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840467)

You can get a free 30 day license from VMware for their regular product.

Make as many VM's you want and when it expires you can still use the 'runtime' thing.

Re:VM Machine Building For Free (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840506)

make one, (virtual machine) and download another 30 day license.

save it...

when it runs out, roll back that VM

Re:VM Machine Building For Free (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840537)

Its not 30 day of use, its 30 days on a calendar basis, from date of issue.

Re:VM Machine Building For Free (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840578)

And just how does the software know what the real date is? Just don't syncronize the clock with the host system. You could even use a LD_PRELOAD wrapper to fake any time you wanted by overriding the system "get time" library calls, eliminating the need nested virtual machines.

Re:VM Machine Building For Free (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840686)

At that point you might as well save yourself the trouble and pirate the damn thing.

Re:VM Machine Building For Free (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840836)

Wasn't that what this thread was about in the first place?

In any event, using LD_PRELOAD should be easier (at least under Linux) if you know which routine it's using (try `ltrace`), more responsive at runtime than using nested virtual machines, and more permanent than setting back the virtual machine's clock (although this is debateable - 35 years (since 1970, the epoch) is a long time).

feeling pressure from xen (1)

xzvf (924443) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840320)

Sounds like they are feeling pressure from Xen and are trying to prevent the truely free OSS solution from gaining mindshare. They make a good product, but cost and closed source will limit them in the long run.

Re:feeling pressure from xen (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840349)

>but cost and closed source will limit them in the long run.
However, litigation and software patents (VMWare has a shitload of patents) will be enough to ensure that they outlast their OSS competition (in the case of patents, will be the way in which they bury said competition).

Re:feeling pressure from xen (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840485)

Doubtful... my bet would be competing with Microsoft Virtual PC which is free to any serious developer with an MSDN subscription and is used in a world where large amounts of developing, testing and demoing is done inside of DLed VPC images.

Xen is not a competitor to VMWare (5, Interesting)

McSpew (316871) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840497)

Sounds like they are feeling pressure from Xen and are trying to prevent the truely free OSS solution from gaining mindshare. They make a good product, but cost and closed source will limit them in the long run.

Xen is not a competitor to VMWare, at least, not right now, it isn't. Xen requires the guest OS to be built with explicit support for Xen. VMWare doesn't require that. Xen can't run any build of Windows or NetWare, but VMWare can.

It's clear that this product is a shot across Microsoft's bow. Ever since MS bought Connectix, they've been gunning for VMWare. Those who've tried both VirtualPC and VMWare Workstation have almost universally preferred VMWare Workstation (I haven't tried VirtualPC, but VMWare Workstation rocks), but VirtualPC is still cheaper than VMWare ($129 vs. $199). VMWare has also recently announced that it's hoping to standardize the virtual machine software industry around common VM file formats (VMWare's, of course). If, by using a free VMWare Player, they can get everybody else to adopt their VM formats, they'll have won that war before MS can even get into the battle.

This doesn't really cannibalize sales of VMWare Workstation, even if others figure out how to create VMWare-compatible VMs from other applications, because those of us who use VMWare Workstation like all of its features (and there are lots). What it really does is seed the market for VMWare's real money makers--GSX Server and ESX Server. MS has nothing close to those products right now, and VMWare's hoping to permanently establish themselves as the market leaders before MS can get a comparable product on the market.

Re:Xen is not a competitor to VMWare (2, Interesting)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840555)

Well, here's an MS VPC fan.

I'll admit, I haven't played with VMWare WS5.

VPC is also slower, from what I've seen.

However, VPC emulates more standard hardware that OSes (especially old ones) support out of the box. Important when you're playing with an old OS, and you need driver support.

Re:Xen is not a competitor to VMWare (1)

rteunissen (740645) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840644)

Actually, in order to run VMWare Workstation on Linux you need the kernel module, which has to be either custom built or you have to be running one of the supported distributions.

But VMWare Workstation still rocks.

Re:Xen is not a competitor to VMWare (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840647)

You do know that you don't have to have the exact same feature set in order to be a competitor in the business world, right? Products that perform similar functions can still compete.

