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VMware Releases Server 1.0

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the best-things-in-life-are-free dept.


epit writes "VMware has released v1.0 of their VMware Server product for free (as in beer) as planned. Up until now, it had been a beta download. You can download your copy via the VMware website. Release notes are also available."

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Free download... sweet! (2, Interesting)

ScottLindner (954299) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708389)

I've never used VMware but have heard lots of great things from many people. I always wondered what the business model was for VMWare. Who uses it? Why would they pay for it? Things like that.

Are there any legit home uses for VMware on a regular basis?

Re:Free download... sweet! (1)

swb (14022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708404)

Testing OSes
Running multiple OSes on one machine
Isolated test environments
Running OSes on unsupported hardware
Running legacy apps (see above)

Re:Free download... sweet! (5, Informative)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708484)

As someone that develops, it is an amazing tool. Right now I want to test load balancing for my web application to ensure everything works correctly. I can setup a load balancing cluster, install it all, then throw requests at it all on my PC. It allows me to purchase no new hardware, no new software, and ensure that I am getting the results I desire.

While it doesn't allow me to stress test, it does allow me to test other aspects.

Plus i can install every OS/Browser combination I need and I only need to worry about diskspace. Plus, once you create the images, you never have to reinstall the OS, you just clone it. Awesome piece of software.

Software licences for each virtual machine (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708835)

It allows me to purchase ... no new software

Strictly speaking, you need to purchase a new licence for each piece of software you use (including the operating system) on each virtual machine.

But other than that minor point, I agree with your post.

Re:Free download... sweet! (5, Informative)

Gr33nNight (679837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708415)

Our corporation has been using VMWare Server ESX for the past 2 years and it is great. Instead of having 5 servers in a rack, you can buy 1 beefy server and just have everything in a VM. But lets say your servers are mission critical and you are worried about a hardware failure on that 1 server. If you use VMotion you can have redundant servers, so if your main VMWare server box fails, the 2nd backup VMWare server automatically picks up where the other left off, you dont even notice that the virtual machine switched servers - it works that good. Seriously, VMWare is awesome.

Re:Free download... sweet! (1)

ScottLindner (954299) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708452)

Another ignorant question....

Why would you need more than one server on a big beefy server instead of running everything on one server? Different OSs or environments?

I definitely understand the freedom it buys you. Would you use it at home, or is it mostly a server rack IT sorta thing and that's about it?

I've always felt running a couple of VM's on the desktop could be a useful way of dealing with malware. Searching for pr0n and warez in a virtual machine and whack it when I'm done. Farting around with installation of software in the another. And keeping a trusted basic VM for things I do everyday like email, finances, etc. I'm sure you could think of a better approach, but my thinking has been using virtual machines could be an effective solution to all of the malware troubles we have these days.

Re:Free download... sweet! (4, Informative)

mchawi (468120) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708525)

If you have an application that is not memory or cpu intensive, but it doesn't work well with others - this works very well. Even if it does work well with others, it helps you to really put it by itself. This is partly useful for troubleshooting, but it means when you call a company for support they can't really point their fingers at anyone else because their product is the only thing installed.

It is also useful for things like clustered file servers. They don't take up much cpu/memory, but if you put two (or more) of them out there on a VM box you can roll them back and forth for patches, updates, adding drives, etc.

It also helps for disaster recovery. You can do the equivalent of a bare metal restore in a few minutes versus loading a machine from scratch, loading drivers, loading your backup software and then restoring.

So multiple answers - and I'm sure there are many more that I haven't listed.

Re:Free download... sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15708611)

[...] it means when you call a company for support they can't really point their fingers at anyone else because their product is the only thing installed.

As long as you don't tell them you're running it under VMWare...

Otherwise they will probably say it's not compatible with their product, or that your VMWare configuration settings screwed up their stuff somehow. Which would most likely be bullshit, but what can you do?

Re:Free download... sweet! (5, Funny)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708586)

"Searching for pr0n and warez in a virtual machine and whack it when I'm done."

Thanks for sharing that.

Re:Free download... sweet! (2, Informative)

ChronoReverse (858838) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708691)

If you're running the ESX-class virtual machines, there's a number of things you can do besides isolation.

For example, Vmotion allows you to move a virtual machine from one physical machine to another while it's still running without interruption. The newest versions will even automagically load balance virtual machines.

It's all really amazing technology that makes you think that it should've been done this way in the first place.

Re:Free download... sweet! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15708517)

> If you use VMotion you can have redundant servers, so if your main VMWare server box fails, the 2nd backup VMWare server automatically picks up where the other left off, you dont even notice that the virtual machine switched servers - it works that good.

VMWare is cool, but VMotion doesn't do this. It allows live "migration" of running boxes, but not fault tolerance as you are suggesting. i.e. If one box fails, you are still screwed and all running sessions will be lost. However, if you can plan ahead and know you need to take the box down, you can move people while it is running and then take it down.

Fault tolerance would be really cool, but doubt this is possible. Essentially you'd need to have both boxes running the sessions simutaneously and perfectly synchronized at all times so if one fails the user's display/input can be redirected to the working box from the failing one.

I suppose with background snapshots, they could take a snapshot every 30 seconds or so and the other machine can pick up from that snapshot so you would lose at most 30 seconds of work. However, if the machine is connecting to outside machines like a transacting database this could be a big problem since the software might repeat database operations that shouldn't be repeated.

Re:Free download... sweet! (3, Informative)

mchawi (468120) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708582)

Very true. If you have anything that is cluster aware though this will work. This isn't really a function of VM of course, but what is cool about doing this on VM machines is you have multiple levels of redundancy. You can VMotion the inactive server, swap the cluster and then vmotion the active server - and doing it this way you can move machines from one piece of hardware to another with no downtime.

Again this isn't really a VM thing but if you have a whole VM farm on a SAN - you can swap out whole servers without impacting running processes. We mainly use this for file servers / DNS / AD / print servers , but if your servers are beefy I don't see why you couldn't do this with any cluster aware application.

Re:Free download... sweet! (2, Insightful)

VAXcat (674775) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708639)

The popularity of VM solutions is a damning indictment of the OS environment, scheduling and multi user memory protection capabilitie of Windows. If it was really a serious OS (say, like VMS) it would be possible to routinely host dozens of different applications and thousands of users on a single box, instead of the "1 app/1 server" mentality that permeates the Windows world...

Re:Free download... sweet! (1)

Johnny O (22313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708719)

You have to run 1 app/per server in the windows world. Even our windows programmers keep telling me that every windows box is stable as hell. It's until you load the apps that it becomes unstable. And it could be true. I wouldnt know. But we have some SHARP windows programmers!

Re:Free download... sweet! (5, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708873)

> The popularity of VM solutions is a damning indictment of the OS environment, scheduling and multi user memory protection capabilitie of Windows.

Just have to get your digs in on Windows, don't you? So what about those people that like to virtualize Linux? Does Linux automatically suck too?

Or just maybe there's reasons that go beyond stability.

Re:Free download... sweet! (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708906)

I totally agree...
I run a number of unix systems in the same way, i currently run 2 mailservers (1 for sending/receiving mail, 1 for spam filtering) spam filters, http/https, dns, database, ircserver, asterisk and jabber server on a single quad processor box with redundant power, raid5 disks, daily tape backup and ecc memory.
The OS does a good job of keeping everything apart from each other, and implements ulimits to prevent one service going nuts and consuming all the ram/cpu.
If i had to split all these services to seperate machines i'd be running on massively inferior hardware, with far less redundancy features... And i'd lose the burst ability - admittedly seperate boxes would be faster *IF* every service was heavily loaded, but it's usually the case that only one or two services see heavy load at any one time, during which time these services have access to a single far more powerfull system than if they ran on a smaller dedicated box.

