Home > OS News > Review: VMware Workstation 5.5 Review: VMware Workstation 5.5 Submitted by Valour 2006-01-11 OS News 13 Comments Back in November, VMware released version 5.5 of their Workstation virtual machine product. Overall it’s not a big improvement over version 5.0, but might be just the right “next step up” for those still on Workstation 4.x, says TheJemReport. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 13 Comments 2006-01-11 11:42 pm nighty5 These guys has created the first hypervisor version that will use VT chips if its available. Their first release: Parallels Workstation 2.0 is very feature complete. They guys are hungry for market share, they are being very aggressive in pricing, at $USD50 a license its worth a consideration. Plus they support heaps of OS’s with more to come in the 2.1 and 3.0 releases. http://www.parallels.com/en/products/workstation/ 2006-01-12 12:31 am BrianH How well does Parallels work without a VT chip? Using a VT chip is not an option for me, as I must use hardware I already own, or that has already been released. Oh, and I have to run Windows as a client OS, so no Xen. 2006-01-12 12:49 am nighty5 Yes Brian it works without a VT chipset. There is client support for Windows and Linux, and the founder says that ones Mac OSX hits x86 mainstream they will be creating a host and guest support for OSX. Since I mainly run a mac, this is welcoming news. Give it a try, you get like a 45 day eval period, at $50 its great for hobbiest, something VMware forgot all about. Vmware used to be $100 first up which was great for hobbiest, but they quickly forgot their original audience and went straight to corporate pricing with the release of GSX/ESX. 2006-01-12 4:01 am sean I am waiting for a FreeBSD host version from some company. The first one gets my money. Otherwise, I am hoping to buy an AMD with Pacifica technology and use Xen. 2006-01-12 12:59 am eivind The VMWare Player is free, and I’ve seen a couple of hacks around on the net on how to create virtual machines without using VMWare Workstation. Yes, only the Player required. Think I saw at least one of these guides on del.icio.us popular (http://del.icio.us/). Just don’t take my word for it as I haven’t tried any of these guides myself yet. Happy hunting, tweaking and hacking 2006-01-12 5:29 am Tyr. Think I saw at least one of these guides on del.icio.us popular (http://del.icio.us/). Just don’t take my word for it as I haven’t tried any of these guides myself yet. Happy hunting, tweaking and hacking Sounded interesting so I went searching here’s the link : http://www.hackaday.com/entry/1234000153064739/ 2006-01-12 3:50 pm g__t Well, the simplest way to do it, AFAIK, is to create an empty disk image of VMWare format (i.e. with free qemu-img executable). Then, copy a working VM configuration file and modify it in order to point to the new disk image (some examples are easy to find online). Finally you’ll basically need to start the Player with a bootable image in order to start installing what you want. This is a great way to test new OSes (the virtual hardware of the Player is often correctly configured) and to keep running different parallel production environment without worrying too much of messing up something. However, AFAIK, Googling it’s possible to find more ways to build VM for Player using only free software. IMHO, http://www.virtualization.info/ is a great website about that kind of topic. 2006-01-12 1:20 pm powerdroid Now all we need is for VMWare to port to the new Intel Macs. This would be a welcome addition to the Windows/Linux options for OSX. PD 2006-01-12 5:15 pm orestes Agreed, though what I really want to see for the Intel Macs is a port of MOL. 2006-01-12 4:43 pm Headrush I found version 5.5 brought much better support for devices. I can burn directly to my DVD burner and where I once had problems with USB devices and messages about being controlled by Linux, they all work now. (USB keys, camera, etc) 2006-01-12 5:27 pm Larz I can only agree. You could say that 5.5 is just more of the same – which in a way it is. But its just a little better in so many ways. I look forward to the day when WmWare gets more competition. And with VT Hypervisor layers that day will surely come. But right now Wmware just rules. 2006-01-12 5:20 pm SEJeff One of the not mentioned yet noteworthy features of vwmware 5.x is Debian / Ubuntu support. I didn’t see this mentioned anywhere, but it works flawlessly on my Linux workstation here at work. 2006-01-13 4:37 pm Mark Williamson Xen guest support is in FreeBSD 7 Perforce. It’s planned to move into the FreeBSD 6.1 release (with host support being planned for that timeframe also). Pacifica / VT support is still a little rough around the edges under Xen (from what I’ve heard) but is a really important feature, so it’ll definitely be heavily developed. It’s likely that it’ll be noticeably improved between now and the point where Pacifica hardware becomes available to the public, for instance.