Re:Xen is not a competitor to VMWare (1)

dosguru (218210) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840690)

MS has been demoing their product here at VMWorld and they are very much trying to take on ESX/GSX. Their ability to cluster is actually better than ESX, but I expect VMWare to fix that soon in a ESX 3.1. VS2005r2 is definatly a competitor for a plain GSX install, but VMWare's managment utilites and product line will keep GSX on top in that niche.

VMWare also has NSA backing on security abilites, does MS?

Not entirely accurate (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840725)

VmWare is feeling a lot of heat from a lot of areas. If you think that Xen is causing VmWare no heat, then you are sadly mistaken. Linux/bsd on xen runs with much less performace penalty than vmware. In addition, there will be shortly, a way to run MS in it, but with a performance penalty. That means, for the occiasional user of windows, this is perfect, and quite a bit cheaper. So yes, xen is very much a competitor to VmWare

Of course, if you are running lots of windows, then Conenctix will be shortly the prefered approach. I would be sutprised if MS does not include connectix for free with all their windows.

So if you run Linux and Xen is bundled automatically, you would pay for VmWare, why? Likewise, if you run Windows, and Connectix is bundled for free, you would use Vmware why?

Sad to say, I am guessing that VmWare is likely to be netscaped.

Re:feeling pressure from xen (2, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840790)

"Sounds like they are feeling pressure from Xen and are trying to prevent the truely free OSS solution from gaining mindshare. They make a good product, but cost and closed source will limit them in the long run."

I really don't want to be a smart *ss, but whenever I read these sorts of comments here on /. I wonder "just what alternate universe are these people living in?"

I doubt most of the corporate types at VMware know that Xen even exists - let alone sees it as any sort of "competition".

I predict a major use for this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840322)

...will be to deliver flash ads to those users that refuse to install it on their host machines.

Wondering (2, Interesting)

umbrellasd (876984) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840324)

Has anyone had luck with running VMWare on Linux and using a virtual machine to play Windows games? I play two online games and they are the only reason that I use Windows as my primary operating system. Not familiar with the performance concerns, but it looks like I could prepare a Windows gaming VM and run it when I game, and then work on other tasks in my preferred Linux environment. Googling...

Re:Wondering (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840376)

I used to run Starcraft on it perfectly, including BattleNet games. Of course, we're talking about a game that ran at a playable speed on a 486 machine I built in 1994.

Re:Wondering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840419)

AFAIK there aren't passthrough 3d drivers available with VMWARE (just vga-only without 3d accel), which is the primary reason people don't do things like that.

Re:Wondering (1)

fodi (452415) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840489)

Sure about this? I thought that installing "VMWare Tools" added video acceleration. Of course there's still going to be a performance hit. Can anyone verify?

Re:Wondering (1)

civilizedINTENSITY (45686) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840679)

In terms of the "feel" of it, WinXP *seemed* faster running under VMWare under Linux, than running natively on the same hardware. I kept the dualboot option to play DVDs, but would boot Linux if I had to work in WinXP (VisualStudio, and Mathematica).

As long as you don't expect 3D accel. (2, Informative)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840479)

The video card it emulates is pretty low end. It's acceptable for the old SimCity games (I've tried them) but not for any modern shooter.

There is also the problem where you're still sharing your CPU with the virtual machine so you may experience pauses in the game. Not really noticable with strategy and turn based games, but it may be a problem with shooters.

The good news is that you can load up different Windows versions for different games (you do still have the licenses, right?). So you can run Win95 or Win98 or Win2K or WinXP if you want.

DOS works okay for most games, but the VMWare sound emulation doesn't match any of the old 1980's-era games that I tried.

Re:Wondering (2, Informative)

richmaine (128733) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840492)

Games and emulation just don't go together. That applies to pretty much all kinds of emulation - VMWare, Virtual PC, whatever. Games just tend to require performance that emulation can't deliver. Plus games are often picky about hardware such as video cards.

Of course, this overgeneralizes. If you have some text-based game, or even a graphics one old enough to not strain current hardware, then maybe. But generally speaking, assume that games won't work acceptably.