Re:Free download... sweet! (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708851)

Another advantage to virtulaization is power requirements. Instead of 3 racks of old servers generating 5000BTU each, running NT4, we set up 1 4U blade server to virtualize them. We have to run NT4 because the servers run custom software that depends on NT4. (And there are NO plans to upgrade or change that legacy system.) Now we use 45000 BTU less power and an equally less amount of air conditioning.

Browsing in a sandbox to escape spyware (5, Informative)

leeum (156395) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708468)

Check out Virtual Appliances [] . Basically, there are people who've already fully configured environments in a virtual machine so you can just pick up the free (as in beer) VMWare Player product and run them.

Why would you want to do that? I use a virtual machine to browse the Web - that way, my computer doesn't get bogged down by spyware (only the virtual machine does) and it's much more painless to simply purge a spyware-ridden virtual machine and start afresh than it is for your main computer.

Re:Browsing in a sandbox to escape spyware (3, Informative)

tashanna (409911) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708734)

2 GB USB Drive - $40
VMWare Player [] for Linux & Windows - $0
A good Linux distro [] - $0 (yes, you may flame away)
Google Browser Sync [] - $0
Blowing away anything that somehow made it onto your system - $priceless

Vrooommm... []

Re:Browsing in a sandbox to escape spyware (2, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708943)

Google Browser Sync - $0

Polishing up your own rsync scripts - $0
Not having all your browser history and cookies handed over to a company's who's entire revenue steam is targetted advertising - priceless

A few quick use cases (1)

Outland Traveller (12138) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708476)

A few data points:

- Running occasional mainstream / corporate 32bit windows applications on 64bit linux with more reliability than WINE.

- Testing / Exploring software in a sandbox

- Cases where one wants to be able to snapshot the state of an OS and roll back to it later.

- Running corporate VPN software that annoyingly insists on overwriting your local network routes.

- Trying out new OS versions / distributions safely.

- Getting better portability / disaster protection by putting services inside VMs isolated from specific hardware configurations.

Re:Free download... sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15708528)

Machine virtualization is, as another replier mentioned, an absolute godsend in any sort of industrial environment. With one reasonable machine, you could carve off private sandboxes for each developer, and give them all root. You could have a wholly isolated test environment to flush out deployment bugs. You can use migration techniques as a route to high availability and as an aid to upgrading hardware. For the hobbyist user, the uses are much the same, testing out different OS/software package combinations, etc. Some sw packages really like having a machine to themselves (*cough*oracle*cough*), and you might not feel comfortable dropping that onto your only machine. Web developers could use it to hold around various images of different OS and browser combinations for testing, as could anyone responsible for testing ordinary desktop apps. For the normal computer user (office apps, maybe some games), yes, the technology isn't that significant, but VMware has never reached towards that market demographic. They've always been focused on corporate (and to a lesser extent educational) technical users.

Re:Free download... sweet! (3, Interesting)

dwhittington (577769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708569)

As an IT security consultant, VMware server is be a great platform for testing or demoing applications wthout tainting my host OS with some code I'll just want to blow away laster. If you are involved in IT at all, I would recommend evaluating the technology.

Server virtualization is a hot market, Microsoft is ramping up their existing product line to compete with some of VMware's new features. Part of that roadmap is a good 2-3 years out. This is technology is far from a fad.


PS: Legit home uses for VMware... my vote is a virtual honeynet.

Evaluating Wikis using VMware virtual machines (3, Informative)

Cato (8296) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708808)

Exactly - the TWiki project, which I'm involved in, has created a VM that enables a Windows user to download a complete, working TWiki system to evaluate for use as an enterprise Wiki for group collaboration. This radically simplifies installation for people who used to take many hours to install on Windows (primarily the issue was getting Cygwin, Apache, Perl and RCS installed properly) - the VM is actually a Debian GNU/Linux system but that's pretty much invisible to the person installing the VM. The result is that after a hefty download you can have a working Wiki within 5 to 10 minutes, most of which is waiting for Linux to boot in the VM.

See this page [] for more information and download links.

Re:Free download... sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15708587)

Their model is to make sure MS doesn't get a foothold in the virtualization market. That's why it's free. MS can't hold a candle to the ESX server though, so that one still costs money.

Re:Free download... sweet! (4, Informative)

spazimodo (97579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708614)

I recently left a position where we were using ESX server to host mail (Lotus Notes under Linux) for around 10k users along with Notes application servers, and other Linux and Windows utility servers.

ESX was great because it allows for much more efficient use of Server hardware. In a lot of cases we had applications running on seperate servers because the apps were unstable. Without VMWare that means seperate hardware (usually racks filled with shelves and desktop PCs if the company is cheap, or 1U servers if they're not) and all the administrative overhead of dealing with those servers. We had 30-40 VMs running inside 12 physical servers including heavily used primary and failover mail servers.

Running inside a VM gives you advantages if you're running a lights out data center, or if your servers are at a remote location. Many has been the time where a server hung and I needed someone on-site to power cycle it - with VMWare you can power cycle the VMs from anywhere, and I've never seen ESX take a dive (supposedly there's a purple screen of death, but I've never seen it)

Another advantage is backup/disaster recover planning. With a VM, your whole server is just a couple files. You can copy those files to a remote location via a variety of means, and boom, you have an off-site clone of your server. More importantly the VMs are hardware independent - you can have a datacenter filled with Dell 6850s burn to the ground and when you power up your VMs in a colo facility running HPs, the VMs don't care about there being different RAID cards, or NICs with the wrong MAC addresses.

This post was made on a Dell D620 running ubuntu with VMWare workstation on top hosting a windows VM for when I need to do windows stuff :)

Re:Free download... sweet! (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708932)

As someone said earlier, the "1 server per task" mentality is a result of flawed OS's and apps...
Similarly, the "physical reboot / physical console access" idea is a result of flawed hardware/firmware design (well, more a result of people using systems designed for desktop use as servers). and flawed gui-only os's (again, designed for desktop use)
Any proper server system will have at the very least a serial console, with the ability to reboot/manage/reinstall etc from it... I have a vax from the late 80s with such a feature, and i've never seen a sun sparc system without serial console support.

Re:Free download... sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15708708)

Are there any legit home uses for VMware on a regular basis?

Why yes, I use it to run the WMV9 unDRM tools. Since MS pushed out a patch for that a while ago, the easiest way to get around it is to keep a bare install of XP with the unpatched WMP on it. Works great! Not to mention, it's done totally legitimately as far as VMWare is concerned. Using the VMWare Player and a blank sparse disk image file, you can run anything in a VM.

Re:Free download... sweet! (3, Interesting)

spun (1352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708854)

We use it here in the Child, Youth, and Family Development department in New Mexico. We have an IBM BladeCenter where the blades run VMware ESX with Virtual Center, and most VMs run SuSE Linux. We are transitioning from HPUX and AIX to an all Linux backend. We like that combo because it makes it easy to clone and move machines as need be. When a server becomes overloaded, we can buy another blade and move some VMs over onto it with ease.

