Home > OS News > VMware Opens Disk Format VMware Opens Disk Format Eugenia Loli 2006-04-04 OS News 35 Comments VMware is taking another step to try to maintain its market dominance. VMware announced today that it is opening its virtual machine disk format specification to allow other vendors to use it in their products. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 35 Comments 2006-04-04 2:23 am bouh That would be interesting, one more step forward. We could one day well be able to migrate a OS from a Xen to a VMware to a Qemu for exemple. It would be quite nice: you rootstrap your virtual machine at home under Qemu/VMware for exemple, and you migrate it under Xen at work. 2006-04-04 2:54 am tummy Might be difficult if your virtual hardware profiles change between VMs. 2006-04-04 3:42 am bouh I agree, that’s why I said *could*. I mentionned that because I think it is easier to build a root file system under Qemu/VMware since they emulate hardware and you can install in the VM. While for Xen, it’s either you have a root-strapping tool or either some space to install your distro somewhere. Following what said, it can also be nice just to migrate OS from a virtual machine to another on the same machine. 2006-04-04 7:20 am cg0def no you won’t be able to always move machines from Xen to vmware. Vmware supports a lot more OSs than Xen can because of licensing issues. Also in order for you to be able to move a machine from Xen to vmware this means that Xen has to abandone the diskformat that is currently used in favor of the vmware format. No why exactly would they do that? 2006-04-04 9:47 am Mark Williamson If VMware supports more OSes than Xen, surely that means you can always move them from Xen to VMware? You may need to install a new “native” kernel to run on VMware if the original guest was paravirtualised[*]. Xen runs unmodified OSes on VT/Pacifica enabled hardware, so some guests (e.g. Windows, Legacy Linux) will already run directly on VMware. I’m not sure what disk format the commercial Xen control tools use but the disks used by the Xen core are a very simple format that could easily be converted back to VMware format to migrate a platform from Xen->VMware [*] VMware have a proposal for a paravirtualisation API that would allow the same kernel to run paravirtualised on Xen AND VMware, or natively on real hardware, with good performance on all of them. 2006-04-04 10:43 pm kscguru Being able to move VMs from Xen to VMware to Xen and so on, that would be amazing. Has fundamental problems – different hardware models being the most fundamental – but those are solvable problems. I would really like to see it. 2006-04-05 9:45 am Mark Williamson The main requirement in either case is that you insert a kernel image that’ll boot on the VMM of your choice. This could be done by mounting the filesystem image under Linux and installing an RPM – and this could be automated. This’ll take care of the hardware model; there shouldn’t be any other significant problems. Also, if a common VMware / Xen virtual machine interface is ever standardised on (VMware have made patches for this which they’re trying to get into mainline Linux) then you wouldn’t even need to do that 🙂 2006-04-04 3:02 am CrazyDude0 http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver/techinfo… 2006-04-04 3:21 am Sphinx Precisely and since they appear to be drawing a bead on VMWare with free virtual server it’s going to be publish or perish from here on out in the virtualization space, no feature can be left out. 2006-04-04 3:13 am dontbotherme blatent slashdot rip come on.. get yer own content. surely you can find something that hasnt already been posted on slashdot 2006-04-04 3:45 am Angel--Fr@gzill@ !!! VMware is a good virtual machine, but still have some big and horrendous bugs in it! I understand this move, in order to try to get market dominance in the virtual engines market, but from the users perspective, I think they would do better in trying to correct those bugs… For instance, I have installed VMware Player in a PC with Windows XP, and its has broken the TCP/IP somehow… Since I installed it, many games and some programs act in a bizarre way while connecting to the Internet. Quake III, and other games connect to the internet, but can not find the servers in the internet, and “The All-Seeing Eye” program to find servers in many games, does not work too, and can not find most of the servers! I have tried to correct this, also reinstalled the VMware Player and the games, but the result is the same. So, now my network connection or my TCP/IP protocole are broken, but still do not know why exactly… This has made me more productive probably… , and for a company maybe is not a poroblem, but a bless. Still, is a really big bug in VMware… !!! Edited 2006-04-04 03:51 2006-04-04 6:27 am Matzon Having used VMWare Player extensively (now using the server instead) on Windows XP, I can only say that I have had no issues with the products at all!! – they have worked totally as expected. Only issue I have had, is installing the VMWare tools which fail on non-rpm linux distributions, but is quickly fixed with a compile of the included source. 