Workstation 6.5 Beta Portal | Workstation User's Manual | ACE Management Server Administrator's Manual


VMware Workstation 6.5 Beta Release Notes

Workstation Version 6.5 | 14 AUG 2008 | Build 110068

Last Document Update: 15 AUG 2008

Check frequently for additions and updates to these release notes.

These release notes cover the following topics:

What's New

With this release of VMware Workstation, the following new features and support have been added:

New Support for 32-Bit and 64-Bit Operating Systems  

This release provides experimental support for the following operating systems:

  • 32-bit Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2008 as a guest operating system
  • 32-bit and 64-bit CentOS 5.3 as host and guest operating systems
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Oracle Enterprise linux 5.3 as host and guest operating systems
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.8 as host and guest operating systems
  • 32-bit and 64-bit openSUSE 10.3 as host and guest operating systems

This release provides full support for the following operating systems in addition to those operating systems supported in previous releases:

  • 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Windows Vista Business, Enterprise, Home Basic and Premium, and Ultimate as host and guest operating systems
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Standard, Datacenter, Enterprise, and Web Editions as guest operating systems with or without Hyper-V
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 as a host operating system
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Windows PE (preinstallation environment) and RE (recovery environment) as guest operating systems
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Asianux Server 3 as host and guest operating systems
  • 32-bit and 64-bit CentOS 5.0-5.2 as host and guest operating systems
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.0-5.2 as host and guest operating systems
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.6, 4.7, and 5.0-5.2 (AS, ES, WS) as host and guest operating systems
  • 32-bit and 64-bit SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 and 10 SP1 as host and guest operating systems
  • 32-bit SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2 as a guest operating system
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Turbolinux Server 11 as a guest operating system
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Mandriva Linux 2008 as a guest operating system
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Ubuntu Linux 7.10 and 8.04 as host and guest operating systems
  • 32-bit Novell Netware 6.5 SP 6 as a guest operating system

Major New Features  

  • Enhanced VMware ACE authoring — Use ACE (Assured Computing Environment) features to package and deploy Pocket ACE and desktop virtual machines with encryption, restricted network access, and device control. VMware ACE authoring features are now fully integrated with Workstation, and no special ACE Edition is required. In addition to the new features listed here, be sure to read about new ACE-specific features in the VMware ACE 2.5 beta release notes.
  • Unity mode — Integrate your favorite guest applications with your host. Open the application window, enter Unity mode, and the Workstation window is automatically minimized. The guest application windows look just like host application windows, but with color-coded borders. You can access the virtual machine's Start menu (for Windows virtual machines) or Applications menu (for Linux virtual machines) by placing the mouse pointer over the host's Start or Applications menu, or by using a key combination.
  • Accelerated 3-D graphics on Windows XP guests — Workstation 6.5 virtual machines now work with applications that use DirectX 9 accelerated graphics with shaders up through Shader Model 2.0 on Windows XP guests. Hosts can be running Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Linux.
  • Virtual machine streaming — You can now download a virtual machine from a Web server and power it on without waiting for the download to complete. Use the command-line startup command (vmware for Workstation or vmplayer for VMware Player) with the URL of the virtual machine. The download can also be paused and restarted. Note that this feature is not available for ACE instances.

Usability Enhancements  

  • Integration with VMware Converter 3.0.3 — This release includes the Conversion wizard component from VMware Converter 3.0.3. You can now use File > Import to create virtual machines from Acronis True Image files in addition to the Microsoft Virtual PC, Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery, and StorageCraft ShadowProtect file types previously supported. You can also convert Open Virtual Machine Format (OVF) appliances. For Microsoft Virtual PC and Microsoft Virtual Server virtual machines, you now have the option of sharing the source virtual hard disk (.vhd) files.
  • New features for VMware Player — VMware Player now includes the following features, which were previously available only in Workstation:
    • While in full screen mode, you can now switch from one powered-on virtual machine to another.
    • Unity mode is available, so that you can open your favorite guest applications in windows on your host desktop.
    • Both Windows and Linux hosts now support suspending the virtual machine when exiting.
  • Installer bundle for Linux hosts — Installing Workstation on Linux hosts just got a lot easier. The new bundle format provides a graphical UI wizard for most Linux operating systems. With a few mouse clicks, Workstation is installed. For users who want a custom installation, a command-line interface provides complete control.
  • Easy Install option for Windows and Linux guest operating systems — When you create a virtual machine, you now have the option of entering a few pieces of information so that installation of the guest operating system and VMware Tools is performed in an unattended fashion. Easy install is supported on newer Windows operating systems and some version of the following Linux operating systems: Red Hat, Mandriva, and Ubuntu.
  • Virtual Network Editor for Linux hosts — On Linux hosts, the new Virtual Network Editor now provides a graphical user interface for creating and configuring virtual networks.