I've used VMWare (though it has been a while). It worked fine for my technical applications. Allowed me to run Windows compilers and make Windows executables of my programs for ussers that wanted such. But forget games.

Re:Wondering (1)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840754)

Games and emulation just don't go together.

Nonsense! I've been playing the gold box Pool of Radiance on DOS 6.22 on my 4 year old iBook under VPC the past few weeks. I even had to resort to using the copy of MoSlo that came on the install CD to keep things slow enough. The hardest part about the whole thing was finding an OS X utility to extract the CAB files on the gold box install disk. Why they wrapped up a DOS game in a 32bit installer I don't know. Thankfully they just stuck all the original DOS files in there, along with uninst.dll and some pif file. And yes, before you ask, I did try dosbox. My machine is just too slow to handle it.

Re:Wondering (2, Interesting)

Tiny Elvis (171954) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840621)

I had an old game (magic the gathering) that ran on Win 98. I had problems running it on win 2k mainly due to the fact it would run too fast and was unplayable. I heard running in under 98 made it run the proper speed so I setup a Win 98 VMWARE instance to play it. As the others replying have said, you can forget running anything that requires 3d. It makes a great sandbox to test other stuff in though.

Excellent for "black sheep" corporate Linux users. (4, Insightful)

GiMP (10923) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840336)

Need to run Linux at work but corporate policy won't let you? (or plan to install Linux anyway, but need that killer-app for Windows?)... Boss won't buy you a copy of VMWare?

Buy your own copy for personal use and simply install this "player" on your work PC. Need multiple users wanting to emulate an OS and don't have terribly high demands? One copy of vmware... multiple players.

I'm drooling.

Re:Excellent for "black sheep" corporate Linux use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840789)

Unfortunately that personal copy will set you back about $300.

USB adapters... (3, Informative)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840378)

So far, no virtualization systems I've used has ever supported dynamic USB support.

I wonder what kernels their Linux player supports usb support. I assume it will be something like FC4 or RHEL ?.

Can someone who has downloaded tell me how the usb hotplugging works for you ?.

Re:USB adapters... (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840465)

If I understand what you mean by dynamic USB support, then VMWare does it. I've used it with Windows MCE on VMWare.

Re:USB adapters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840719)

Malc is correct.
Certainly on windows, just make sure that you've clicked on the VM-ware desktop to make the VM-ware window the 'active' window in the host OS.
Now just attach you USB device. The VM machine will take control - NOT the host machine.

Re:USB adapters... (1)

AmigaAvenger (210519) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840778)

the trick is, at least if you run linux as your host, is that linux kernel will often grab the device before vmware has a chance. this happens to me all the time on usb hard drives/keychains. a simple rmmod fixes that right up though...

Re:USB adapters... (2, Informative)

ebob9 (726509) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840753)

USB hotplugging works great for me on my thinkpad with FC4 + VM Workstation 5. I have a windows VM, and use USB devices on that. I have a USB serial adapter for my laptop, and have no problems with the VM hot-plugging it. I however have to add "usbserial" and one other module (mct_u232 I think) to /etc/hotplug/blacklist to prevent linux from trying to load drivers for it first. I also sync my Windows Mobile PDA to the VM, I just had to /etc/hotplug/blacklist the ipaq modules.

Another option (2, Informative)

technoid_ (136914) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840389)

If you dont want to figure out what is missing with the VMware offering, Parallels is offering 60 day trial licenses for its Parallels Workstation 2.0 Beta3. Check out www.parallels.com

Disclaimer: i have no affiliation to Parallels, I have just been trying out the product.

technoid_

Re:Another option (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840443)

Why would I want to use a time-limited demo when I can simply download VMWare, spend five minutes finding a keygen for it, and then have a permanent VM solution? (this question also applies to MS's Virtual PC, I should add).

This is cool (1)

jtstowell (239815) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840425)

Go away cynics. This is awesome.

I run into so many clueless tech support people that I've just been dying to send a VM to. Now I can. This is sweet!

