Thursday, September 25, 2008

VMware Workstation 6.5: the new stuff

I just downloaded and installed the brand new VMware Workstation 6.5 (mainly because the kernel modules for 6.0.x wouldn't compile anymore on my Intrepid box). For you convenience: here's some stuff I noticed you might find interesting.

First of all, the download already was pretty big, but is now officially vast. Weighing in at over 300MB you have a long wait ahead of you if you aren't on a high speed connection like me. I'm not seeing a lot of things in the release notes to justify a 100MB larger download, but there sure are some niceties, check this out:

* 3D hardware acceleration in Windows XP guests, which supposedly works if the host is running Linux (w00t!)
* Seamless Window support called Unity mode (I tried this and it actually works pretty well, but it's a bitch to set up: I received a myriad of errors before it suddenly started working)
* There is now a part of VMwareTools called a Virtual Printer Daemon. I'm guessing this has to do with the ACE improvements VMware announced
* A program called the 'Virtual Network Editor', which is a standalone option to edit the network settings on the host. It'll allow for more detailed and elaborate networking schemes. Probably has to do with improving ACE and implementing vaguely ESX-like features.
* My 6.0 serial number (which VMware gave me when I became VCP) still works!
* There is now a Python-based installer GUI. Not sure how this is important on Linux, since we all are tech gods, but hey, it doesn't hurt either.
* There is an 'easy install' feature, which enables unattended install of OS and VMwareTools for Ubuntu, Windows, RHEL and Mandriva (SuSE is apparently not jumping the VMware train, but solely gambling on their own Xen-based products)
* Modules are either built or provided for Intrepid (and thus kernel 2.6.27). Can't see whether they were custom built or not because of the GUI installer... No more vmware-any-any-patches! (For the time being.)

There's a lot more than this, but I gotta go do other things now :-)

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