Re:Free download... sweet! (1)

macdaddy (38372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708879)

Entreprises were the original users of it. More functional servers in less physical space is quite appealing to large entreprise customers. Think about how many wasted CPU cycles are in a small datacenter of 20 machines. Those 20 machines collectively have 40GB of RAM and 30-40 total processors and yet are actually utilizing maybe 10% of the actual resources. Harness that power and use the unused cycles for other servers. These companies quickly realie the benefits of stripping out the wasted layer of overhead from underneath the server (also called Windows) and instead buy a copy of ESX. These are also the companies that require products with support.

I think this will quickly take off in the small to medium size companies as well. The tech is really esay to set up. The basic server is now free. Why should a small office buy a new machine just to test a new development product when they can easily, securely, and safely set up a virtual on a slice of a another under-utilized server? At some point they'll realize they need support and they'll buy a support contract with VMWare. At some point they may even step up to ESX. It's a win win situation for everyone.

I have a vision for the next step VMWare might take. I think they'll come up with a way to leech the unused CPU cycles and othe resources off of existing servers without actually putting a VM on that existing server. It sounds weird but let me explain what I mean. To me VMWare works best when you have a machine dedicated to running VMs. I run GSX at home. Nothing else runs on the host itself most of the time. The problem is most companies that want to get into virtual environments probably can't afford to buy a new dual CPU server just to experiment with a technology that they don't necessarily trust. They're going to want to run it on a server they already have. This server will undoubtedly be in production already. They'll install VMWare Server on this box and will greatly limit the amount of resource the virtual can consume. This of course will likely lead to a bad experience with virutalization technology. If something bad doesn't happen then they'll at least be disappointed with the performance. To counter this I'd like to see a piece of software that can be installed on half a dozen production boxes that gives a management box an interface to the CPUs on those production server. This would let you spread around the CPU load of your virtuals much like a beowulf cluster. This would be make migrating to VMWare much easier for most companies in my opinion. They could add numerous servers and a couple high-end workstations to the cluster of machines and slowly but surely remove servers from the cluster and turn it into a new dedicated VMWare server.

The other use of this software is probably the more likely use of it. Most migrating companies aren't going to be able to afford or justify $15-25k on a new billy badass server to host their VMs on. Instead they'll end up with a dozen lower-end existing servers. They'll run a few VMs on this server, a few on that server, etc. If they could simply bond them all together into one cohesive unit they could manage them easier and give the lower-end customers a much more useable product. You might have to dedicate a machine to be the brains of the operation but that wouldn't be that costly. It's a lot more cost-effective to use the dozen or so Dell 1850 and 2850 servers you already own instead of buying a new 6850. This could also be a way to introduce fault-tolerance into your virtual environment. As long as the brain server is running the CPU requests can be sent to any of the available servers and can work around those that are fully loaded or KIA.

Virtual PC (4, Interesting)

xilet (741528) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708393)

I wonder if there is any concidence between this and Virtual PC 04/07 being released free. Hrmm...

Re:Virtual PC (5, Informative)

xilet (741528) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708507)

If you are not aware of it (I wasn't until earlier today) Microsoft is now putting Virtual PC 04 and 07 [still in beta] out for free. Virtual PC Website []

Re:Virtual PC (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708650)

Thank you! It's interesting to note that you can get either Virtual PC 2004 (sp1) [] or Virtual PC 2005 (sp2) [] .

I'm sure there are other differences, but the largest one I can think of is that Virtual PC 2005 has one more service pack than Virtual PC 2004; Virtual PC 2004 officially runs on Windows 2000 (with sp4) - Virtual PC 2005 requires Server 2003 or (possibly) XP Pro.

Re:Virtual PC (1)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708864)

If you are not aware of it (I wasn't until earlier today) Microsoft is now putting Virtual PC 04 and 07 [still in beta] out for free.

Just in case anyone is wondering, it appears that Microsoft's VirtualPC for Mac has not been released for free as its Windows brethern have been. FWIW.


Re:Virtual PC (2, Insightful)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708601)

Probably not because virtual PC is so inferior to VMware. They are not even in the same league really.

Re:Virtual PC (1)

Johnny O (22313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708730)

I wouldnt mind trying out the Linux version. If it works, I never pass up good software.

Where is it?

Re:Virtual PC (4, Informative)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708643)

There is some correlation in an overall strategy, and there may be something more than coincidence to the timing of the releases. Microsoft is eager to make its presence known, especially in selling Virtual Server. Virtualization addiction on the desktop leads to virtualization addiction on the server (not that this is a bad thing). Microsoft is more interested in selling Virtual Server, so they make Virtual PC available for free to get their foot in a door on which VMWare Workstation is leaning heavily.

On a similar vein, knowing that Microsoft has a strong incentive and ability to get Virtual Server known and used, VMWare decided a few months ago to differentiate VMWare GSX from ESX (their enterprise server product), and to make it free as an enticement to play with server-level virtualization so they could upsell to enterprise-level virtualization.

Both companies made certain products free in an attempt to upsell to their respective primary product lines. Microsoft loses little for giving away Virtual PC because they have so little of the market as it stands. VMWare loses little for giving away Server because it made up a small portion of its own sales. Microsoft possibly gains sales of Virtual Server, while VMWare possibly gains sales of ESX.

When are they going to add (0, Offtopic)

scenestar (828656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708400)

3D support.

I sure as hell can't stand these middleware solutions and I feel like a quick game of low lag FPS games.

Re:When are they going to add (2, Insightful)

BiteTheHand (882076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708552)

Right now it's in an experimental stage. Check out more info here: Experimental Support for Direct3D []

Offtopic? (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708625)

Why is this modded off-topic? With the rise of 3D accelerated desktops: Mac's Quartz Extreme, Linux's XGL, and Microsoft's "insert name of the technology Vista will have") 3D support is more relevant than ever.

Re:Offtopic? (1)

LDoggg_ (659725) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708684)

Maybe it's offtopic because 3D support is something they are working on for the workstation product.
Today's announcment is for the release of the 1.0 version of the Server product.

The server product uses vnc or something like it to render the output to remote machines that use the vmware console.

I'm personally very happy about today's release. I've tested each beta release and have been quite impressed.

Re:Offtopic? (1)

CerebusUS (21051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708688)

Probably because this specific thread is about VMWare Server.

None of the servers in my data center can do 3d acceleration worth a damn, and that really hasn't bothered me a bit.

...but, does it run linux? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15708401)

Of course it runs NetBSD!

I for one... (4, Funny)

Kesch (943326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708425)

welcome our new virtualized overlords and their free gifts.

(Sorry, it had to be said.)

Ah, but... (3, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708531)

With VMWare, you can have more than one overlord in the same body at the same time!

Re:I for one... (1)

Jerk City Troll (661616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708931)

(No, actually, it didn't.)

Where will this end? (1, Troll)

matt me (850665) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708431)

This anyone find this concept of Mac on Intels, virtual platforms, and emulation makes them physically sick? I feel like I'm looking into a pair of mirrors, staring into infinity. Yes, that's it I'm giving up computers. Goodbye everyone.

Re:Where will this end? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15708511)

This anyone find this concept of grammar on slashdot makes them dyslexic feel? Everyone! goodbye

Re:Where will this end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15708609)

Mirrors and virtualization are both abominations, for they serve to multiply humankind. - Borges

With this out, why would I need vmplayer? (3, Interesting)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708445)

With this, apparently I can create new machines, make snapshots and suspend machines to disk. Doesn't making this a free download make vmplayer redundant?