Also, I have the win32 version of VMWare 5, but not the Linux version... like I said, sweet!

osx86 (2, Interesting)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840517)

ha now that osx86 installation vmware image you downloaded can run on a leagal copy of vmware!

Coffee house computer + Flash drive (1)

ejoe_mac (560743) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840519)

Take a flash drive running Linux + the Linux version of this, and boot a Windows VM. You could even do it in an encrypted partition so you really could have a high security self contained Win32 enviroment ;)

And in other news... (2, Interesting)

williamyf (227051) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840561)

Microsoft Released Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Visio viewers. meanwhile lotus released a viewer for Freelance Graphics.

Now, on a more serious note, This is cool, the "Player" is far more complicated than any viewer/player out there, and the uses for the thing are intriguing. From the Web Page of VMware, collages can work on a support case and all share the same one in a VM, or you can demo apps in the confort of the VM. The page even points to VMs made available by IBM, oracle and others. Of course, question is, What is the Status of the SW that you run in the VMs, including the OS itself? In the case of FOSS, we know the answer, but in other cases, just watc out guys.

It's "VMware" (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840597)

Not VMWare. Not vmWare. Not VmWaRe. Not v/\/\\/\/4r3.

Wish they'd finally support OS/2 as well... (2, Interesting)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840604)

...especially as many banks would certainly want to pay for the privilege of getting another few years out of their legacy apps on that platform.

Other than the lack of OS/2 support, however, VMWare does not seem to have any other important shortcomings, now that the free player allows to "clone and ship entire virtual machines" e.g. for the hassle-free demo and deployment of FOSS solutions.

Besides, it's a blessing for many computer classrooms, helping in particular to make them less Microsoft-centric and saving much time for administration at the same time...

Browser Appliance password (2, Interesting)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840622)

Downloaded the player and their browser appliance image. Anyone know what the root password for the browser appliance is? [BTW, it's a very stripped down Ubuntu install, with Firefox, GAIM, BitTorrent, and a Terminal Server Client]

Will this run BeOS? (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840633)

I've heard many virtual machines don't work with BeOS due to how BeOS's scheduler works. Does anyone know if this will run it?

Re:Will this run BeOS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13840845)

no it does not run on VMs, because the way it work with the hardware its totally different from how the emulated hardware on the VMs and causes BeOS to crash

Can someone please upload a blank virtual machine? (1)

karji (114631) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840638)

Can someone please upload a blank virtual machine for us to try out and install our own OSes on it?

Thanks

Browser Appliance from USB key (5, Interesting)

www-xenu-dot-net (922425) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840648)

Does this mean what I think it means...I can run their Browser Appliance from a USB Key for free? That would be awesome....!!!

A posting from VMWorld (5, Interesting)

dosguru (218210) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840659)

Player has a lot of positive buzz right now here, as soon as we all get back home they'll be thousands of player installs all over North America. This is the product I've been hoping for to help demo products for external customers, and allow internal clients to use VMs without having to pay extra money or allow them to change things.

Xen who? It's not even on the radar here. Nothing against Xen, but it is years behind WS5 or ESX3.

Microsoft has been here giving away Virtual Server 2005 with a free R2 update. I have 4 copies of it and I have no idea what to do with any of them. MS was presenting today how they plan to integrate Virtual Server directly into Longhorn. How long with VMWare count MS as a partner instead of as their primary threat?

ESX 3.0 looks sweet, lots of new features. AMD, IBM, HP, and Sun have also been showing off their newest and greatest hardware for running ESX farms.

Create Marketing Buzz (2, Insightful)

phorest (877315) | more than 8 years ago | (#13840682)

Funny,

I was at a Microsoft event last month where the presenter was really talking up Microsoft® Virtual PC 2004 as being the cats meow. He actually spent 10 minutes out of the 3hr+ technet program to hawk it.

So..... I went to look it up after seeing the story posted (No, I didn't RTFA) but they had links to download a free 45 day trial and the listed price was ($129.00 MSRP) for the software title. So then I went to VMWare Inc's site to compare products and darn it if MS is undercutting their price by $60.00 ($189.00 MSRP)for their VMware Workstation 5.

Call me cynical but it smells like a little competitive marketing!

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