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VMware Workstation 5.5

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Hosts with Different Hardware

If you move a virtual machine to a host with significant hardware differences, the guest operating system may no longer work correctly.

Moving between 64-Bit and 32-Bit Hosts

Moving a virtual machine from a 64-bit host to a 32-bit host can require that you recompile the kernel in your Linux guest operating system.

Note: Workstation supports 64-bit guest operating systems only in Workstation versions 5.5 and later, and only on host machines with supported processors. When you power on a virtual machine with a 64-bit guest operating system, Workstation performs an internal check: if the host CPU is not a supported 64-bit processor, you cannot power on the virtual machine. For the list of processors Workstation supports for 64-bit guest operating systems, see Support for 64-Bit Guest Operating Systems.

Moving Virtual Machines between Multiprocessor and Uniprocessor Hosts

For all supported configurations of 32-bit and 64-bit host and guest operating systems running on multiprocessor host machines, versions 5.5 and later of Workstation support two-way virtual Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP). This enables you to assign two virtual processors to a virtual machine. This is supported only for host machines with at least two logical processors.

Note: If the host is a uniprocessor machine, assigning two processors is neither supported nor recommended: a warning message will appear. You can disregard this message and assign two processors to the virtual machine, but, once you have finished creating the virtual machine, you will not be able to power it on unless you move it to a host machine with at least two logical processors.

You can use Workstation 5.5 or later, running on a multiprocessor host machine, to open a virtual machine, created in VMware ESX Server, that has one or more virtual processors. However, in Workstation only two virtual processors will be assigned to the virtual machine, even if more processors were assigned when the virtual machine was created in ESX Server. In this case, in the Workstation virtual machine settings editor (VM > Settings), in the Hardware tab under Processors, the field Number of Processors will display the entry Other (x), where x is the number of processors originally assigned in ESX Server. Workstation preserves the original configuration setting for the number of processors. You can change this setting. However, once you commit a change to this setting, by clicking OK in VM > Settings, the original configuration setting for number of processors is discarded, and no longer appears as an option in VM > Settings.

If you move a virtual machine created in VMware ESX Server or Workstation with more than one virtual processor to a uniprocessor host, the guest operating system consumes 100% of the host CPU's processing capacity, even when the guest operating system is essentially idle. To prevent this, in the Workstation virtual machine settings editor (VM > Settings), in the Hardware tab under Processors, change the setting for Number of Processors to 1.

For more about Workstation support for virtual Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP), see Using Two-Way Virtual Symmetric Multiprocessing (Experimental).

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