Re:With this out, why would I need vmplayer? (1)

jhfry (829244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708524)

Doesn't making this a free download make vmplayer redundant?

I wouldn't say redundant... if I want to distribute an application sample using vmware, I might want to send the player with it instead of server which might be too complicated for those I am sending the virtual OS to.

I do have to wonder what VMware is hoping to get out of this... Basically they are only selling the support and management products and completely opening up the VM end of their business. Is this to stop the mass migration to XEN?

Oh and how does the sever product compare to Workstation... is it the same?

Re:With this out, why would I need vmplayer? (5, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708615)

I think VMware realise that there are a lot of free virtualisation products out there, and so they had a choice of entering the free market or slowly dying out - something like Novell, Corel, Netscape etc.

Once we all get used to virtualisation, then the big companies that will start using this and see the benefits will buy the big, expensive ESX Server product.. and the support, and the tools and add-ons. For the rest of us, we get free toys so everyone's happy.

Xen is a different product, its a virtualisation tool, but it allows you to split 1 OS into several running 'instances'. VMWare is a 'wrapper' that allows you to run several different OSes side by side. Which one you'd go for depends on your requirements.

Re:With this out, why would I need vmplayer? (2, Interesting)

A Bookworm (692297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708757)

Xen is a different product, its a virtualisation tool, but it allows you to split 1 OS into several running 'instances'. VMWare is a 'wrapper' that allows you to run several different OSes side by side. Which one you'd go for depends on your requirements.

I believe that you are incorrect there, especially about Xen.

VMWare Workstation and VMWare Server are host/guest based virtualiztion products. When you boot the computer it launches an OS (Windows, Linux, whatever), then VMWare Server runs on that OS. VMWare Server then sets up environments for guest OSs to run. Because of this layered setup (Host OS | VMWare Server | Guest OS) your guest OSs tend to be slower.

Xen, however, is a "hypervisor" type virtualiztion product, somewhat similar to VMWare Server ESX. You don't boot to Linux, you boot to Xen (or ESX). Xen (or ESX) then boots each OS in its own environment (Xen calls them "domains"). Each OS runs on its own, with Xen (or ESX) handling resource allocation/sharing/conflicts. Because of this lower-level approach, the OSs tend to run faster, depending on how hard you're taxing each one.

Currently, however, Xen only works with a slightly modified kernel. Therefore, you can't properly run Windows inside a Xen domain (developers have done it, to prove it can be done, but they can't share their work because that would violate the Windows EULA). With the virtualization technologies coming from Intel and AMD, however, Xen will be able to run unmodified Windows kernels in Xen domains.

Re:With this out, why would I need vmplayer? (4, Informative)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708797)

Xen doesn't split "1 OS into several running 'instances'" (which is what Solaris's containers or Linux's VServer or FreeBSD's jails do). Xen vitalizes all OSes that are run (except the Dom0 OS is allowed to tell the hypervisor what to do) which is very similar to how VMware ESX server works. Xen also provides many of the same features that the VMware product family provides (like live migration).

Re:With this out, why would I need vmplayer? (2, Informative)

UNIX_Meister (461634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708630)

Oh and how does the sever product compare to Workstation... is it the same?
VMware seems to put all the "good stuff" in Workstation and then it filters down into the GSX, ESX and now VMware Server products. So workstation is at 5.5.x and has features that are not available yet, but most importantly, the format of the virtual machines is backwards compatible with VMware Server. That is, you must create a legacy vm in workstation if you want to use it elsewhere. However, they are all upwards compatable so that anything will run on workstation. Just a gotcha to keep an eye out for.

Re:With this out, why would I need vmplayer? (2, Informative)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708700)

Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but they're releasing what was known as GSX for free. ESX, which is the super deluxe product, still costs plenty of money. GSX has limitations compared to ESX which are detailed here html [] . At it's most basic, ESX is a linux 'underhost' which runs on the bare metal and has a web interface where you configure virtual servers and run them on top of this layer. The linux layer is completely hidden from the hosts and the actual hardware is abstracted. On the other hand, GSX requires a host OS to run on and therefore inherits the limitations of whatever OS it's installed on top of. There are other limitations as well but some light reading at vmware's site will clue you in.

Re:With this out, why would I need vmplayer? (2, Interesting)

Pedersen (46721) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708767)

I do have to wonder what VMware is hoping to get out of this... Basically they are only selling the support and management products and completely opening up the VM end of their business. Is this to stop the mass migration to XEN?

Actually, they're not even close to opening up the vm portion of their business. They are opening a specific segment of their business, and, in turn, llikely to gain much more business. So, let's check out their listing of free, shall we?

VMWare Player
Somebody sends you a group of files which make up a virtual machine. Now, you can run the stuff in that virtual machine. However, you may not change the settings. Don't like how much RAM the VM uses? Too bad. Oh, you may also not create new virtual machines, just run ones that have been made for you.
VMWare Server
This, basically, replaces VMWare GSX Server. Major difference? It also runs on Linux now (GSX only ran on Windows). You can create VMs, but you may not limit them in certain ways. For comparison, in ESX, you may limit the amount of CPU usage, and in the amount of disk bandwidth usage, etc. Server (and GSX) you are not able to do this. There are other limitations. Major benefits of VMWare Server? You can run multiple guest OSes as services, needing no monitor/mouse/keyboard to make them work. This is wonderful for remote/headless installs.

So, what's left for them? More than you would think. First, for features only available under VMWare ESX/Virtual Infrastructure

Automatically move VMs from crashed hosts to still running hosts in seconds. Reboot crashed VMs automatically. etc.
Move VMs from high load to low load hosts with no downtime
Oh yes, you can move VMs around from server to server without any downtime. How sweet is that?

And now, VMWare Workstation

You can create new virtual machines, something which VMWare Player does not allow you to do.
Configuration Change
Change memory, add virtual disks, etc. Something which VMWare Player denies you as well.
Virtual Teams
How about a whole cluster of virtual machines which can start and run, and work together, as one unit, instead of just a bunch of individual virtual machines which have to be manually started/stopped? Perfect for demo'ing complex apps on multiple (x86) platforms

So, what do they get out of it? They get to tease you with the good stuff. And when you're ready for it, you'll come back and buy it. Because it really is that good. And no, I don't work for them. I'm just a very happy customer.

Re:With this out, why would I need vmplayer? (1)

rdejean (150504) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708803)

Heh. GSX has always run on linux...

Re:With this out, why would I need vmplayer? (1)

Pedersen (46721) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708818)

I stand corrected. For some reason, I thought that GSX was a Windows only product. Don't know how I got that impression, either.

Re:With this out, why would I need vmplayer? (1)

jrcamp (150032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708829)

You can change the memory allocation in VMWare Player. Player -> Troubleshoot -> Change memory allocation. I'd say putting it under troubleshoot is rather far-fetched. I guess for lesser tech people they might consider not having enough memory a "problem" which should be troubleshooted, but I see it more as a configuration option.

Re:With this out, why would I need vmplayer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15708799)

I do have to wonder what VMware is hoping to get out of this...

I went to a VMware seminar today. You are right about the support but they have no intention of competing in the hosted environment (VMware server, Virtual PC, Xen, etc...). VMware is much more interested in the enterprise customer that will be running ESX server, which is far from free.