Performance Improvements  

  • Networking performance using NAT — You will see significant improvements in networking performance if a virtual machine is configured to use NAT. Performance is ten times better than in the previous release in some cases.
  • Folder sharing and dragging, dropping, copying, and pasting text and files — Transferring files between virtual machines or between host and guests using these features is up to 25 percent faster.
  • USB devices — Several optimizations have reduced latency of I/O to USB devices by as much as 50 percent.
  • I/O performance — A new asynchronous I/O manager boosts performance on Windows hosts under heavy I/O loads.
  • VMCI performance — Applications that make use of VMCI will see a significant increase in throughput. Several optimizations have been added.

New Platform Capabilities  

  • New virtual hardware version — This new hardware version lets you use the following new features if the guest operating system supports them: Add or remove some virtual devices while the virtual machine is powered on ("hot-plug"). Use LSI Logic SAS (serial attached SCSI) adapters in the virtual machine. Hot-add virtual CPUs and memory to guests that support this functionality. For virtual machines with this hardware version, 3-D graphics capabilities are enabled by default for Windows 2000 and later guest operating systems and most Linux guests.
  • Support for smart cards in virtual machines — You can plug a smart card reader into a host and insert your smart card to authenticate yourself on your host or on a guest. Smart cards can be shared between the host and guests or between guests.
  • Replicate the physical network connection state for mobile users — If you use virtual machines on a laptop or other mobile device, enable this new link state propagation feature if you use bridged network connections (not NAT). As you move from one wired or wireless network to another, the IP address is automatically renewed.
  • Text copy and paste enhancements — On Windows guests, you can copy and paste text in rich text format, and copy up to 4MB of text. (On Linux guests, the old limitations still apply. You can copy and paste up to 64K of plain text.)

Developer Tools  

  • More powerful record/replay of VM execution activity — Easily enable this powerful debugging tool, which records full system behavior, including all CPU and device activity. You can now insert markers while creating or playing back a recording and quickly navigate to these markers during replay. You can also browse a recording to replay from any spot.
  • (Experimental) Replay debugging — Record the execution of an application you want to debug and then use the Integrated Virtual Debugger for Visual Studio to examine the recording repeatedly. No debugging is performed during the recording process, so debugging activities do not affect the normal execution of an application. This powerful tool enables you to fix bugs that cannot be reliably reproduced.

    You can also use reverse-execution debugging, which is analogous to forward execution, except the application runs until it reaches the previous breakpoint, data breakpoint, or exception. For the most up-to-date documentation on this feature, see Appendix C of the Workstation User's Manual.
  • VMCI Sockets interface — Developers who want to write client-server applications for virtual machines can now use this sockets interface for the Virtual Machine Communication Interface. VMCI provides a faster means of communication among applications running on the host and in virtual machines. See the VMCI Sockets Programming Guide.
  • Updated VIX 1.5 API — The VIX API allows you to write scripts and programs to automate virtual machine operations. The API is available in the C language. There are additional language bindings for Perl and COM. See the VIX API 1.5 release notes and the VIX API Reference Guide.
  • (Experimental) VAssert API for inserting replay-only code to debug applications — Use virtual assertions as you would regular assertions in the applications you develop. The benefit of VAsserts is that they appear only when you replay a recording using the application and so are overhead-free. Currently available for Windows guests. See the VAssert Programming Guide.
  • VProbes tool for investigating guest behavior — You can write VProbes scripts that inspect and record activities in the guest, VMM, VMX, and virtual device state, without modifying that state. For example, VProbes can track which applications are running or indicate which processes are causing page faults. See the VProbes Reference Guide.
  • vmrun enhancements — Many command-line options have been added to this command-line interface for operating virtual machines. See Using vmrun to Control Virtual Machines.

