VMware Workstation 9.0 Release Notes

VMware Workstation 9.0 | 23 August 2012 | Build 812388

Last updated: 15 APRIL 2013

Check frequently for additions and updates to these release notes. The English version is often the most up to date.

These release notes include the following topics.

What's New

VMware Workstation 9 delivers best-in-class Windows 8 support and innovative new features that transform the way technical professionals work with virtual machines, whether they reside on their PCs or on private enterprise clouds.

This release of Workstation 9.0 adds the following new support:

  • Support for Ubuntu 12.04 as a host.

Windows 8

Workstation 9 has been designed to run on Windows 8 and run Windows 8 virtual machines. Easy Install has been enhanced to recognize Windows 8. Workstation 9 has been enhanced to support the Windows 8 user interface (formerly known as Metro). Toggling between Metro and the Windows Desktop can be done by simply pressing the Windows key on the keyboard and Unity intelligently handles the Metro interface. Workstation 9 also includes multi-touch support for driving the Windows 8 Metro interface running in Workstation on a Windows 8 tablet.

Graphics Improvements

VMware has made substantial changes to Workstation 9 graphics virtualization infrastructure. The enhancements include a display-only graphics driver that can render 3D in Windows 8 without hardware acceleration, improvements to make graphics applications like AutoCAD and SolidWorks render more quickly and accurately, an improved Windows XP graphics driver and fundamental changes to improve performance and enable more advanced graphics capabilities in the future.

OpenGL for Linux Guests

VMware has developed an OpenGL graphics driver and up-streamed it to X.Org. This allows VMware's customers to use the new graphics capabilities in current Linux distributions without needing to install VMware Tools. The version of X.Org that includes the driver is being shipped in Ubuntu 12.04 among other Linux new distributions. Workstation 9 includes enhancements to the virtual graphics device to improve the overall speed and accuracy of rendering OpenGL graphics in Linux virtual machines.

Restricted Virtual Machines

This new capability allows the author of an encrypted virtual machine to require users to enter an additional password to change their virtual machine settings. This feature enables IT professionals and educational institutions to create virtual machines to be used by their employees and students that prevent these users from enabling shared folders, dragging and dropping files, attaching USB devices, and overcommitting system resources. Restricted virtual machines can be run in VMware Workstation 9, VMware Player 5, and VMware Fusion 5 on Windows, Linux or Mac PCs.


WSX is a prototype of a new VMware Workstation web interface that enables users to access their Shared virtual machines via a web browser on a tablet, smart phone or PC without installing any additional applications or browser plug-ins. This service renders an HTML5 web page that can connect to your Workstation hosts, enumerate the available Shared virtual machines and allow you to power them on and interact with the desktop. Both the Windows .msi and Linux .bundle installations are available for download along with VMware Workstation 9.0

WSX is currently not supported for production environments. The number of devices and browsers available on the market make it extremely difficult to test this feature thoroughly to ensure it works well everywhere.

This feature requires a very modern browser that supports HTML5 with WebSockets. VMware recommends using the Google Chrome 17 browser on PCs and the Apple Safari 5 browser on Mac OS hosts and iPads. Currently there are issues using this feature with Microsoft Internet Explorer 10. WSX may work with other browsers and on Android tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich with the latest version of Google Chrome installed, but more testing is required.

Downloading Virtual Machines from vSphere

Workstation 8 enabled customers to upload virtual machines to vSphere. Workstation 9 now enables downloading virtual machines from vSphere by dragging them from the remote host to the My Computer section of the Virtual Machine Library.

USB 3.0

Workstation 9 supports attaching USB 3.0 devices to Windows 8 virtual machines. The latest portable devices use USB 3 (SuperSpeed) to achieve faster transfer rates for data. USB 3.0 devices such as portable storage devices and video equipment can be connected directly to Windows 8 and Linux virtual machines that contain in-box drivers USB 3.0 controllers.

Nested Virtualization

Workstation 9 improves the implementation of virtual Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI extensions. This allows users to run ESX as a guest OS and run a 64-bit operating system nested in ESX using less system resources.

Note: If you enabled the virtualization extensions in a virtual machine running on Workstation 8, you might need to disable the extensions, upgrade the virtual machine to the latest virtual hardware version (compatible with Workstation 9), and then re-enable the extensions.


Hyper-V has been added to the Workstation 9 guest operating system list. This enables customers to run Windows 8 with Hyper-V enabled, or install Hyper-V Server. This can be used for educational purposes or for building prototype Hybrid Clouds. This feature is NOT SUPPORTED and probably never will be. Microsoft does not support nesting of their hypervisor which makes it extremely difficult - if not impossible for VMware to fix issues that may occur in this configuration. For this reason, this capability has been implemented purely to see if we could do it!


Virtual Performance Counters

VMware virtual processors now include the capability to enable virtual performance counters which will allow developers to run profiling applications, such as Intel's vTune, in a virtual machine.

Remoting Improvements

The experience when remotely connecting to a virtual machine running in Workstation 9 with a VNC client or interacting with the desktop of a virtual machine running on vSphere from within Workstation has been significantly improved.

Disk Cleanup

Virtual machines consume a large amount of space on your hard drive. Workstation 9 includes a new management option to easily recover disk space.

Quick Switch II

Previous versions of VMware Workstation included a view mode called "Quick Switch" that displayed tabs along the top of the screen to easily switch between running virtual machines. We removed this functionality in Workstation 8. The feedback we received has encouraged us to introduce a similar feature. On Windows, hosts tabs have been included in the full screen toolbar.

Thumbnail Actions

Views of your virtual machine on the task bar now include controls to change the power state.

Saved Filters

Workstation 9 automatically saves recent virtual machine library searches as filters to easily apply them the next time you run Workstation.

