VMware Player is a free and easy to use desktop virtualization software which enables a computer to emulate a standalone working environment of the operating system and work with it as with the conventional system. Using this software you run multiple operating systems at the same time on a single PC , but with somewhat slower speeds. You’re not restricted to Windows-based operating systems, either. VMware Player runs virtual machines created by VMware Workstation, GSX Server, or ESX Server, and also supports Microsoft virtual machines and Symantec LiveState Recovery disk formats.
The benefit of this software is the ability to test various software under various operating systems on a single desktop, without adversely harm the current system. It can make life easier for developers to develop and test cross-platform applications and lovers to work with new applications or OS. VMware Player can also be used to run a virtual copy of an old PC so that you can recycle the old machines you have under your desk or stored in the closet.
What can I do with VMware Player?
- Use VMware Player to create, run, evaluate, and share software running in virtual machines:
- Create: Use VMware Player to create virtual machines with the latest 32-bit and 64-bit Windows and Linux operating systems. With Easy Install it’s easier than installing them directly on your PC.
- Run: VMware Player can be used by anyone to run virtual machines on a Windows or Linux PC. VMware Player makes it quick and easy to take advantage of the security, flexibility, and portability of virtual machines.
- Evaluate: VMware Player is ideal for safely evaluating software distributed as a virtual appliance. Virtual appliances are pre-built, pre-configured and ready-to-run enterprise software applications packaged along with an operating system in a virtual machine. With VMware Player, anyone can quickly and easily experience the benefits of preconfigured products without any installation or configuration hassles. Run over 900 virtual appliances from leading software vendors available from the VMware Virtual Appliance Marketplace.
- Share: VMware Player can be used by anyone to run a virtual machine shared by a colleague or friend. For example, customer support and development teams can share a customer scenario encapsulated within a virtual machine.
VMware, Inc. today release VMware Player 4.0 final stable version (Build 471780) with a lot of new features and enhancements. And it is now possible to “virtual” install and run Windows 8 on VMware Player 4 . Windows 8 guest works fine with VMware tools too. (If you try to install Windows 8 Developer Preview on VMware Player earlier version you will get an HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED error starting the installation of Windows 8. This error because the earlier version do not support ACPI 2.).
What’s New in VMware Player 4.0:
VMware Player 4.0 includes many hardware improvements. To try new hardware features, you must upgrade the hardware version of your virtual machine or create a new virtual machine that uses the latest virtual hardware version.
- The display technology has been changed to provide a better experience for Unity users and users who have multiple monitors. These changes also allow you to add a projector to your laptop without restarting your virtual machine.
- Virtual machines can now support up to 64GB of memory. The host system should have more than 64GB of memory to use this feature.
- An HD Audio device is available for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 2008, and Windows 2008 R2 guests. The HD Audio device is compatible with the RealTek ALC888 7.1 Channel High Definition Audio Codec.
- USB 3.0 support is available for Linux guests running kernel version 2.6.35 or later (Ubuntu 10.10) through a new virtual xHCI USB controller. To enable this feature, add the following line to the .vmx file: usb_xhci.present = “true”. Do not enable this feature for Windows guests. Because Windows does not currently have a generic xHCI driver, this feature will not work in Windows.
- Bluetooth devices on the host can now be shared with Windows guests. With the latest hardware version, Bluetooth devices that are paired to the host system radio are available to Windows guests and can be paired from within the guest. You should not pair Bluetooth audio devices, such as headphones, or Bluetooth input devices, such as keyboards and mice, to a guest.
Known Issues of VMware Player 4.0:
The known issues are grouped as : VMware Tools Issues, Display and Input Issues, Device Issues.
1. VMware Tools Issues:
If you created a Windows Vista virtual machine in the Workstation 2011 Beta and try to update VMware Tools (VM > Update VMware Tools) in the virtual machine after upgrading to Workstation 8.0 or Player 4.0, the warning message “vmware-update-agent.exe has stopped working” appears. However, VMware Tools can still be upgraded successfully.
Workaround: To prevent the warning message from occurring, remove VMware Update Agent from the Windows Vista Programs and Features list.
2. Display and Input Issues
- On a Fedora 15 host, powering on a virtual machine that has DirectX 9 accelerated graphics enabled might fail with the error “Unable to change virtual machine power state: Cannot find a valid peer process to connect to.”Workaround: Deselect the Accelerate 3D graphics setting (VM > Settings > Hardware > Display) to disable DirectX 9 accelerated graphics in the virtual machine.
- When you enter Unity mode in an Ubuntu 11.04 guest, application menus do not appear for applications that were opened before entering Unity mode. Application menus do appear for applications that are opened from the Unity launch menu after entering Unity mode.Workaround: Disable the APPMENU (Global menu) in the Ubuntu 11.04 guest. See the Ubuntu documentation for more information.
3. Device Issues
On Windows hosts, Player crashes if you click Connect or Disconnect in the Removable Devices menu before the console appears.
Free Download VMware Player 4.0 For Windows & Linux:
VMware Player is available as a free download for personal use. This is the link to download it.
VMware Player enables you to quickly and easily create and run virtual machines. However, if you need to leverage powerful developer-centric features such as Teams, multiple Snapshots and Clones, or Virtual Rights Management features for end-point security, you will need to upgrade to VMware Workstation.