With Microsoft baking hypervisor (their virtualization technology) into their next server release, VMware knows that it isn't a market that they can compete in long term. I don't see Microsoft selling a "barebones" OS that does nothing except support virtual machines. Not only that but VMware's VM infrastructure 3 [] is a fairly mature product. I don't see anybody catching them for at least a few years.

To answer your question
Oh and how does the sever product compare to Workstation... is it the same?
It is very similar. It can handle more memory and of course the support options are much more robust. I've been using Server and Workstation and I can only see minor differences

Re:With this out, why would I need vmplayer? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708892)

"completely opening up the VM end of their business."

No, they still sell the high end ESX and a few other products. Using this as a 'gateway product'.

Apparently there was just not enough money to continue the low end product line as a commercial product. Hopefully they dont drop the low end totally.

Re:With this out, why would I need vmplayer? (1)

tetrode (32267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708802)

Well, yes and no.

Technically, you are right - one could just download the VMware Server and install it - however (and I recently installed this at home) this takes some technical expertise, root/Administrator access and an hour or two. And if you do it wrong, everyone can access and screw up your vm's.

I haven't installed the player, but I'm assuming that this is a Install -> Next -> Next -> Finish type of install and you (and only you) can run a vm.

Much easier for the general public.


Re:With this out, why would I need vmplayer? (1)

Dalroth (85450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708809)

No, not really. VMWare Player gives you near native performance when doing most GUI operations (non-3D). VMWare server let's you connect to the machines remotely.

The problem is, that even when you are on the machine that is hosting the VM, VMWare server still feels like you're connecting over a slow network connection. It doesn't have any of the GUI speed that VMWare Player/Workstation does. So, if you want near native GUI speed, stick with workstation/player versions. If you need remote administration capabilities, go with the server version.

I'd like to see a hybrid of the two myself. I'd like to run natively when I can, but still be able to adminster the machine remotely (as well as have the virtual machines automatically start at boot). Unfortunately, I haven't found out a way yet to install Workstation and Server side by side.


Very cool! (1)

spazimodo (97579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708455)

I love VMWare and am stoked about this as it will allow for use of virtualization where ESX would have been too expensive (GSX was always too expensive :) )

I've thought a great idea along with this would be a super light linux distro to run as the host OS (an almost ESX server - obviously ESX has performance advantages since the kernel is running directly without an intervening OS layer)

Re:Very cool! (1)

tmasssey (546878) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708632)

You have this backwards. Virtual Server is similar to GSX, the non-dedicated VM server software that ran on Windows or Linux. ESX is the dedicated VM server software that runs on its own operating system, and costs boatloads of money.

Re:Very cool! (1)

spazimodo (97579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708657)

Yeah sorry I should have explained.. I considered GSX expensive because it still cost a lot and gave you none of the stability/performance benefits of ESX - if the host OS took a dive, all your VMs did too. The new server is basically a free, stripped down version of GSX.

Re:Very cool! (1)

imemyself (757318) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708893)

How is VMware Server it stripped down from GSX? I'm running one of the "beta" versions of VMware Server on an old box with 1 VM running, and also have GSX running on a server with 3 VM's running, and no major differences between GSX and VMware server have jumped out at me. I think VMware will even offer support for VMware server (for a fee of course).

Re:Very cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15708872)

ESX is based on a lightweight linux kernel

Do you agree to be bound by the terms of this EULA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15708489)

[Yes] [No]

Both buttons bring me to their Google search appliance web form [] . Cannot download, ya mongrels!

What's the license agreement? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15708491)

I went to download server beta a few days ago to try it, and AFTER filling in my contact details I got the licence terms that said no commercial use under any circumstances. This was a shame since I wanted to run a couple of windows-ony apps under Linux on my work laptop to save dual-booting.

Have they changed those conditions? I still don't see terms before filling out the contact info, and don't feel like filling them in again only to feel cheated again.

The Eula... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15708600)

Couldn't find any such clause by doing a search for "commercial". But look for yourself - posted AC, no karma whoring here.




1.1 "Designated Administrative Access" means that access to the standard user interfaces of a given instance of the Software (designated in this section) that you may grant to a designated third party for which you have provided advance written notice to VMware that you are providing outsourced services and for whose dedicated benefit you have licensed such instance of the Software. Designated Administrative Access is applicable only to the following Software: ESX Server, VMware Server and VirtualCenter.

1.2 "GPL Software" means GPL software licensed to you under the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation (GPL). A copy of the GPL is included on the media on which you received the Software or included in the files you downloaded, if you acquired the Software by electronic download.

1.3 "Guest Operating Systems" means instances of third-party operating systems licensed by you and installed in a Virtual Machine and run using the Software.

1.4 "Licensed Additional Module" means additional modules that may be provided with and/or used in conjunction with the Software for which you have paid the applicable license fee and accepted any applicable additional license terms.

1.5 "Open Source Software" means various open source software components licensed under the terms of applicable open source license agreements included in the materials relating to such software. Open Source Software is composed of individual software components, each of which has its own copyright and its own applicable license conditions. The Open Source Software licenses can be found in the open_source_licenses.txt file, other materials accompanying the software package, the documentation or corresponding source files available from

1.6 "Processor" means a single, physical chip that houses no more than two (2) processor cores.

1.7 "Redistributable Components" means the Legacy PERL/COM Client Runtime Library and C API library that may be provided in conjunction with the Software and licensed under the Redistributable Components product specific terms and conditions.

1.8 "Sample Programs" means sample client management programs or scripts that may be distributed with the Software.

1.9 "Server" means a single physical computer of a type that meets the specifications as set forth in the applicable product data sheets or systems compatibility guide posted at Multiple computers that share processing power or operate in a networked configuration as a single logical computer, such as a "server farm" or similar arrangement, constitute multiple Servers for the purpose of this EULA.

1.10 "Software" means software products that are licensed to you under this EULA, including, but not limited to, any related components purchased or provided with the Software, application programming interfaces, associated media, printed materials, online or electronic documentation, and any updates and maintenance releases thereto.

1.11 "Software License Key" means, if applicable, a serial number issued to you by VMware to activate and use the Software. A separate, additional Software License Key may be required to activate and use each Licensed Additional Module.

1.12 "VMware Tools" means a suite of utilities and drivers that may enhance the performance and functionality of your Guest Operating System. VMware Tools may include some or all of the following, depending on your Guest Operating System: an SVGA driver, a mouse driver, the VMware Tools control panel and support for features such as shared folders, drag and drop in Windows guests, shrinking virtual disks, time synchronization with the host, VMware Tools scripts, and connection and disconnection of devices while the virtual machine is running.

1.13 "Virtual Machine" means an instance of a Guest Operating System and any application programs installed thereon, running on a computing device on which the Software is installed, or suspended to disk or any other storage media accessible by the computing device.

1.14 "VMTN Software" means Software received by you pursuant to a VMware Technology Network subscription.


2.1 General. If available, the Software and each Licensed Additional Module may be activated with no-cost evaluation Software License Key(s). Evaluation Software License Keys have an expiration date ("Expiration Date").

2.2 Evaluation License. If you activate the Software or any Licensed Additional Module with an evaluation Software License Key ("Evaluation Product") you may use the Evaluation Product until the Expiration Date only to evaluate the suitability of the Evaluation Product for licensing on a for-fee basis. You may acquire evaluation Software License Key(s) for Licensed Additional Modules. In such case, the Licensed Additional Modules are licensed to you subject to the terms of this "EVALUATION LICENSES" section.


