VMware Workstation 5.0

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What's New in Version 5

Multiple Snapshots

VMware Workstation 5 greatly enhances the snapshot functionality available in previous releases of the product by allowing you to take a series of point-in-time, saved-to-disk snapshots of running virtual machines. This makes it easier to capture and switch between multiple configurations and accelerates testing and debugging.

Should a problem arise during testing, you can easily revert to a prior, stable snapshot. The new snapshot manager displays thumbnails of all your snapshots on a single screen, making it easy for you to track and revert to a previously saved snapshot. Also, when reverting to a previously saved snapshot, Workstation creates a new branch automatically, so other snapshots continue to be available. See Using Snapshots.


Teams functionality makes it easier to manage connected virtual machines and simulate "real-world" multitier configurations. A team is your designated group of virtual machines and the private networks that connect them.

Teams allow you to configure power operations, such as powering on and off and suspending or resuming virtual machines, in the exact sequence you desire. You determine network characteristics between the virtual machines in a team, including network bandwidth and packet loss percentages. The console view displays active thumbnails of all the virtual machines in a team, allowing you to easily identify and switch between any of the virtual machines on your team. See Configuring Teams.


Clones simplify the process of copying a virtual machine. Clones facilitate collaborative testing and debugging, and let colleagues share virtual machines more easily. You can duplicate a virtual machine as a linked clone or a full clone.

  • Linked clones make it easy to set up a library of baseline virtual machines on a shared drive, to be accessed and shared by you and others, without using unnecessary disk space on local machines.
  • A full clone — a complete copy — is also available when you need an identical virtual machine without the need to locate files within the host file system or to tediously install everything required to duplicate an existing guest configuration.
  • See Cloning a Virtual Machine.

    Improved Performance for Virtual Machines Running Concurrently

    Workstation 5 includes significant improvements in memory utilization when virtual machines are used concurrently. This allows you to efficiently run multiple virtual machines with much less total memory.

    Improved Networking Performance

    Workstation 5 offers optional, enhanced networking performance by leveraging VMware's custom network driver. Once you install the updated VMware Tools, the necessary network drivers integrate seamlessly to offer significantly improved network performance.

    Improved Suspend/Resume and Snapshot Operations

    Workstation 5 performs significantly faster suspend/resume and snapshot operations, enabling you to spend more time testing and less time waiting for power operations to execute.

    New Host Operating System Support

  • SUSE Linux Pro 9.2
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.0
  • Mandrake Linux 10
  • Windows Server 2003 SP1
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0
  • New Guest Operating System Support

  • Windows Small Business Server 2000
  • Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 3.0
  • SUSE Linux Pro 9.2
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.0
  • Mandrake Linux 10
  • Novell NetWare 6.5 SP3
  • Novell NetWare 5.1 SP8
  • Novell Linux Desktop 9
  • Sun Java Desktop System
  • Windows Server 2003 SP1
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0 beta
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 SP1 (experimental support)
  • Various other service pack updates and kernel updates
  • Improved 64-bit Host Support

  • Workstation 5 includes hardware support for AMD Opteron, AMD Athlon 64, and Intel EM64T.
  • Software support includes 64-bit host operating systems:
  • Windows XP (experimental support)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 7, 8, 9
  • Windows Server 2003 SP1
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0
  • Isochronous USB support

    Workstation 5 offers support for isochronous USB input devices such as Web cameras and microphones, as well as output devices such as speakers. Use your webcam or work with multitrack audio within your guest operating system.

    Command Line Interface

    Workstation 5 offers a new command line interface, enabling you to create scripts to automate certain manual steps. See Command Line Reference.

    Movie Record and Playback

    Workstation 5 offers the ability to record your actions within a virtual machine and save the movie in an AVI format, facilitating team collaboration. Replay the resulting AVI file on any PC equipped with an AVI player. A free Windows player is available for download from the VMware Web site.

    Record steps to reproduce defects in a particular configuration, or record configuration steps prior to running an application. Share the movie with colleagues to enable team collaboration. See Creating a Movie of a Virtual Machine.

    Improved Linux User Interface

    Workstation 5 offers a new GTK+, version 2-based user interface on Linux, which provides an improved look and feel, and enhanced usability.

    Easier Upgrades and VMware Tools Installation Improvements

    Starting with Workstation 5, on Windows hosts you can automatically install a new release over an existing Workstation release. The installer automatically uninstalls the previous version before installing the new version. Workstation 5 also streamlines VMware Tools installation for Linux virtual machines by allowing users to install VMware Tools without exiting the X session. See Upgrading VMware Workstation, and Installing VMware Tools.

    Support for NX bit

    Support for the NX bit and XD bit improves security for guest operating systems that take advantage of the feature.

    Workstation 5 now supports the no execute and execute disable bit for guest operating systems that can leverage it. Aimed at thwarting malicious buffer overruns, NX and XD allow properly written applications to designate memory space as nonexecutable, so that no code can be executed from that memory space.

    Experimental Support for Direct3D

    Workstation 5 includes experimental support for Direct3D video acceleration. This feature is not fully functional. For information on configuring a virtual machine for 3-D support, see Experimental Support for Direct3D

    Experimental Support for Guest ACPI S1 Sleep

    Workstation 5 VMware Tools provide experimental support for guest operating systems that enable ACPI S1 sleep. (This feature requires you to have the latest VMware Tools installed.) For detailed configuration options, see Guest ACPI S1 Sleep.

    VMware Virtual Machine Importer

    This standalone utility allows you to convert your Microsoft® virtual machines — from either Virtual PC or Microsoft Virtual Server — into a VMware virtual machine. The VMware virtual machine is compatible with Workstation 4 or 5, completely independent of the previous format, ready to use with all the enhanced VMware Workstation functionality. The original file remains intact. See Converting a VirtualPC Virtual Machine.

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