VMware Player

In addition to getting all of the virtual hardware improvements, the VMware Player user interface has been completely revamped. The user interface conforms with Windows standards, menus have been updated, the toolbar now matches Workstation in regular and full screen mode, we have added device icons, and we have made many more little improvements.

VMware Player is also now available for commercial use. A commercial license for VMware Player 5 is included with VMware Fusion 5 Professional to enable customers to run virtual machines on Windows or Linux PCs and on Macs using a single license key!

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Known Issues

  • The vmmon module crashes the Linux kernel 3.5 due to an exception table changing
    The vmmon module crashes the Linux kernel 3.5 due to exception table changing. Installing Workstation 9 with Linux kernel 3.5 causes the kernel to stop functioning.

  • Hot remove USB controller with USB Compatibility USB3.0 does not remove UI entry properly
    If you have a Windows 8 virtual machine that is configured to use USB 3.0 compatibility and you remove the USB controller or change the compatibility from 3.0 to 2.0 while the virtual machine is running, the operation might fail. The USB controller might instead be set to USB 1.1 compatibility when you remove the USB controller (3.0 compatibility).

    Workaround: Restart the virtual machine. Alternatively, open the device manager in the guest operating system, disable and re-enable the UHCI controller. If you need to remove the USB controller, then remove the USB controller (1.1 compatibility).

  • ThinPrint might not discover available printers on Fedora 16 and 17
    ThinPrint might start before CUPS when your host is started. This means that new printers configured on the host, which should be available to the guest through ThinPrint, might not be found.

    Workaround: Restart ThinPrint with the following command: sudo systemctl restart vmware-tools-thinprint.service.

  • "Upload failed: Curl error: Couldn't resolve host name." displayed when uploading a virtual machine
    When uploading a virtual machine to a remote vSphere server, connect to that server using its fully-qualified domain name.

  • Converted virtual machines use hardware version 8.0 instead of 9.0
    Virtual machines created in Workstation 9 using the "Virtualize a Physical Machine" feature are created as Workstation 8 virtual machines (older hardware version). This is expected behavior.

    Workaround: If you want to upgrade the hardware version of the converted virtual machine, use the "Upgrade this virtual machine" link.

  • Unable to connect Iomega SSD Flash USB 3.0 drive when using UAS in guest
    VMware recommends that Linux guests use "usb_storage" driver instead of "uas" driver with USB devices by adding blacklist uas to the /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf file. Most distributions (Fedora, RHEL, Suse) do not enable UAS drivers in their kernels.

  • The Workstation UI crashes when going to Full Screen
    The Workstation UI can crash when going to Full Screen mode after changing the Ubuntu 12.04 Host Theme, if the Thumbnail View is turned on.

  • CD-ROM drives are dropped after uploading to vSphere
    CD-ROMs on a SCSI controller are dropped from virtual machines that are uploaded to vSphere. vSphere does not support CD-ROMs on SCSI controllers.

  • Unity appears disabled for Ubuntu 12.04 guest
    When you power on any guest using the Ubuntu Unity desktop environment (Ubuntu 11.10+), the Unity menu and Unity tool bar appears disabled. Unity is also disabled for guests using Compiz and Enlightenment window managers.

    Unity has been disabled for Linux operating systems that include the new OpenGL driver. The new driver does not yet support running in Unity mode therefore the toolbar button and menu items will be disabled for virtual machines that include this driver.

  • Third party Layered Service Providers (LSPs) on Windows experience problems using Workstation
    If you have certain third party Layered Service Providers (LSPs) installed on Windows, you might experience problems using the Workstation user interface. When these third party LSPs are present, connections to remote ESXi hosts fail and shared virtual machine features could also fail. The affected third party LSPs generally are included with special purpose network cards, e.g. USB 3G devices.

  • Unable to power on virtual machine running Windows 8 in Workstation 9, which has been exported to OVF
    If you install Windows 8 in a virtual machine under Virtualbox 4.1.16 and export the virtual machine as an OVF package, the operating system type is not correct. In the OVF, the operating system type is set to id=1 (Other 32 bit OS), which is not correct as all Windows 8 versions are 64 bit. When importing in Workstation 9 or other products, you will not be able to power on the virtual machine.

    Workaround: Edit the exported OVF. Change the operating system ID from 1 to 102 (Other 64 bit OS). This allows the virtual machine to boot correctly. It's also possible to import the virtual machine and later change the OS version to something more appropriate to make the virtual machine boot.

  • Easy Install for Windows Server 2012 might not work
    In the RTM build of Windows 8, Microsoft changed how their products were packaged. This forced VMware to find a new way to detect the operating system. VMware has implemented a change for both Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 in anticipation that Microsoft will make the same change to their final server build. This change breaks the Easy Install ability to identify the pre-release builds of Windows Server and may or may not work for the RTM builds. Since the RTM build for Server 2012 is available at the time of this release, VMware is unable to test the Workstation 9 code.

    Workaround: Install Windows Server 2012 manually.

  • Unable to use P2V conversion on Windows 8 host
    If you start a P2V conversion through Workstation on Windows Vista or later, and you are not logged on as Administrator, you might encounter an error, such as:
    A general system error occurred: Crypto Exception: error:02001005:system library:fopen:Input/output error:unable to load C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone\ssl\rui.crt.

    The Converter Server needs access to certificate files which by default are deployed under C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone\ssl\rui.crt, which is only available if you are logged on as an Administrator. Logging on as a different user might result in not having the correct privileges to access the certificate files. This results in the above error.


    • Log on as Administrator
    • or
    • Change permissions on C:\ProgramData\VMware\VMware vCenter Converter Standalone\ssl\ and give read access to it for the logged on user.