2006-04-04 11:25 am johnktaylor I’ve had this happen to me aswell, it does something funny with the routing table (or it did with me)…found that the way to fix it was to go into ‘Manage Virtual Networks’ and start removing stuff from ‘Virtual Adapters’…my system seemed to behave itself after that…didnt really have time to analyse the solution fully, but it might be an area you could try to look into… it goes without saying that if it is a production machine and not your development system, you might need to look into it a little bit further than half assed hint i’ve just given you John. 2006-04-04 11:37 am Angel--Fr@gzill@ !!! OK, Thanks. I will try it! I hope it will fix the probem, since I really like VMware and I have started to use virtual machines, mainly VMware and Quemu, more frecuently. Good to know that someone had also this kind of problems, cause I was getting a negative point in each of my post in this thread just for telling the facts, as they are. Or maybe an ass with enough points, or a troll or someone working for WMware, that thinks he is very smart has voted -1 to each of them… Funny Apparently nobody can find a negative aspect, even if true, of anything a fanatic is prepared to give his life for or a Troll try to undermine… LOL As I told “Fanatix” will never end! !!! Edited 2006-04-04 11:46 2006-04-04 2:55 pm axel when you set up your virtual machines what did you use for the network setting (e.g nat, bridged…)? i remember once (back in 4.5) i used bridged because i misclicked and suddenly the computer claimed i had a network inteface unplugged. where as using the NAT setting i’ve never had problems 2006-04-04 7:36 pm Angel--Fr@gzill@ !!! — “when you set up your virtual machines what did you use for the network setting (e.g nat, bridged…)? i remember once (back in 4.5) i used bridged because i misclicked and suddenly the computer claimed i had a network inteface unplugged. where as using the NAT setting i’ve never had problems” hmmm, I don’t remember , but I guess it was ‘Nat’. But the cards are recognised , most of the stuff and programs are ok; I don’t have problems in general, as I said, it is mainly to programs related to some games, and some games, for all the rest it is ok. !!! 2006-04-04 9:53 pm kscguru My first guess at this problem is that NAT is misconfigured – lots of games assume a public IP and break when reverse connections don’t work right. Which, btw, is one of the more common networking issues out there. On top of that, Windows sometimes gets screwy when there are multiple adapters installed. I’d suggest going to the VMware forums and asking for help there. > cause I was getting a negative point in each of my post > in this thread just for telling the facts, as they are. > Or maybe an ass with enough points, or a troll or > someone working for WMware, that thinks he is very > smart has voted -1 to each of them… Funny Well thanks. I work for VMware, I didn’t realize this made me a troll or whatever. I humbly suggest the reason you got modded down is that you came out flaming software for being junk without trying to fix it, hijacking a discussion about disk formats, then accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being a fanatic. But I wouldn’t know; I don’t mod posts. 2006-04-05 4:22 am Angel--Fr@gzill@ !!! Well Thanks for your comment, I’ll try it. About your suggestion: hmmm … read well my former posts first. Apparently you did not. If not you would not say what you say. But I understand it, since you work for VMware as you say. -If you never voted or moded, how this could have to do with you? -Where did I said that your a troll just because you work for VMware? -“Flaming softawre” When?, Where? I have said literally tha VMware is a good Virtual machine! -“being junk without trying to fix it”. Really? I have said clearly that I have tried, and even reinstalled all several times… -“then accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being a fanatic” Really, again? Where have I made such acusation? In my post I just say the contrary. There is even posts commenting that and agreeing with me… Sorry guy, but I think you have taken it hot because you work for WMware. OK, cool down, read carefully, think twice before making accusations without