2.4 No Support. VMware has no duty to provide support to you during your use of the Evaluation Product.


3.1 License. The Software is licensed, not sold. Subject to the terms of this EULA, VMware hereby grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable license, without rights to sublicense, to use the object code of the Software for the purpose as set forth in the applicable documentation for the Software and to the extent permitted by your payment of applicable license fees under a VMware approved licensing model and/or your Software License Key subject to the software product specific terms specified in this EULA. Depending upon the model utilized to compute the applicable license fees paid by you to use the Software (whether per Processor, per Virtual Machine, per user, or any other VMware approved licensing model), an applicable Software License Key may limit your usage of the Software accordingly. You may use the documentation accompanying the Software in connection with permitted uses of the Software. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, in the event that you have licensed VMware Infrastructure - Starter Edition, your license to use such Software is restricted to a Server that has no more than eight gigabytes (8 GB) of physical memory.

3.2 License Limitations. You may not copy the Software except for a reasonable number of machine-readable copies of the Software for backup or archival purposes and except as expressly permitted in this EULA. You may not remove any titles, trademarks or trade names, copyright notices, legends, or other proprietary markings on the Software. You are not granted any rights to any trademarks or service marks of VMware. VMware retains all rights not expressly granted to you.

3.3 Restrictions. You may not (i) sell, lease, license, sublicense, distribute or otherwise transfer in whole or in part the Software or the Software License Key to another party; (ii) provide, disclose, divulge or make available to, or permit use of the Software in whole or in part by, any third party (except Designated Administrative Access) without VMware's prior written consent; or (iii) modify or create derivative works based upon the Software. Except to the extent expressly permitted by applicable law, and to the extent that VMware is not permitted by that applicable law to exclude or limit the following rights, you may not decompile, disassemble, reverse engineer, or otherwise attempt to derive source code from the Software, in whole or in part. You may use the Software to conduct internal performance testing and benchmarking studies, the results of which you (and not unauthorized third parties) may publish or publicly disseminate; provided that VMware has reviewed and approved of the methodology, assumptions and other parameters of the study. Please contact VMware at to request such review.

3.4 GPL Software. You can redistribute and/or modify the GPL Software under the terms of the GPL. You may obtain a copy of the source code corresponding to the binaries for the GPL Software (the "GPL Source Files") by downloading the GPL Source Files from VMware's Web site from, or by sending a request, with your name and address, to VMware at the address specified under the heading "Contact Information" below, in which case VMware will mail a copy of the GPL Source Files to you on a CD or equivalent physical medium. This offer to obtain a copy of the GPL Source Files is valid for three years from the date you acquired this Software product.

3.5 VMware Tools. You may distribute the VMware Tools internally within your entity provided that (i) you do not modify the VMware Tools; (ii) you distribute the VMware Tools in object code format only and solely in conjunction with, and as part of, the Virtual Machine you create with the Software and are sharing internally; (iii) you do not distribute the VMware Tools to any third party; (v) you do not use VMware's name, logo or trademarks to market the Virtual Machine you create with the Software and (vi) you agree to indemnify, hold harmless, and defend VMware from and against any claims or lawsuits, including attorneys' fees, that arise or result from the use or distribution of the Virtual Machine you create. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you may refer to VMware names, logos or trademarks to indicate that the Virtual Machine you create with the Software are compatible with or designed for use with the Software.

3.6 Licenses required for third-party software. The Software enables you to run multiple instances of third-party guest operating systems and application programs. You are responsible for obtaining any licenses necessary to operate any such third-party software, including Guest Operating Systems.

3.7 Sample Programs. The Software may include Sample Programs. You may use and distribute Sample Programs under the terms set forth in the applicable Sample Programs files. VMware does not provide support services for Sample Programs.

3.8 VMware License Programs. VMware makes available VMware License programs (for e.g., VMware Academic License, VMTN). If you have received the Software pursuant to these VMware License programs, the then- current terms and conditions posted at for that program shall apply for use of the products under such VMware License programs.

4. TITLE. VMware retains all right, title, and interest in and to the Software and the Software License Key and in all related copyrights, trade secrets, patents, trademarks, and any other intellectual and industrial property and proprietary rights, including registrations, applications, renewals, and extensions of such rights.


VMware will not provide any support services under this EULA. This EULA does not give you any rights to any updates or upgrades to the Software or to any extensions or enhancements to the Software developed by VMware at any time in the future. VMware may offer support and subscription services separately. If you have purchased VMware support and subscription services with the Software, these services are provided to you under the Support Contract Terms and Conditions posted on VMware's Web site at and by accepting the terms of this EULA you are accepting these Support Contract Terms and Conditions. Any supplemental software code or related materials that VMware provides to you as part of any support and subscription services are to be considered part of the Software and are subject to the terms and conditions of this EULA. VMware may use any technical information you provide to VMware for any VMware business purposes without restriction, including for product support and development. VMware will not use information in a form that personally identifies you.


6.1 Termination. VMware may terminate this EULA immediately and without notice if you fail to comply with any term of this EULA.

6.2 Effect of Termination. In the event of termination, you must destroy all copies of the Software and Software License Key. In addition you must remove all copies of the Software, including all backup copies, from the Server and all computers and terminals on which it is installed. From time to time, VMware may change the terms of this EULA. VMware will notify you of such change. Your continued use of the Software will indicate your agreement to the change.


7.1 Limited Warranty. VMware warrants that the media, if any, on which the Software is delivered will be free of defects and that the Software will substantially conform to the description contained in the applicable end user documentation in each case for a period of 90 days after the date of shipment of the Software License Key. EXCEPT FOR THE PRECEDING EXPRESS LIMITED WARRANTY, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, VMWARE PROVIDES THE SOFTWARE WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS, IMPLIED, STATUTORY, OR IN ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS EULA OR COMMUNICATION WITH YOU, AND VMWARE SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NON- INFRINGEMENT.



8.1 Entire Agreement. This Agreement sets forth VMware's entire liability and your exclusive remedy with respect to the Software and supersedes the terms of any purchase orders and any other communications or advertising with respect to the Software. You acknowledge that this Agreement is a complete statement of the agreement between you and VMware with respect to the Software, and that there are no other prior or contemporaneous understandings, promises, representations, or descriptions with respect to the Software.

8.2 Headings. Headings under this EULA are intended only for convenience and shall not affect the interpretation of this EULA.

8.3 Waiver and Modification. No failure of either party to exercise or enforce any of its rights under this EULA will act as a waiver of those rights. This EULA may only be modified, or any rights under it waived, by a written document executed by the party against which it is asserted.

8.4 Severability. If any provision of this EULA is found illegal or unenforceable, it will be enforced to the maximum extent permissible, and the legality and enforceability of the other provisions of this EULA will not be affected.

8.5 Governing Law. This EULA will be governed by California law and the United States of America, without regard to its choice of law principles. The United Nations Convention for the International Sale of Goods shall not apply.

8.6 Government Restrictions. You may not export or re-export the Software except in compliance with the United States Export Administration Act and the related rules and regulations and similar non-U.S. government restrictions, if applicable. The Software and accompanying documentation are deemed to be "commercial computer software" and "commercial computer software documentation," respectively, pursuant to DFAR Section 227.7202 and FAR Section 12.212(b), as applicable. Any use, modification, reproduction, release, performing, displaying, or disclosing of the Software by the U.S. Government shall be governed solely by the terms of this EULA.

