VMware Workstation 6.0 hits beta 3

VMware is approaching the final release of its most popular virtualization tool, Workstation, and includes another bunch of interesting features in the new beta 3 (build 39849):

  • Record/Replay of Virtual Machine Activity (Experimental)
    This feature lets you record all of a Workstation 6 virtual machine’s activity over a period of time. Unlike Workstation’s movie-capture feature, the record/replay feature lets you exactly duplicate the operations and state of the virtual machine throughout the time of the recording.
  • CrossTalk Communication Infrastructure (Experimental)
    CrossTalk provides a faster means of communication among applications running on the host and in virtual machines. The CrossTalk infrastructure comprises a CrossTalk SDK and CrossTalk drivers for host and guest. This experimental feature is especially suited for users who want to write client-server applications.
  • Eclipse plug-in for Integrated Virtual Debuggers
    With the new Workstation IDE (integrated development environment) plug-ins, software developers are provided with menu items and toolbar buttons in Visual Studio (Windows only) or Eclipse (Windows or Linux) to easily develop and debug programs in virtual machines.

The new Record/Replay feature, announced at VMworld 2006, has been particularly expected by developers, introducing a new way to approach application debugging.

Unfortunately the new feature is not supported when virtual machine is configured to work any IDE virtual device (including hard disks and CDRoms), making somewhat complex work with it.

VMware Workstation 6.0 also introduces news on VMware Tools, which now include three experimental drivers:

  • CrossTalk Driver
    Driver to allow virtual machines to communicate with applications on the host and with other virtual machines using datagrams and shared memory.
    (see above for further details)
  • Descheduled Time Accounting
    Experimental driver to improve accuracy of timekeeping by charging time during which the virtual machine was not running the vmdesched service.
  • WYSE Multimedia Redirector
    Driver to enhance your remote desktop multimedia experience.

Download the new beta 3 here.