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Known Issues

The known issues are grouped as follows:

Localization and Internationalization

  • On Linux hosts, if you open a Workstation 5.x or 6.0.x virtual machine that has Japanese characters in the .vmx file name, Workstation 6.5 might exit unexpectedly.
  • If you create a virtual machine on a host with an English locale and then try to open that virtual machine on a Japanese host where the path to the Workstation installation directory contains certain Japanese hanzi characters or other characters that are not in the local encoding (that is, not Japanese), you might not be able to open the virtual machine.
  • If a virtual machine's configuration file (.vmx file) contains characters outside of the ASCII character set and you want to use Workstation 6.5 to open a virtual machine that was created with an older version of another VMware product, such as VMware Fusion 1.1, you must first open the virtual machine with a new version of that other VMware product. For example, open a Fusion 1.1 virtual machine with Fusion 2.0 and then you will be able to open it with Workstation 6.5.

Workstation and Virtual Machine Upgrade and Compatibility

  • On Linux hosts that use a Compiz window manager, after you install Workstation, you might not be able to power on a virtual machine until you reboot the host.
  • On some Windows hosts, when you attempt to upgrade Workstation, if the uninstallation portion of the upgrade fails, you might need to reboot the host. Reboots are necessary if the uninstallation fails with the error "The installer failed to stop VStor2 WS60 Virtual Storage driver...."
  • On Windows Vista hosts, when you update Workstation to this release version, network settings might not be preserved.
  • If you create a Workstation 6.5 virtual machine and then open it with the beta version of VMware Fusion 2.0, you will not be able to open it again in a beta version of Workstation 6.5, VMware Server 2.0, or any future product.
  • If you upgrade some virtual machines from Fusion 1.1 to Workstation 6.5, you will not be able to configure or install an update for VMware Tools. Guest operating system that have this problem include Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 and Solaris 10.
  • When installing or updating VMware Tools in a virtual machine, if you see the message "Files in Use" -> "VMware Snapshot Provider (Process Id:xxxx)," you must click Retry to continue. If you see the message again, you must click Ignore.
  • On virtual machines with a Windows 2000 operating system, if the virtual machine is set to automatically update VMware Tools, the virtual machine is not restarted after the update. You must manually restart the virtual machine to complete the update and start VMware Tools.
  • Auto-updates of VMware Tools on Ubuntu Linux guests does not work if the virtual machine uses a version of VMware Tools included in Workstation 5.5.x. Auto-upgrades from 6.0.x are successful.
  • If you use Avira AntiVir antivirus software on a Windows Vista host, you might have problems running virtual machines.

Removable Devices

  • For a virtual CD-ROM device, if you have legacy emulation turned on and then use a CD to install a Solaris guest operating system, you might see an error message that says the medium is incompatible. You can safely ignore this message.
  • If you attempt to disconnect a USB keyboard from the host in order to connect it exclusively to the guest, you might receive a "Found New Hardware Wizard" prompt" in the virtual machine. The prompt requests permission to search for the VMware USB driver. If you dismiss the prompt from the keyboard, mouse control is lost from both host and guest.
  • On Windows XP hosts and perhaps other hosts, you might be locked out of the host if you remove a smart card from its reader in order to insert it for logging in to a virtual machine. To avoid this problem, configure the host's smart card removal behavior so that no action is taken when the smart card is removed.
  • On Windows Vista guests, you must use the non-virtual smart card reader item in the Removable Devices menu rather than the virtual smart card reader item. This non-virtual, or pass-through, smart card reader device does not let you share the smart card with the host or with other virtual machines. It might also lack functionality that the virtual smart card reader provides.
  • If you upgrade from Workstation 6.0.x, or an earlier 6.5 beta release, you might have difficulties logging in to a domain using a smart card. For example, you might see an error such as, "The system could not log you on. Your credentials could not be verified."
  • Smart cards that have been tested include Gemplus and ActivIdentity. Smart card readers that have been tested include:
    • Readers with USB interfaces: Gemplus USB-SW, HP USB Smartcard Keyboard KUS0133, Advance Card System ACR30U, and ActivIdentity USB Reader
    • Readers with serial interfaces: Gemplus American Express GCR415
    • Readers with PCMCIA interfaces: Omnikey CardMan 4040
  • The HP Smartcard keyboard cannot be connected to any virtual machine. The keyboard is not a visible device under the removable devices menu when the "Show all input devices" option is selected.