base, and keep the good job in VMware. By the way, part of the good job consits probably in verifying if WMware when installing breaks or missconfigure anything in Windows (NAT or whatever). What I am relating is simply a fact that has happened to me after installing VMware. If you are interested in solving this problem or verifying if the problem actually exits, leave a mail adress, so we can maintain a mail correspondance about that. I can answer you in any question about the installation I did and the problems I encoutered… If not, sorry, what can I say? You did not post or mod before. You came just now and accuse me of several things that I have not said, pretending that I have said that you are a troll just because you work for WMware. How can accuse you of being a troll if you did not post before???!!! Do you realize that maybe the unreasonable accusations you have just made to me could be considered as trolling? I did not accuse. I presented some facts, and I did not hide myself (neither you hide, since you say you work for WMware!). My only accusation is that posts have to be readed and understood before claiming something that has never been said, and people should discuss, not mod up or down just because they are ‘followers’ of a determinate OS, program or licence…. I offer again my help, if is wanted, and congratulate you for the the Good Virtual machine that VMware is… And I say honestly, despite the problem I encountered. !!! 2006-04-04 4:02 am SEJeff Xensource licensed the disk format from Microsoft so you can use their gui to make MS Virtual Server images run in the newer Xen. I wonder how long it will take then to do the same for VMWare server images in their gui management tools? VMWare is a great company that isn’t evil. I just bought a copy of vmware workstation just to support them. (And because work frowns upon pirated software) 2006-04-04 5:07 am Archangel VMware is a good virtual machine, but still have some big and horrendous bugs in it! I am surprised – I’ve installed VMWare onto my Linux desktop, and Windows installed perfectly under it, and hasn’t buggered up anything. It works considerably better than installing Windows onto the computer directly… I don’t want to sound scathing, but I tend to think you’ve done something wrong; installing VMWare onto an XP machine must be pretty common, and I doubt it breaks networking for everyone that does it. Back to topic, this is interesting news; in the future it might be possible for me to mount my virtual machines without starting VMWare if I just needed to pull a few files off them. Would be a nice trick, if hardly crucial. 2006-04-04 5:47 am Angel--Fr@gzill@ !!! Well, from angel to archangel: I don’t think I have done anything wrong installing VMWare onto the XP machine. As I have said in the prior post:”I have tried to correct this, also reinstalled the VMware Player and the games, but the result is the same” most of the things in my Network and Internet connection still work OK (http-Web browsing, ftp, peer to peer etc…). So VMware ha not affected to that. But where the problem is, is just in several games and some programs affected while connecting to the Internet. “Quake III, and other games can connect to the internet, but they can not find the servers in the internet, and “The All-Seeing Eye” program to find servers in many games, does not work too, and can not find most of the servers!” Appart from that, everything works OK in Windows XP, and the OSs running in VMware do it really smoothly. I have done nothing wrong( settings or hacks…).Installing VMware in Windos is pretty straightforward: Click the exe file, ok, ok, and thats it… installed! So , I assume tha this is a bug in VMware that takes control of something in the TCP/IP stack in order to gain acces to the network/internet to the virtual Operating Systems installed… If anyone knows an answer to this… !!! 2006-04-04 5:58 am CuriosityKills Angel: Do you see the problem even when NO Virtual Machine is running? vmware installs an NDIS Filter driver for networking and i really doubt that it cause any problems. However it does slow down the networking on your host as well. 2006-04-04 9:55 am Angel--Fr@gzill@ !!! “Angel: Do you see the problem even when NO Virtual Machine is running?” — YES, the problem is there now even when I uninstall VMware ( I explain exactly what it is in my secnod post). This is in Windows XP, thought. I have not tried VMware in Linux yet. I guess, it has changed something in the Registry, but no idea what. Nothing that a whole reistall of Windows can not solve… About the slow down of the network: well, it is scarcely noticeable here. !!! 