8.7 Contact Information. If you have any questions about this EULA, or if you want to contact VMware for any reason, please direct all correspondence to: VMware, Inc., 3145 Porter Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94304, United States of America or email

8.8 Other. VMware and VMTN are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or various jurisdictions.


In addition to the above, the following Software products shall also be subject to the following terms and conditions set forth below. In the event of any conflict between the following product-specific terms and conditions and the preceding sections, the product-specific terms and conditions shall control.

9.1 VMware Server:

(a) Additional Definitions:

"VMware Server Console" is a proprietary console component included with the Software.

(b) Additional License Terms:

VMware grants you a nonexclusive, nontransferable license, without rights to sublicense, to (i) install or have installed a single instance of the Software on a single Server, unless permitted by VMware to have a single instance of the Software on multiple Servers; (ii) use the Software solely for your own internal information processing services and computing needs in connection with permitted uses of the Software, including the hosting of computer application-based services from a Virtual Machine and provision of such services via an internal or external network, provided such services may not consist of services to a third party that provide primarily computing or processing power (such as utility computing or grid computing) or any computer application-based service that is traded, rented, leased or sold on a Virtual Machine basis; (iii) use and reproduce the VMware Server Console for installation and operation on an unlimited number of your own internal computers or terminals solely for the purpose of accessing the Server on which the Software is installed; (iv) internally use and reproduce the Redistributable Components to create programs that interface with the Redistributable Components to manage Virtual Machines ("Your Management Programs"); and (v) internally use Your Management Programs solely for the purpose of managing Virtual Machines operated on VMware software products installed on your own internal Servers and computers. Subject to the above, each copy of the Software may not be used by any other person, whether or not such person is employed by or otherwise associated with your entity.

Distributing the Software. If you are interested in distributing the Software electronically or via internal Web site, CD or other media, or are interested in placing a VMware provided logo on your printed material, please send a request to and we will provide you with a copy of our distribution agreement for your signature.

Re:What's the license agreement? (2, Informative)

Pedersen (46721) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708790)

I got the licence terms that said no commercial use under any

I just re-read the license. That is not a restriction in the use of VMWare Server that I could find at all.

Re:What's the license agreement? (2, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708796)

I never saw any restrictions in the final EULA.

Never read the betas, didnt really care since it was 'testing' anyway.

The stated upgrade path for GSX is the free 'vmware server' so it would be really hard to restrict its use and get away with it.

Re:What's the license agreement? (4, Informative)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708884)

I went to download server beta a few days ago to try it, and AFTER filling in my contact details I got the licence terms that said no commercial use under any circumstances.

This is total BS. Their license agreement has never said that, and as a matter of fact, their FAQ [] makes it pretty clear:

Q: Who can use VMware Server?

A: The benefits of server virtualization can be realized by a company of any size -- even small companies with just a few servers.

This comes at a good time (2, Interesting)

dargaud (518470) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708494)

Today I diched Windows from my laptop and was right in the process of installing Kubuntu. Unfortunately there are a few Windows apps I still need and that have postponed my use of Linux on the desktop for a long time although I've been using it on servers for quite a while. I keep hearing of those emulator/virtualizers/whatnots but can't really figure out what is the difference between them: VMware, Win4Lin, Crossover, Wine... Do you install Windows after or before Linux ? How do you install Windows apps ? Etc... Is there a comparision of them somewhere (I've searched in the past) ?

Re:This comes at a good time (2, Informative)

Gr33nNight (679837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708566)

Well, this is what I have at home currently: A Windows XP box, with VMWare player loaded with Kubuntu. I am not a Linux geek, so I have the VMWare player to learn linux without screwing with my host OS. And since Windows is the host OS I can still play all the games I want.

Now you can do it the opposite. Have linux be your host OS and install Windows in a VM session. As for apps, your VM sessions can see any cds that you put in your CD drive, so installing applications is a snap.

Hoped that helped.

Re:This comes at a good time (4, Informative)

xilet (741528) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708618)

Those are seperate systems. There are virtualization applications (VMware, VirtualPC) which run as applications and will emulate an entire computer as the program so you can install a fresh OS on top of it and run it in its own little happy sandbox. There are also programs such as wine, crossover, etc, which emulate windows from inside *nix, so they give you the nessecery dll files and hooks to be able to run Windows binaries on unix-based systems. So if you wanted to play Everquest/Wow/Civ4 from your Linux box you would use Wine. If you wanted to run a Linux server for testing from your Windows box you would use VMware.

Re:This comes at a good time (4, Informative)

jharv13 (836258) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708677)

You install Linux first. Then you install VMware (Server). Then you create virtual machines with reckless abandon, and install Windows into one of them. From there, you can install any Windows application on the Windows virtual machine.

Be aware that you need a legitimate license/key to install/activate Windows XP; after a P2V (physical-to-virtual) conversion of a WinXP box, I had to make the obligatory call to Microsoft and promise that I didn't have -that-version- of XP installed on any other system.

Otherwise, I'd suggest just downloading VMware Server, and playing with it for a while. The first time you see the POST (power-on self test) and BIOS screens of the VM it's like you've stepped into another dimension; your mind reels at the possibilities. Tiny servers for all sorts of DNS/LDAP/SAMBA bits. Honeypots. Network IDS. Cookieless web browsing. Knoppix instances for whatever you can think of. It's endless.

Nuggets: The virtual machine shares (by default) the CD drive of the host; but you can point to an .ISO file instead. You can point the drive to a REMOTE drive, of someone who's connected in through the virtual console, so they (the remote end) can have the CD they need to install from in their hands, instead of in the host's CD drive. Same with floppies. The network bits are similar; a private net, a NAT'ed net, or a bridged net. Whatever you need.

Just install it. Let the possibilities wash over you.

How does this sig thing work?

The business uses of VMware are obvious... (5, Interesting)

mmell (832646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708537)

and have been stated elsewhere in this thread.

What seems to be missing is good reasons for using a VM at home. I can think of several:

1) Seems a lot easier than dual-booting (for those of us with SO's who aren't comfortable with Linux)

2) Makes a good home lab for what is rapidly becoming another standard tool of the IT trade

3) Hardware speeds are approaching the level where (except for gaming and certain compute-intensive applications) most home machines are quite powerful enough to run multiple partitions without the user even noticing a slowdown.

4) Shiney!

5) Free (as in beer)!

Feel free to add to this list - it's a long way from being complete.

Incidentally, I wonder if Windows Vista will run under VM? I'm guessing yes (as anything else would mean that Microsoft is cutting their own throat).

Re:The business uses of VMware are obvious... (2, Informative)

TheRealFixer (552803) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708713)

I've got the Vista beta running on VMware Workstation. They actually have a guest OS option for Vista, but there's a big "experimental" warning on it. However, it seems to work fine. Slow, of course, because the Vista beta is a HUGE resource hog. But it runs...

Re:The business uses of VMware are obvious... (1)

GuruBuckaroo (833982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708717)

Vista (the beta, anyway) does run under VMWare Server - but it's really slow. And, of course, forget about the shiney new front-end (aero, or whatever they're calling it now). No accelerated graphics in a VM. Tried the Vista Beta a few weeks ago - and was disgusted. Every time I opened a control panel, applied a change, or (almost) clicked a mouse-button, it would ask me to confirm it - because it's changing the system. Ooooh... duh.