  • If you want to use exclusive mode when running a 3-D game, application, or screensaver, you must first go into full screen mode, then start the 3-D application, and then go into exclusive mode. If you start a 3-D application when you are already in exclusive mode, the virtual machine will go into full screen mode.
  • On Linux hosts with a Linux guest, when in Unity mode, you might not be able to start some applications from a virtual machine's Applications menu on the host. For some applications, the application might show a fatal error at startup and for others, the application does not start.
    Workaround: Do one of the following:
    • On Open SUSE guests, use a text editor to open the file named /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.common. Search for and delete the block of lines starting with "Beginning of the block added by the VMware software" and ending with "End of the block added by the VMware software".
    • On Debian and Ubuntu guests, find and delete the file named /etc/X11/Xsession.d/99-vmware-vmware_user (or similar).
    • If you are using xdm, use a text editor to open the files named xdm-config in /etc/X11/xdm, /usr/lib/X11/xdm, /usr/local/lib/X11/xdm, and so on. Search for and delete the block of lines starting with "Beginning of the block added by the VMware software" and ending with "End of the block added by the VMware software".
  • On Linux hosts with a Linux guest, you might not be able to use Unity mode to place application windows from different virtual desktops into corresponding virtual desktops on the host. Windows from different virtual desktops on the guest might all be placed in one virtual desktop on the host.
  • When you place a virtual machine in Unity mode, Workstation tries to disable the guest screensaver. On some Linux guests, however, the screensaver is not disabled. If a guest's screensaver starts being used when in Unity mode and if you have the guest configured to require authentication to exit the screensaver, you might get locked out of the guest. In such environments, disable the guest screensaver for any Linux virtual machine that will use Unity mode often.
  • On Linux hosts, Unity mode might not work correctly if the host has enabled the "Show position of pointer when the Control key is pressed" option in System > Preferences > Mouse. If you notice issues in Unity mode with copying and pasting text or files, or if you have problems with keyboard shortcuts that include the Control key, disable the "Show position of pointer..." option.
  • On Linux hosts, you might not be able to use Unity mode, depending on the user's system, the applications that are running, and the amount of RAM. This situation results from not being able to allocate enough memory for the framebuffer. Possible workaround: Double the value in /proc/sys/kernel/shmmax. If this does not work, try logging out of X or rebooting to free up the necessary memory for the framebuffer. If this does not work, choose VM > Settings > Hardware > Display and deselect the 3D Graphics check box.
  • If a Workstation 6.0.x virtual machine has accelerated 3-D graphics enabled and you upgrade it to a Workstation 6.5 virtual machine, the 3-D Graphics check box is deselected. You must re-enable it.
  • Occasionally, on Windows guests, when you try to play a QuickTime video while in full screen mode, you see only a black screen.

Integrated Virtual Debuggers

  • If a virtual machine is powered off and you use the Integrated Virtual Debugger for Eclipse, you may see the error "Guest has only loopback IP address. Ensure that it has a properly configured TCP/IP connection to the host."
    Workaround: Enabled shared folders manually.
  • If you add additional .jar files to the class path of your Eclipse project and launch it inside a Windows virtual machine from within Eclipse then you may not be able to detach and re-attach the Integrated Virtual Debugger for Eclipse from the application.

Miscellaneous Issues

  • On Windows hosts, the sound drivers are not installed in some Windows guests. Sound does not work in these guests.
  • You cannot install VMware Tools on a virtual machine with a 64-bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 Update 8 AS operating system.
  • On Windows 95 and Windows 98 guests, the Autofit Guest command and the Fit Guest Now command do not work unless you use the guest's Display Properties settings to change the screen resolution to a higher value than 640 X 480.
  • Occasionally, if you attempt to play an audio CD while using the record/replay feature to record virtual machine execution, the audio stops playing. For Windows XP guests, you might need to restart the virtual machine. For other guests, audio will start working again after you stop recording.
  • The VM streaming feature does not yet work with HTTP redirects.
  • If you use File > Import to convert a dual-boot physical machine or virtual machine, the Conversion wizard might not be able to determine the default system volume correctly. If the default system volume from boot.ini in the source machine shares the same partition number and the same system folder name with other system volumes, it might incorrectly assume any other system volume as the default system volume. As a result, the virtual machine that the Conversion wizard creates might not be bootable in the default operating system.

