VMware Workstation v8.0 icon
|Stable release||10.0 / 3 September 2013|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows
VMware Workstation is a hypervisor that runs on x64 computers; it enables users to set up multiple virtual machines (VMs) and use them simultaneously along with the actual machine. Each virtual machine can execute its own operating system, such as Microsoft Windows, Linux or BSD variants. As such, VMware Workstation allows one physical machine to run multiple operating systems simultaneously. Workstation is developed and sold by VMware, Inc., a division of EMC Corporation.
VMware Workstation supports bridging existing host network adapters and share physical disk drives and USB devices with a virtual machine. In addition, it can simulate disk drives. It can mount an existing ISO image file into a virtual optical disc drive so that the virtual machine sees it as a real one. Likewise, virtual hard disk drives are made via .vmdk files.
VMware Workstation can save the state of a virtual machine in one point of time. These saved states, known as a "snapshots", can later be restored, effectively returning the virtual machine to the saved state.
VMware Workstation includes the ability to designate multiple virtual machines as a team which can then be powered on, powered off, suspended or resume as a single object, making it particularly useful for testing client-server environments.
|This section requires expansion. (May 2012)|
|Red||Italic||Release no longer supported|
|Green||Normal||Release still supported|
|Major Version||Release Date||Significant Changes|
|3.0||1 November 2001|
|3.1||9 April 2002|
|4.0||23 March 2003|
|4.5||5 April 2004|
|5.0||11 April 2005|
|5.5||12 September 2005|
|6.0||9 May 2007|
|6.5||23 September 2008|
|7.0||26 October 2009|
|8.0||14 September 2011|
|9.0||23 August 2012||
|10.0||3 September 2013||
Known limitations of VMware Workstation, as of October, 2009[update], included the following:
- Workstation 8 is the first version that requires an x64-compatible CPU.
- VMware virtual machines do not directly support FireWire.
- VMware Workstation version 5.5 provided only experimental support for 3D hardware acceleration, via Microsoft's Direct3D 8 API. A video has appeared on YouTube that demonstrates several 3D-accelerated games running under VMware Fusion and Mac OS X. The release notes for Fusion beta 2 include a list of 3D-accelerated computer games that can run within Windows XP-based virtual machines. In version 6.5, Direct3D 9.0 API support (only up to Shader Model 2.0) is provided on Windows 2000 and Windows XP guests (although not Windows 9x) and on any host OS. Version 7 has support for Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.1 graphics. It can run Crysis at 14-18 frame/s at low settings. Windows Display Driver Model support (version 1.0) was introduced in version 7.0, allowing Windows Aero to run in virtualized Windows Vista and later Windows guests, but OpenGL is regressed to 1.4.
- 64-bit guest operating systems require a 64-bit processor and a BIOS compatible with x86 virtualization. Intel processors require Intel VT hardware virtualization technology as Intel 64-bit processors without hardware virtualization technology do not have segmentation support in long mode. Only AMD64 processors of revision D or later can run 64-bit guests.
- VMware workstation virtual machines did not have SATA support until the VMware Workstation 10 release.
Vulnerabilities affecting VMWare products typically involve ways for users inside a Guest VM to become super-user, or allow Guests to execute code on the Host.
Notable vulnerabilities of earlier versions include:
- Kostya Kortchinsky of Immunity discovered a vulnerability in the 3d API allowing Guests to execute code on the Host. Fixed in VMWare Workstation 6.5.2.
- Rafal Wojtczuk of McAfee discovered a Guest-to-Host memory corruption vulnerability which might allow Guest users to run arbitrary code on the Host. While the CVE entry is still set to "under review", the vulnerability was fixed in VMWare Player 2.01.
- Greg MacManus of iDefense Labs discovered a vulnerability in the Shared Folders implementation which allowed Guests to read/write host files (in a non-default configuration). Fixed in VMWare Workstation 5.5.4.
- Core Security discovered that the Shared Folders patch did not correctly account for Unicode characters. The Unicode traversal vulnerability was fixed in VMware Workstation 6.0.3.
VMware Tools is a package with drivers and other software that can be installed in guest operating systems to increase their performance. It has several components, including the following:
- Drivers for the emulated hardware:
- Drag-and-drop file support
- Clipboard sharing between host and guest
- Time synchronization capabilities (guest syncs with host machine's clock)
- Support for Unity, a feature that allows seamless integration of applications with the host desktop
Ready-to-use virtual machines
Many ready-made virtual machines (VMs) which run on VMWare Player, Workstation, and other virtualization software are available for specific purposes, either for purchase or free of charge; for example a free Linux-based "browser appliance" with the Firefox browser installed which can be used for safe Web browsing; if infected or damaged it can be discarded and replaced by a clean copy. The appliance can be configured to automatically reset itself after each use so personal information is not stored. VMs distributed legally only have freely distributable operating systems, as operating systems on VMs must be licensed; ready-to-use Microsoft Windows VMs, in particular, are not distributed, except for evaluation versions.
- PowerWF - Provides a visual representation of VMware VIX scripts, converting them into workflows, or converting workflows into Powershell cmdlets and modules. VIX is VMware's addition to Microsoft's Powershell for automation of the VMware Player.
- "IEEE Xplore - Abstract Page". Ieeexplore.ieee.org. 2011-09-27. doi:10.1109/MCSE.2010.92. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- "VMware Workstation 10.0 Release Notes". Vmware.com. 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
- "Processor Requirements for Host Systems". VMware Workstation 9 Documentation Center. VMware. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- Warren, Steven (2008-11-20). "Snapshots in VMware Workstation". Blogs.techrepublic.com.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- "VMware Workstation 8 Now Available Worldwide!". Vmware.com. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- "Does 5.5 support Firewire. If not, is VMWare working on it.". VMTN. 2006-04-27.
- "Experimental Support for Direct3D". Retrieved 2007-08-28.
- "Can 3D Graphics be Achieved on Virtualization?". InfoWorld. 2007-02-10. Retrieved 2007-08-28.
- "video". Youtube.com. 2007-02-07. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- "VMware Fusion Release Notes". Vmware.com. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duWkk872yM0][dead link]
- "Hardware and Firmware Requirements for 64-Bit Guest Operating Systems". Kb.vmware.com. 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
- "VMware Workstation release notes". VMware INC. Archived from the original on
|archivedate=(help). Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "Timekeeping in VMware Virtual Machines" (PDF). VMware. 2005-08-01. Retrieved 2007-09-26.
- "CVE - CVE-2007-4496 (under review)". Cve.mitre.org. 2010-12-21. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
- "VMware Player Release Notes". Vmware.com. 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
- "Public Advisory: 04.27.07 // iDefense Labs". Labs.idefense.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
- "VMware Workstation 5.5 Release Notes". Vmware.com. 2008-11-06. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
- "Core Security Technologies". Coresecurity.com. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
- "VMware Workstation 6 Release Notes". Vmware.com. 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
- "Directory of VMs with 1539 entries as of 7 January 2011". Vmware.com. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- "VMWare Browser Appliance page". Vmware.com. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- "powerwf.com". powerwf.com. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- Review of VMware Workstation 7 at ZDNet UK, rated 9/10
- Review of VMware Workstation 7 at V3, rated 4/5
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to VMware.|