Re:The business uses of VMware are obvious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15708753)

Stash all of your pr0n in a dedicated virtual machine so that it's not available on a home network, in case there are family members/cheap roomates in your household. Assuming a Windows host, put the VM's in a partition without sharing turned on, install your favorite OS (Linux preferred for the discriminating pr0n-surfer) with a username not used anywhere else on the network, and have a weird password used only for this account. You'll have a system that, while not completely secure, at least makes your pr0n collection a PITA to access for those who shouldn't be accessing it. Also do your browsing that you don't want traced to you on that VM, and perhaps have a private email only accessible from that VM.

* ahem * Well, that's what I've heard, anyway.

Re:The business uses of VMware are obvious... (4, Informative)

Dalroth (85450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708755)

Honestly, I think you missed the most important use:

6) Lock your significant other/children into a sand box. When they inevitably screw windows up, roll back to a previous working version.


Re:The business uses of VMware are obvious... (2, Interesting)

oni (41625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708913)

Seems a lot easier than dual-booting (for those of us with SO's who aren't comfortable with Linux)

and it's a lot more powerful than that too. The real power of a VM imho is that you set up a machine seperately from the hardware. I like to have a little web server on my home network. I bet most slashdotters have a web server at home. I can't even remember how many times I've installed debian and configured apache. The thing is, I'm all the time taking my little server apart, taking parts out of it for my main computer or whatever. Each time I have to reinstall the OS.

No more. Now I have a VM with a web server set up just the way I like it. I have an image of that VM burned off on DVD. I can set up a brand new machine, install a bare bones OS in an hour or so, then I install VMWare and copy the image of my server, boot it up the image and I'm in business. The old config still works.

So basically I now have an abstraction layer between the server and the hardware. My example was simplified but the principle is sound.

So many problems, though (3, Informative)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708607)

I love this software, but the Linux client really is neglected. The documentation for Linux is not really there. There is no decent configuration tool for Linux. There are many bugs. For example, if you do any port forwarding, you must edit some nat.conf file. And if you reconfigure anything after that with, it completely wipes out all your changes to nat.conf without warning. I spent so much time dealing with these types of bugs while testing the beta, I should have simply purchased another solution.

Some questions (1)

Matlo (824176) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708613)

If I install Vmware with a linux host and a windows guest, can I have Skype 2.0 running on it, accessing my mic and my webcam? (I know I should use Ekiga instead, but...)

And would my wireless pcmcia card, that is not recognised by linux, be working under this artificial windows? Can I use the usual windows drivers with the guest vmware windows?

Re:Some questions (1)

palswim (982779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708665)

As far as your wireless card goes, to my understanding, Linux would have to know what to do with it before it could virtualize it for Windows, so I think you're out of luck there. I would bet you could get your webcam and mic working (mic for sure), though.

Re:Some questions (1)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708842)

If the wireless card was a USB wireless adapter you could give the guest machine raw access to the device which should then work (then you could do reverse sharing pretty much). Since yours is a pcmcia card though you could always try using ndiswrapper.

VMware Server, Workstation, GSX, etc. (1)

palswim (982779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708622)

So, I know VMware Player is a gimped version of Workstation. Where does VMware Server fall in line here? Their website lists it under a semi-separate product category ("For 1st-time Users"), but what functionality does this not have that Workstation does?

Re:VMware Server, Workstation, GSX, etc. (1)

neurovish (315867) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708791)

VMWare Server is GSX.

Re:VMware Server, Workstation, GSX, etc. (2, Informative)

neurovish (315867) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708823)

...and if you're still interested in the difference between Server/GSX and Workstation here are a few:
VM runs in the background, and you connect to it using a client. In workstation, you loaded up VMWare Workstation, ran your VM, shut down your VM, then closed workstation. With VMWare server you run the VMWare client and connect to the server running on localhost or another system and then manage it as you would in workstation. When you close the server client, the VM keeps running in the background. It is also more powerful as far as automation and creating of virtual machine groups.

Re:VMware Server, Workstation, GSX, etc. (5, Informative)

Tiger22 (650018) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708805)

VMWare Server is a server so the VMs running on it are accessible from other machines by running a client tool. With Workstation and Player you can only access and use the VMs from the machine they are running on - no remote connectivity (unless you run a client connectivity tool like VNC fom within the VM). Workstation is more sophisticated (mutiple snapshot capablitities, VM Teams, etc) with the exception that the VMs cannot be accessed remotely.

Why it is being released for Free (3, Informative)

hackus (159037) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708633)

In case you haven't been following Xen, the reason why you cannot run Windows is because we are waiting for intel's VM processor instructions to be implemented in the next VT release of thier processors.

Well, that appearently is no longer a problem and you should be able to use a standard Linux Fedora Core, or whatever installation to load windows on by next year.

VMware knows this, and is trying to prevent existing customers from leaving or looking elsewhere by giving away its products.

Interesting thoughts I have was:

1) I can install Windows workstations and servers remotely.
2) How long will it take for Microsoft to add a Service Pack update that detects windows running on a Linux box and have it start not working properly so that people use thier VM product instead, or don't have a choice.
3) Whats the performance going to be like.

VMWare is a nice product but A it is too expensive, and be it is too expensive because it turns any VM machine into a basket case performance wise.

So XeN's approach hopefully won't be any worse, maybe better since they are not trying to emulate an entire machine. :-)


xen rocks (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708707)

Xen also kicks vmwares arse up one side and down the other when it comes to speed.

Re:Why it is being released for Free (1)

SirTalon42 (751509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708901)

Xen has been able to run Windows for a while now (VT enabled procs are on the market). Both VMware Player and Server are free, only Workstation (like player + a few extra features) and ESX Server (like Server, but doesn't require a host OS, because it IS the host).

Re:Why it is being released for Free (1)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708905)

VMWare is a nice product but A it is too expensive, and be it is too expensive because it turns any VM machine into a basket case performance wise.

Except, (a) VMware's Server and Workstation products are free, and (b) VMware runs its guests as well as virtual infrastructure. Xen has its way of dealiing with performance issues, VMware has other ways, but nobody's going to use anything that won't run the guest OS resonably fast. And once Intel's VT release arrives, do you think that VMware isn't going to use the new instructions? Right now, VMware is the only virtualizer that runs both Windows and Linux guests, and it does a damn fine job of it.

Re:Why it is being released for Free (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708917)

> Well, that appearently is no longer a problem and you should be able to use a standard Linux Fedora Core, or whatever installation to load windows on by next year.

Dell 1950s and 2950s ship with VT-enabled Intel CPU's right now.

Xen is a nice hypervisor, but nothing else. They have nothing like VMotion, or even snapshots.

Nice to play with, but way to slow. (1)

SIPVoIP (810852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708744)

I am working on a new VoIP startup and looking at virtualization. I looked at VMware, but the preformance sucked big time. Xen may not have the nice management interface (yet), but the approach gives far far better preformance. I just don't see why you would be willing to pay a 20 - 40% hit using VMware vs Xen.


Re:Nice to play with, but way to slow. (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 8 years ago | (#15708899)

Then maybe you don't understand the difference between VMware and Xen?

For your work you should probably use Xen, others need VMware.
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