JP Vossen on 28 Jan 2012 01:32:07 -0800

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[PLUG] VMware Workstation 8 review

I finally got around to installing VMware-Workstation-Full-8.0.2-591240.x86_64.bundle. Installation was easy, but I'm a bit disappointed. It really sounded like it could run headless and GUI-less, and it certainly didn't install that way, and it doesn't really seem like it will work that way either.

I was particularly interested to see how the "remote GUI" would work. But as far as I can tell, you basically need more copies of Workstation for that [1]... I suspect the vSphere5 client might work too, but I can't find that for free download and vSphere 4.1 doesn't work. Aside from the cost, I don't want to install a bunch of copies of Workstation around and have them cluttering up the guts of other machines. OTOH, Workstation is itself a client to ESX, vSphere, etc. which is great news for Linux folks who didn't want Windows just for that (Jeff!).

Also, while the interface is supposed to be cleaner, I think it takes a couple of steps backwards. First, Workstation 7 had a nice feature that listed powered on machines at the top of the nav panel. That is still there, but now it's a toggle between "All|Fav|On" and I think that will be annoying to switch around. Second, the toolbars are less configurable. I had mine set to words, since the icons are not intuitive to me. That's gone. Finally, while it is cleaner in general, the summary view now contains a screen-shot, which takes up a huge amount of room and is annoying and worthless to me.

So overall, I'm disappointed. All the reviews I've seen have been great, but for me and the stuff I actually use, it's either the same or slightly worse. And the stuff I really wanted (easy remote GUI console) is for my purposes not there. :-(


[1] Remote access:

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JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|
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