VMware Workstation

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VMware Workstation
VMware Workstation 11.0 icon.png
VMware Workstation v11.0 icon
WMware Workstation 11.1 screenshot.png
Screenshot showing VMware Workstation 11.1 on Windows 7
Developer(s) VMware
Initial release 1999[1]
Stable release 11.1 [2] / 17 February 2015; 3 months ago (2015-02-17)
Development status Active
Operating system Windows
Linux
Platform x86-64 only[3]
Type Hypervisor
License Trialware
Website vmware.com/products/workstation/

VMware Workstation is a hypervisor that runs on x86-64 computers;[3] it enables users to set up one or more virtual machines (VMs) on a single physical machine, and use them simultaneously along with the actual machine. Each virtual machine can execute its own operating system, including versions of Microsoft Windows, Linux, BSD, and MS-DOS. VMware 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 (a "snapshot") at any instant. These snapshots can later be restored, effectively returning the virtual machine to the saved state.[4]

VMware Workstation includes the ability to designate multiple virtual machines as a team which can then be powered on, powered off, suspended or resumed as a single object, making it particularly useful for testing client-server environments.

The VMware Player, a virtualization package of basically similar, but reduced, functionality, is also available, and is free of charge for non-commercial use, or for distribution or other use by written agreement.[5]

Version history[edit]

Legend
Color Meaning
Red Release no longer supported
Green Release still supported
Blue Future release
Major Version Release Date Significant Changes
1.0 1999 First release
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
  • Workstation 8 is the first version that requires an x64-compatible CPU.
9.0 23 August 2012
  • USB 3.0 support for Linux and Windows 8 guests
  • OpenGL driver for Linux guests
  • Improved graphics subsystem
  • Restricted Virtual Machines
  • New operating system support
10.0 3 September 2013
10.0.1 24 October 2013
  • Improved compatibility with some AMD Piledriver CPUs
  • Easy Install support for Windows 8.1 RTM and Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM
  • Fixes for certain hangs and freezes
10.0.2 17 April 2014
  • The compatibility and performance of USB audio and video devices with virtual machines has been improved.
  • Resolved an issue that prevents a USB device from being connected to Linux RHEL 5 guest operating system.
  • Easy installation option supports Windows 8.1 Update 1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 as a guest operating system.
  • OpenSUSE 13.1 is now supported as a host operating system.
  • Resolved an issue causing burning CDs with Blu-ray drives to fail while connected to the virtual machine.
  • Resolved an issue that caused using Microsoft Word and Excel in unity mode causes a beep.
  • Resolved an issue causing host application windows to be blanked out in the UAC dialog on the Linux host of the Windows 8 virtual machine.
  • Resolved an issue that prevented the Sound Card from being automatically added to the VM when powering on the virtual machine on a Linux host.
  • Resolved an issue that could cause a Windows 8.1 guest operating system to display a black screen when launching Metro style applications in the launch menu.
  • Resolved a hotkey conflict in the Preference dialog of the KVM mode.
  • Resolved a compatibility issue of GL renderer with some new Nvidia drivers.
  • Resolved graphics errors with for Solidworks applications.
  • Resolved an issue causing virtual machines imported from a physical PC to crash on startup.
  • Resolved an issue about shared folder when the user read and write file using two threads.
  • Resolved an issue that caused Linux virtual machines to see stale file contents when using shared folders.
  • Resolved the virtual machine performance issues when using the E1000e adapter.
  • Resolved an issue preventing Workstation from starting on Ubuntu 14.04.
10.0.3 1 July 2014
  • VMware Workstation 10.0.3 has been updated to the OPENSSL library version openssl-0.9.8za where necessary to address CVE-2014-0224, CVE-2014-0198, CVE-2010-5298, and CVE-2014-3470.
10.0.4 30 October 2014
  • Fixes memory issue in Workstation on Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012.
10.0.5[6] 27 January 2015
  • At power-on, a virtual machine hangs and a .dmp file is created.
  • The VideoReDo application does not display the video properly and parts of the application's screen are scrambled.
  • Copying and pasting a large file from host to guest may fail.
  • Memory leak in the HGFS server (for shared folders) causes VMware Tools to crash randomly with the error: Exception 0xc0000005 (access violation) has occurred.
  • New VMs have the same location UUID and MAC address so that the UUID and MAC address are not unique. This problem occurs with WS 9 and WS 10 VMs but not WS 7 and WS 8 VMs.
  • On RHEL 6.6, vmmon cannot be loaded due to incompatible kernel symbol versions. With gcc, kernel-headers, kernel-devel installed, vmmon module will be recompiled automatically.
  • Memory leak by the process vmtoolsd.exe when the guest NIC is disabled causes memory consumption by Workstation processes to increase over time.
  • When USB devices are autoconnected with a hub to a Renesas host controller, the devices are not redirected to the guest.
  • WS 11 license is accepted by WS 10.0.5 and future 10.0 updates.
  • When WS is installed on Linux in a non-default location, the Virtual Network Editor fails to run.
11.0 1 Dec 2014

Host OS support[edit]

Supported operating systems on host computers[7]
Operating system Supported by
VMware Workstation
Windows Server 2012 R2 10.0 and later
Windows Server 2012 9.0 and later
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 8.0 and later
Windows Server 2008 R2 7.0 and later
Windows Server 2008 6.0–10.0
Windows Server 2003 R2 6.0–10.0
Windows Server 2003 4.0[8]–10.0
Windows 8.1 10.0 and later
Windows 8 9.0 and later
Windows 7 7.1 and later
Windows Vista 6.0–10.0
Windows XP 3.0–10.0[8][9][10]
Windows 2000 2.0–6.5[11][12]

VMware Tools[edit]

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:
    • VESA-compliant graphics for the guest machine to access high screen resolutions
    • Network drivers for the vmxnet2 and vmxnet3 NIC
    • Ensoniq AudioPCI audio
    • Mouse integration
  • 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

Third-party resources[edit]

Ready-to-use virtual machines[edit]

Many ready-made virtual machines (VMs) which run on VMWare Player, Workstation, and other virtualization software are available[13] for specific purposes, either for purchase or free of charge; for example free Linux-based "browser appliances" with the Firefox or other browser installed[14][15] 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.

Other tools[edit]

  • PowerWF[16] - 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]