It’s finally out.
One of the most expected virtualization release, Workstation 5.5 (build 18463) brings in a lot of new features and improvements:
- Full support for 64-bit guest operating systems and improved support for 64-bit host operating systems enable users to work in a broader range of environments
- Experimental support for two-way Virtual Symmetric Multiprocessing (Virtual SMP) enables multiprocessor virtual machines
- VMware Player gives you greater flexibility in distributing virtual machines
- Improved support for 32-bit host and guest operating systems
- Workstation emulates a new Ethernet adapter type for 64-bit guests
- Workstation 5.5 driver certification updates
- Improved import capability lets you open and import Microsoft Virtual PC and Virtual Server virtual machines, as well as Symantec LiveState Recovery system images, directly into Workstation
- On Windows hosts, enhancements to the user interface let you customize Workstation toolbars to suit your workstyle
- Enhanced support for wireless Ethernet adapters used in bridged networking lets you connect your virtual machines to wireless networks on Linux hosts
- Enhanced autodetect makes it easier to configure devices for virtual machines
- Enhanced autoconnect automatically reconnnects manually connected USB devices
- Enhanced snapshot management makes it easier to work with snapshots
- Enhanced command line interface helps you manage snapshots
- Memory page trimming can be disabled to improve performance
- Enhanced product update checking makes it more convenient to keep your Workstation software up to date
- On Linux hosts, the user interface has been enhanced to work better with desktop appearance themes
- Workstation 5.5 extends the display resizing features Autofit Guest and Fit Guest Now to Linux guests
You really need to read the Release Notes to have a first overview of all these things.
But there’s more: with VMware Workstation 5.5 comes out a series of very useful utilities (producted by VMware but not officially supported):
- VMware Player
VMware Player is free software that enables PC users to easily run any virtual machine on a Windows or Linux PC. VMware Player runs virtual machines created by VMware Workstation, GSX Server or ESX Server and also supports Microsoft virtual machines and Symantec LiveState Recovery disk formats.
- Processor Check for 64-Bit Compatibility
This is a standalone processor check utility which you can use without VMware Workstation to perform the same check and determine whether your CPU is supported for virtual machines with 64-bit guest operating systems.
- Disk Mount
This is a Windows installer for the VMware DiskMount utility. With the VMware DiskMount utility, a VMware virtual disk file can be mounted as a Windows drive letter for read/write access to the files it contains.
- Movie Decoder
This is a Windows installer for the movie decoder. This utility is required to play movies recorded using VMware Workstation 5.
- Virtual Machine Importer
This is a Windows installer for the VMware Virtual Machine Importer. This utility allows you to convert a Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Virtual Server virtual machine into a VMware Workstation 4 or 5 virtual machine.