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Resolved Issues

  • To share a smart card between the host and a virtual machine or between multiple virtual machines, you must add the following line to the global configuration file:
    usb.ccid.useSharedMode = "TRUE"

    On Linux hosts, this file is located in /etc/vmware/config

    On most Windows hosts, it is located in
    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware Workstation\config.ini

    On Windows Vista hosts, it is located in
    C:\Users\All Users\Application Data\VMware\VMware Workstation\config.ini
    (Bug 296191)
  • On Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 hosts, after installing Workstation, the first time you launch Workstation, you must do so as root. If you do not do so, the VMware kernel module updater will not be able to prompt for root access and will be unable to install the kernel modules. (Bug 262791)
  • On a Windows host with a DVD/CD-ROM drive that uses a SATA interface, booting a virtual machine from a CD in this drive might take 12 minutes or more. Other operations involving this drive might also be very slow. (Bug 292865)
  • On Linux hosts, if you hold any of the modifier keys down while moving the mouse pointer from inside the virtual machine to the host, modifier keys will stop working on the host. Modifier keys include Shift, Ctrl, Alt, Caps Lock, Scroll Lock, and Num Lock. (Bug 273498)
  • The easy install feature does not work for 64-bit Ubuntu 8.04 Linux guests. (Bug 274603)
  • If you attempt to copy more than 4MB of text from a file on the host and paste it into a guest, no text is copied. (Bug 291450)
  • Occasionally on some 64-bit Linux hosts, if you drag a file from guest to host, Workstation exits unexpectedly. (Bug 283814)
  • In the Unity mode, all the Start menu options do not appear on SUSE guest operating systems. (Bug 290126)
  • In Unity mode on some Linux desktops, unmaximizing a window causes the window to incorrectly move to the upper-left corner of the screen on the host. This sometimes prevents mouse input from being accepted by that window. (Bug 270630)
  • On Windows hosts, if you enter Unity mode and then maximize a guest application window, the taskbar on the host is hidden. (Bug 235504)
  • Avoid creating or replaying a recording while a background snapshot is being taken using the record/replay feature. (Bug 288950)
  • For the record/replay feature, if you select "Delete up to this point" option when replaying a recording with auto markers, the operation may fail. (Bugs 289776 and 277810)
  • Some Linux guests on particular hardware configurations might fail to boot and hang while "Starting udev:..." if multiple virtual CPUs are enabled. (Bug 283655)
  • On Windows Vista hosts, you might not be able to change some settings in the Workstation preferences editor. Changes on the Memory tab and Priority tab in Edit > Preferences might not be saved. (Bug 291518)
  • On Linux hosts, the Virtual Device Node drop-down menu is missing from the Advanced Hard Disk Options dialog box (choose VM > Settings > Hardware > Hard Disk). (Bug 253910)
  • On Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, Update 4, virtual machines, the automatic upgrade feature for VMware Tools does not work. (Bug 289144)
  • When you install Workstation with the Integrated Virtual Debugger for Visual Studio on a Windows Vista 64-bit host you may see an "vsid.dll fail to register" error. (Bug 289894)
  • Visual Studio 2005 with the Integrated Virtual Debugger for Visual Studio does not work properly on the Japanese Windows 2000 Professional with SP4 host operating system. (Bug 279294)
  • When running the Eclipse plug-in Workstation on a Linux host the progress manager may stall with the message "Preparing to communicate with virtual machine" or the error log may show "Unable to initialize VMware runtime for this machine". (Bug 286638)
  • You cannot use the Integrated Virtual Debugger for Eclipse to debug a guest running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3. Attempting to do so produces an "Unable to establish network connection" error. (Bug 223208)
  • Any 64-bit application that uses the VMCI Sockets API will fail on a 64-bit Windows system, but 32-bit applications work under WoW64 emulation (Windows on Windows 64-bit). (Bug 302839)
  • VAssert capabilities are not yet available in 32-bit Windows guests. VAssert does work in 64-bit Windows guests. (Bug 291375)