VMWare Workstation

I now have VMWare Workstation. It’s an amazing product that’s going to be very useful to me for testing and for running a handful of obscure Windows programs. It’s well worth the price considering all the amazing work that’s been put into it.

Installing Windows in a VMWare virtual machine is a pleasure. It’s great to know that MS Windows is trapped inside the window. Just try trashing my boot partition now you monopoly-abusing little fucker. And none of its viruses/worms/spyware/adware can touch my real work.

The UI is pretty good. There are some eccentricities, but I can understand their choices. I’d like some things to be explained a bit more in the installation and user interface. For instance, the installation script asks some scarily unanswerable (to me) questions about networking NATs and subnets. And I wasn’t sure if a referenced clone would be affected by actions in the original.

Now, how on earth do I create vmware appliances for use in VMWare Player?

9 thoughts on “VMWare Workstation

  1. You just tar up the vmware image directory and distribute it. For a VM that is powered off, I believe you just need the .vmx file and the .vmdk files.

  2. The network questions are really difficult (at least for us, not network admins).
    But when you decide what you want, and put it working, you gonna love the choices they gave you.

  3. A VMware appliance for VMware Player is nothing more than a VM created by workstation. It can open the same VMs, so just pass around the directory containing the vmx and vmdk files. VMware Player will open the .vmx file just fine.

    The network configuration isn’t easy. It’s a problem we’ve known about for a while, as well as the rest of the installation procedure. It’s something many engineers want to fix as well at some point.

    I know there are areas of the UI that I would like to improve. What other areas did you find odd?

  4. The appliance question was already answered, so I’ll just pile-on with the VMWare fanboy love — it’s the only thing that lets me run Linux at work, as the corporation inflicts some apps on me that won’t even run under WINE. That’s why I bought it, anyway (and I think the price is quite reasonable) — after I got it, it changed the way I work, for the better; developing an automated kickstart setup would have been unbelievably painful without VMWare and the ability to snapshot. Awesome stuff – I’m eagerly awaiting our first ESX server (just waiting on the SAN).

  5. > I know there are areas of the UI that I would like to improve. What other areas did you find odd?

    I found it odd that
    1. The tabs list Home as well as each virtual machine. But Home isn’t a virtual machine. Home just has 3 buttons that I’d prefer to see in a pane on the left-hand-side. But I understand that you want those buttons to be big with explanatory text, so people see them at first.
    2. The snapshots are listed both in the tabs and in the Favourites left-hand pane.
    3. Several menu items and check boxes are a bit “advanced”, but they dont’ really get in the way.
    4. The difference between Quick-Switch and Full Screen doesn’t seem all that significant.

    I love this product more every day.

  6. I’ve been considering using Workstation, since there’s really only one program holding me back from using Linux full-time: Flash. I have to develop in it, and there’s of course no alternative in Linux.

    How happy are you with Workstation’s performance? I certainly wouldn’t expect you have the same needs or the system configuration as I. But if you were using anything remotely resource-demanding, it might be a good indicator about how well VMWare Workstation would work for me.

  7. John, I am very happy with it, and notice no significant performance problems compared to a full install as long as you have enough memory. If you dedicate less than the recommended RAM (VMWare recommends an amount) then you’ll have massive disk-swapping slow downs. Luckily, a Gig of RAM is cheap these days. Then you can give half of it to VMWare and be tottally sure that it’s enough.

    I’ve used it to run a 3D Design application on Windows, and to do software development in Linux (so I don’t have to multi-boot different versions of distros). The performance is fantastic. Buy it.

  8. Very good to know! Thanks for the info, Murray.

    Now I just have to hope that I don’t have to use my spare Windows license (i.e. that my current install will transfer to the VM).

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