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VMware Workstation 4.5

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Notes on VMware Workstation 4, Build 19414

Build 19414 is a release build of VMware Workstation 4.

New in Version 4.5.3

This release addresses a security vulnerability that has been discovered in Workstation. VMware believes that the vulnerability is very serious, and recommends that users install the Workstation 4.5.3 update or disable NAT networking. For more information, see the following Knowledge Base articles:

New in Version 4.5.2

VMware Virtual Disk Manager
You can create, manage and modify virtual disk files from the command line or within scripts with the VMware Virtual Disk Manager utility. For more information, see Using VMware Virtual Disk Manager.

Experimental support for 64-bit host computers
This means you can install this release of VMware Workstation on a 64-bit host computer that uses an AMD64 Opteron, Athlon 64 or Intel IA-32e CPU. Virtual machines you create on these hosts have 32-bit CPUs and can run 32-bit guest operating systems.

Experimental support for Solaris guest operating systems
This means you may install the x86 platform edition of Solaris 9 and of Solaris 10 beta as guest operating systems in this release of VMware Workstation. VMware Tools is not available for Solaris. If you want to run the guest operating system's X server, you may do so in 16 colors.

Support for SUSE LINUX 9.1 guests
This means you may run SUSE LINUX 9.1 as a guest operating system in this release of VMware Workstation.

Enhanced VPN support over NAT
VMware Workstation now supports PPTP over NAT.

New in Version 4.5.1

Updates to the EULA
The End User License Agreement in version 4.5.1 reflects support policies for customers who acquired version 4.5.1 as an upgrade to a previous version of VMware Workstation.

Updates to resolve several reported problems
Updates in version 4.5.1 include the following:

  • A more reliable SCSI implementation that makes it easier to move virtual machines created on other VMware products to Workstation. The updated SCSI implementation also provides improved support for Oracle's OCFS file system in a virtual machine.
  • Additional improvements in support for Linux guest operating systems using kernels in the 2.6 series.
  • Support for Windows 95 guest operating systems on host computers with high-speed processors -- such as Pentium 4 processors with speeds of 3GHz and higher.

New in Version 4.5

Increased memory size for virtual machines
This means you can create individual virtual machines with up to 3,600MB of memory and use up to 4GB of memory for all running virtual machines.

Experimental support for Longhorn
This means you can install and run beta versions of the next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn. Because Longhorn is still in the beta stage of development, you should expect it to install and run more slowly than other guest operating systems.

Improved support for guests using Linux kernels in the 2.6 series
This means better performance for virtual machines running manually installed 2.6 kernels and also for virtual machines using some of the later releases of Red Hat Linux 9, which incorporate some components from the 2.6 kernel.

Support for PXE
This means that if you use a preboot execution environment (commonly known as PXE) to boot and install operating systems into new virtual machines, you can do so without any add-on software.

Tip of the day
A pop-up tip introduces you to a key feature of VMware Workstation each time you launch the program. You can turn the tips off if you prefer not to see them.

USB device installation for nonadministrators
Any user on a Windows host can connect USB devices for use in a virtual machine. You no longer need administrative privileges on the host to connect a USB device to a virtual machine.

Automatic check for product updates
VMware Workstation now checks automatically to see if updates for the product are available. You can adjust the interval between the automatic checks or turn off automatic checking.

New Operating System Support
Version 4.5 provides support for the following additional operating systems:

  • Novell NetWare 5.1, 6 and 6.5
  • SUSE LINUX 9.0

New in Version 4.0.5

This release introduces internationalization of the shared folders and drag and drop features. These features now support localized guest operating systems, including locales such as Japanese that use double-byte characters.

In this release, VMware Tools for Windows guests uses less memory than in previous releases.

Note: Version 4.0.5 is the first public release since version 4.0.2.

New in Version 4.0.2

This release fixes a security vulnerability in VMware Workstation 4.0.1 (for Linux systems) build 5289 and earlier releases. By manipulating symbolic links, a non-root user could delete files in any directory. VMware Workstation (for Windows operating systems) does not have this vulnerability. For details, see this knowledge base article.

New in Version 4.0.1

New operating systems supported
Version 4.0.1 provides support for the following recently released operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003
  • Red Hat Linux 9
  • SuSE Linux 8.2
  • FreeBSD 4.8

Shared Folders in a Windows guest use UNC path names
In version 4.0.1, with the latest version of VMware Tools installed, Windows guest operating systems identify shared folders using a UNC path. For details, see this discussion of shared folders.

Updating to Version 4.5

If you are updating to version 4.5 from a previous version of Workstation 4, the process is simple.

  • On a Windows host, uninstall the previous version using the Add/Remove Programs control panel. When prompted, leave your existing license in place. Then install version 4.5 using the update installer that you downloaded from the VMware Web site.
  • On a Linux host, no special steps are needed to uninstall the previous version. Install version 4.5 using the update installer that you downloaded from the VMware Web site.
  • Virtual machines created under previous versions of Workstation 4 should run with no problems under version 4.5. However, we recommend that you update VMware Tools to the version included in Workstation 4.5. Follow these instructions to install VMware Tools.