2006-04-04 10:05 am viton just a wild guess: check your firewall settings 2006-04-04 10:41 am Angel--Fr@gzill@ !!! Using ZoneAlarm, giving full permisions to Quake and All seeing eye, but still the same. Anyway, the problem seems to be mainly with whatever these programs use to make the internet search of game servers… Whatever it is , semms to be obstaclulised by the VMware program… Maybe I will install Quake 3 in a Linux machine to see if it also happens there… !!! 2006-04-04 10:50 am l3v1 I use vmware workstation, vmware server and vmware player on winxp (vmws,vmp), gentoo(vms,vmws,vmp), ubuntu (vms,vmp) and debian(vmp), for a long time now. On winxp neither vmws nor vmp have ever produced such “bugs”. It may lay on your hw, your xp config, or your firewall settings, or some other setting or app that somehow someway conflicts with vmware. I hope I’ve been vague enough ) 2006-04-04 7:40 am Manuel FLURY I guess we might expect conversion tool between machine virtualizer, that’s really great. 2006-04-04 10:24 am Angel--Fr@gzill@ !!! Funny… I have recieved a negative point in my first post for saying that VMware is a good virtual machine, and for depicting a problem that I have encountered… LOL Really, some people should think twice… or maybe just think! Or maybe finish reading the post before acting. Or it is just that some people so used to use the PC have the fingers in the keyboard quicker than the brain?… No matter.. a couple of days ago I received about 12 negative points or more just for a very moderate and analitical comment about the spirit and licence of BSD, proposing dialogue and reflexion insted of flamewars and negative points between GPLers and BSDers! The result, as I told, was more than 12 negative points, by BSD fanatics in 3 or 4 posts… LOL. I guess I deeply offended the favourite OS of JesusChrist, which must be a Capital Sin. Just for expressing some views, and not having blind faith in its licence… Fanatics will never end! But some FANATIX of OS, software.. start to piss me off! So now, when things like that happen to me, I just make laugh of it and try to answer with funny comments… Maybe it is a more positive attitude to anwser a post you don’t agree with, rather than giving it a negative point…! Who knows? After all, we are just talking all the time of something such unsubstantial as billions of just ones and ceros (1s,0s)! !!! Edited 2006-04-04 10:31 2006-04-04 12:07 pm JamesTRexx It’s the trouble with giving people moderation abilities, the system is easy to abuse. Just look at Slashdot, and why they started meta-moderating but even then it doesn’t prevent things like this happening. Maybe the best way to deal with this is to either avoid anything that could be even slightly controversial or ignore your own comment scores. Either way, I doubt if there ever will be a fair system for everyone that cannot be abused. 2006-04-04 11:01 am bogomipz This can only be good news for users. Qemu is already capable of converting disk-images to/from vmware’s format, though. 2006-04-04 12:30 pm Snapper Hmmm, great, now virus writers can modify my vmware files. Just when you thought it was safe to do things in windows while using a vmware session, now you have to worry again. I guess I’m glad my pc’s run knoppix correctly so i can boot that, do my banking, and then back to the windows environment. Of course, I trust that a released version of knoppix has already been scanned by tons of people and nothing has been detected as far as malware… 2006-04-04 2:17 pm w-ber So, are you saying that virus writers are incompetent fools who don’t know how to reverse-engineer file formats? I’d say the reverse applies… Just because a file format is closed doesn’t mean no-one knows or could know how it works. 2006-04-04 2:05 pm EmmEff I am hoping some brilliant individual will come up with a Linux filesystem driver (maybe written using FUSE) to allow me to mount a VMware disk image as a filesystem. That way building VMs will be as easy as it is with Xen. 2006-04-04 2:17 pm present_arms have u turned on XP’s firewall that could be an issue from the symptoms u gave me. if not the XP one maybe one in a router etc I also have ran vmware in both *nix and windows and have had no problems… 2006-04-04 7:31 pm Angel--Fr@gzill@ !!! — “have u turned on XP’s firewall that could be an issue from the symptoms u gave me. if not the XP one maybe one in a router etc” No, the XP firewall is off, since I am using ZoneAlarm,. There is not router conncted to the PC. — “I also have ran vmware in both *nix and windows and have had no problems…” But, you do not have problems in general, or with the with the same programs than me? because as I said it is mainly to programs related to some games, and some games, for all the rest it is ok. !!!