VMware Player 2.5 Release Notes

VMware Player Version 2.5 | 06 OCT 2008 | Build 118166

Last Document Update: 13 OCT 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 Player, 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 and 64-bit Microsoft Windows Preinstallation environment (all versions) as a guest operating system
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Microsoft Windows Recovery environment as a guest operating system
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Ubuntu LTS 8.04.1 as a guest operating system

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 2008 Standard Server, Data Center, Enterprise, and Small Business Server as guest operating systems without Hyper-V
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Asianux 3 as a guest operating system
  • 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, Update 7 (Workstation, Enterprise Server, and Advanced Server) as host and guest operating systems
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1 and 5.2 (Advanced Platform, Desktop, and Server) as host and guest operating systems
  • 32-bit and 64-bit SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 and 10 SP1 and SP2 as host and guest operating systems
  • 32-bit SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2 as a guest operating system
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Mandriva Linux 2008 as a guest operating system
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Ubuntu LTS 8.04 as host and guest operating systems
  • 32-bit and 64-bit Solaris 10 Operating System for x86 Platforms, 10 5/08 (Update 5), as a guest operating system

Major New Features  

  • Unity view — Integrate your favorite guest applications with your host. Open the application window, enter Unity view, and the VMware Player 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. Unity view is supported only experimentally for Linux guests.
  • Installer bundle for Linux hosts — Installing VMware Player 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, VMware Player is installed. For users who want a custom installation, a command-line interface provides complete control.
  • Accelerated 3-D graphics on Windows XP guests — VMware Player 2.5 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.

Usability Enhancements  

  • Full screen mode — While in full screen mode, you can now switch from one powered-on virtual machine to another.
  • Suspend and exit — Both Windows and Linux hosts now support suspending the virtual machine when exiting.
  • Change preferences — Set preferences, such as how devices are displayed in VMware Player.
  • Expanded in-product help system — When you choose Help > Help Topics, or click a Help button in a dialog box, you have access to twice as much content as was provided in VMware Player 2.0.

Performance Improvements  

  • 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.
  • Memory allocation — Change the amount of memory allocated to the virtual machine.

New Platform Capabilities  

  • (Experimental) 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.
  • 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.)

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Known Issues

The known issues are grouped as follows:

Localization and Internationalization

  • On Linux hosts, if you open a VMware Player 1.x or 2.0.x virtual machine that has Japanese characters in the .vmx file name, VMware Player 2.5 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 VMware Player 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 VMware Player 2.5 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 VMware Player 2.5.

VMware Player and Virtual Machine Installation, Upgrade, and Compatibility

  • On Linux hosts that run GL-based X server (Xgl), after you install VMware Player, you might not be able to power on a virtual machine until you reboot the host.
  • If you use Avira AntiVir antivirus software on a Windows Vista host, you might have problems running virtual machines.

Smart Cards and Smart Card Readers (Experimental Support)

  • 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.
  • If you upgrade from VMware Player 2.0.x, or an earlier 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 are not supported with Linux guests.
  • Smart cards that have been tested include ActivIdentity, Gemalto, and Oberthur, including DoD CAC type cards. Smart card readers that have been tested include:
    • Readers with USB interfaces: ActivIdentity USB V2, Gemplus USB-SW, SCM-SCR-331, HP USB Smartcard Keyboard KUS0133, Advance Card System ACR30, Litronic 215
    • Readers with serial interfaces: Gemplus American Express GCR415, SCM-SCR-131
    • Readers with PCMCIA interfaces: Omnikey CardMan 4040, SCM-SCR-243, Gemplus-PCMCIA


  • On Linux hosts with a Windows XP guest, if you launch Studio Max 2009, viewports do not display or refresh properly. To prevent this problem, open 3ds Max, go to Customize > Preferences > Viewports > Configure Driver. Deselect Use Incremental Scene Updates and click OK.
  • The Ubuntu shut down window does not appear in Unity view. If you choose System > Quit in an Ubuntu virtual machine while in Unity view, the shut down window does not appear.
    Workaround: Exit Unity view, press Tab until the desired button on the shut down window is chosen, and press Enter.
  • On Linux hosts, if you use Unity view and drag a file from a guest application window to the host, the version of the file on the guest might get moved to the guest's desktop.
  • On Linux hosts with a Linux guest, you might not be able to use Unity view 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 view, VMware Player 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 view 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 view often.
  • Occasionally, on Windows guests, when you try to play a QuickTime video while in full screen mode, you see only a black screen.

Miscellaneous Issue

  • The VM streaming feature does not yet work with HTTP redirects.

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Resolved Issues

The following items were listed as known issues in the VMware Player 2.0.x release notes. They were fixed in VMware Player 2.5:

  • Pressing the middle button on a Thinkpad T43 causes the cursor to be released from the guest operating systems.
    The middle button of the three buttons above the track pad is usually configured to allow scrolling. In the guest operating systems, it does not allow scrolling and might cause input to be ungrabbed from the guest. (Bug 143649)
  • If you install Player on a Microsoft Windows 2003 Server host, Player does not display help correctly until you enable JavaScript.
    This is because, on Microsoft Windows 2003 Server, JavaScript is disabled by default in Internet Explorer. (Bug 137861)
    1. In Internet Explorer browser, select Tools > Internet Options.
      The Internet Options window opens.
    2. Select the Security tab.
    3. Click the Custom Level.
      The Security Settings window opens.
    4. Go to Scripting > Active Scripting, and select Enable.