If you are upgrading from an earlier version of VMware Workstation, please read the notes on steps to take before you upgrade.

Known Issues

Special steps needed to install VMware Tools in Longhorn build 4074 guest.
Beta build 4074 of the Windows operating system code-named Longhorn uses a new method to install drivers. As a result, warning messages appear at several stages during installation of VMware Tools in a Longhorn 4074 guest operating system. Sometimes these messages are hidden. The driver installation appears to hang. However, if you press Alt-Tab, you can bring the warning message to the foreground. There are two types of messages.

  • A message that says the driver is not Authenticode signed. When you see one of these messages, click Install Now to continue installing VMware Tools.
  • A message that says the driver package is not compatible with Longhorn. When you see one of these messages, click Cancel to continue installing VMware Tools.
You may also see a message asking you to restart before the VMware Tools installer has finished. Do not restart the guest operating system at that time. Wait until the Installation Wizard Completed screen appears, click Finish, then restart the guest operating system when you are prompted to do so.

Longhorn build 4074 guest must use vmxnet network adapter.
The AMD Ethernet card driver included with beta build 4074 of the Windows operating system code-named Longhorn does not work correctly. To use networking in a Longhorn 4074 guest operating system, you must switch to the vmxnet network adapter. A driver for this adapter is included in VMware Tools.

Linux host: Choose VM > Settings, select Network Adapter, then select vmxnet as the virtual device to use. You must install VMware Tools after changing the virtual network adapter.

Windows host: Use a text editor such as Notepad to edit the configuration (.vmx) file for your Longhorn 4074 virtual machine. Add the following line:
Ethernet[n].virtualDev = "vmxnet"
Replace [n] with the number of the Ethernet adapter. The first Ethernet adapter is number 0, so the line for that adapter is
Ethernet0.virtualDev = "vmxnet"
Include a line for each Ethernet adapter configured for the virtual machine. You may install VMware Tools either before or after changing the virtual network adapter.

64-bit Red Hat Linux shows error message on launch.
When Workstation starts on a Red Hat Linux 64-bit host, an error message appears. The text is similar to the following:
Gtk-WARNING **: unable to locate loadable module in module_path: "libbluecurve.so"
For information on why this message appears and what you can do to eliminate the warning, see the VMware knowledge base article at www.vmware.com/support/kb/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1313

Special setup needed for USB on a SUSE LINUX 9.1 host.
Because of changes in the proc file system in SUSE LINUX 9.1, you must take some special steps on the host operating system if you want to use USB devices in virtual machines. Enter the following commands at the command line of the host operating system. If your host operating system cleans out entries in /tmp when the system is restarted, you must rerun the commands after a system restart. In that case, you may prefer to save the commands as a shell script. Or you may prefer to substitute a different directory in place of /tmp.

  mkdir /tmp/usb
  (cd /proc/bus/usb; for a in *; do ln -s /proc/bus/usb/$a /tmp/usb/$a; done)
  ln -s /proc/bus/usb/devices_please-use-sysfs-instead /tmp/usb/devices
  
Then use a text editor to add the following line to the Workstation configuration file (/etc/vmware/config):
usb.generic.devfsPath = "/tmp/usb"

Special setup needed for shared folders in a SUSE LINUX 9.1 guest.
Because SUSE Linux 9.1 uses SELinux enhancements by default, shared folders do not work with a default installation of SUSE Linux 9.1. Workarounds are described in the VMware knowledge base article at www.vmware.com/support/kb/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1327.

Parallel port not available to virtual machine on 64-bit Opteron host with Windows XP host operating system.
On a 64-bit Opteron host running a 64-bit Windows XP host operating system, the host computer's parallel port may not be correctly recognized by the host operating system. As a result, the parallel port is not available to a virtual machine running on that host. If you try to add a parallel port using the Add Hardware Wizard, the drop-down menu of available ports is blank. This is a host system issue and there is no known workaround.

If you are installing a Linux guest operating system, we recommend that you use the text mode installer.
Some graphical mode Linux installers do not work properly in this release of Workstation.

If you are installing Workstation 4 on a SuSE Linux 8.2 host that has been updated, force the configuration program to compile the VMware modules.
If you are installing VMware Workstation 4 on a SuSE Linux 8.2 host and have applied updates to the host operating system, you may see an error message when you try to start a virtual machine. The message may include the phrase "unable to reserve memory" or "could not lock ... memory" or "NOT_IMPLEMENTED F (785):681."

The approach SuSE Linux 8.2 uses for minor updates does not change the kernel version number. As a result, when you install and configure Workstation, it uses kernel modules that are not appropriate for your running kernel.

To resolve the problem, you need to rerun the Workstation configuration program with a switch that forces it to compile kernel modules appropriate for your running kernel. To do so, as root, run the following command:
vmware-config.pl --compile