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VMware Releases Open Source Virtualization Client 218

Posted by kdawson
from the not-before-time dept.
ruphus13 writes in with the news that VMware has finally decided to open-source its client for virtual desktops, releasing it under the LGPL. This was in response to intense pressure from the growing number of Linux distros that include virtualization by default. From the post: "The CEO replacement who entered VMware last year was Paul Maritz, a long-time Microsoft executive with intimate familiarity with how Windows swallowed up entire categories of utility software as it grew up by simply wrapping free utilities into the operating system. Paul knows about that, and he had to have seen last year the dual threats to VMware of open source virtualization offerings and virtualization on board in operating systems. The VMware View Open Client allows businesses to host virtualized desktops in the data center, and users can access their desktops from any device. Going with an open source solution like this was VMware's only choice, especially as Microsoft includes Hyper-V virtualization in Windows Server. I'm sure Maritz was very focused on the Microsoft threat, because he used to be behind similar threats. VMware can grab market share with this move, stave off Microsoft's dominance, and offer support and services around its open source offering.'"
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VMware Releases Open Source Virtualization Client

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  • Re:Thanks... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:13AM (#26723675)

    VirtualBox and its ilk are competitors to VMware Workstation. When it comes to the datacenter, nothing comes close to their enterprise offerings.

  • Re:Thanks... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:24AM (#26723751)

    this is no VirtualBox competitor, it's a whole different product. it's the client for the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

  • Too late (Score:3, Informative)

    by MistrBlank (1183469) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:25AM (#26723757)

    I jumped ship to VirtualBox at the end of last year after being a long time VMWare Server user.

    Server's switch to a terrible UI on version 2.0 and the fact that they continue to charge for VMWare fusion made me look for alternatives.

    VMWare still has the best enterprise virtualization management products though in the meantime so I'm not terribly worried about them making a vanishing act.

  • by operator_error (1363139) <spztoid.gmail@com> on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:28AM (#26723787)

    VMware View Open Client lets you connect from a Linux desktop to remote Windows desktops managed by VMware View.

    http://store.vmware.com/servlet/ControllerServlet?Action=DisplayPage&Env=BASE&Locale=en_US&SiteID=vmware&id=ProductDetailsPage&productID=94648100 [vmware.com]

    VMware View Enterprise Starter Bundle + Platinum (24x7) 3 Year Support

    Including View Mgr 3, VC Foundation and VI VDI licensed for 10 desktop VMs (Includes 1 ESX license for 2 CPUs)
            $2,456.25

    VMware View Enterprise Starter Bundle + Platinum (24x7) 2 Year Support

    Including View Mgr 3, VC Foundation and VI VDI licensed for 10 desktop VMs (Includes 1 ESX license for 2 CPUs)
            $2,197.50

    VMware View Enterprise Starter Bundle + Platinum (24x7) 1 Year Support

    Including View Mgr 3, VC Foundation and VI VDI licensed for 10 desktop VMs (Includes 1 ESX license for 2 CPUs)
            $1,875.00

    VMware View Enterprise Starter Bundle + Gold (12x5) 3 Year Support

    Including View Mgr 3, VC Foundation and VI VDI licensed for 10 desktop VMs (Includes 1 ESX license for 2 CPUs)
            $2,303.25

    VMware View Enterprise Starter Bundle + Gold (12x5) 2 Year Support

    Including View Mgr 3, VC Foundation and VI VDI licensed for 10 desktop VMs (Includes 1 ESX license for 2 CPUs)
            $2,085.90

    VMware View Enterprise Starter Bundle + Gold (12x5) 1 Year Support

    Including View Mgr 3, VC Foundation and VI VDI licensed for 10 desktop VMs (Includes 1 ESX license for 2 CPUs)
            $1,815.00

  • Re:Thanks... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Guspaz (556486) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:29AM (#26723807)

    I agree that it needs a lot of work, but it's also improving at a pretty decent clip. I tried it when I ran Ubuntu 8.04, and had a nightmare with the networking. By Ubuntu 8.10, the included version made networking a snap, making it easy to use host networking to simulate a device on my network.

    Another roadblock that was fixed in those 6-months; the older version couldn't boot Ubuntu Server (I believe it was a matter of VirtualBox not supporting PXE), while the newer version can.

  • by joemod (1068624) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:29AM (#26723811)
    VMWare Player is already free but not opensource.
  • Re:Thanks... (Score:2, Informative)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:32AM (#26723831) Homepage Journal

    Somewhat. I find that in 2.x on a Linux host with an XP guest, sometimes the VM gets stuck and hangs, making you have to kill it. If this happens, not all of the memory allocated to the VM will get reclaimed, which is highly annoying.

    Only seems to happen, for me anyway, with XP guests. Linux guests and Win2K guests don't seem to have this problem.

  • Re:Thanks... (Score:2, Informative)

    by whereareweheadedto (959728) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:33AM (#26723839)
    Have you used Xen in enterprise environment? Well, I did a pilot project last year and Xen is nowhere near there. Maybe Citrix XenSource, but not Xen.
  • Re:Thanks... (Score:5, Informative)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:43AM (#26723921) Journal
    Mod parent up. This product is pretty much VMware's equivalent of the Citrix ICA client, not one of their virtualization setups. Looks like a shot across Citrix's bow to me. By releasing the client as LGPL, they can, in theory, ensure that it will be trivial for anybody putting together a linux distro or thin client image to include support for connecting to their VMware view stuff(which is, shall we say, unlikely to be OSS soon).
  • Re:Thanks... (Score:2, Informative)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:46AM (#26723951) Homepage Journal

    Yes. While Xen is not as easy to deploy as ESX Sever, it performs quite a bit better in my testing. I think this is because Xen is paravirtualization, so it saves overhead by using the drivers from the host's Linux kernel, plus it has a very small footprint.

    If you need cross-platform clustered filesystems, you might be better off with ESX as Xen doesn't include any, but you could always use a third-party solution. I haven't compared peformance on clustered filesystems, but I'll bet ESX's is a bit better in this regard. OTOH, if you're using a clustered storage appliance, then you might not really need clustered filesystems in your virtualization software.

  • by Comatose51 (687974) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @09:59AM (#26724041) Homepage

    VMware might not be a completely open source company but they've always been friendly towards open source software and make use of them. They've also contributed back as well such as extensions to the Linux kernel to make it run better as a guest in a paravirtualization environment, even though VMware can work using binary translation. They've also pushed heavily for an open VM format (OVF) so that users won't be locked into any specific virtualization vendor even though they're the dominant player in the market. They don't really see it as a zero-sum game. As long as virtualization as a whole keeps expanding, they benefit from it.

    They also created and open sourced Review Board. [review-board.org]

    VMware is very engineer driven and engineers have a tendency to favor openness.

  • Re:Games? (Score:4, Informative)

    by syousef (465911) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @10:07AM (#26724111) Journal

    The only reason I have a Windows image at home is for a couple of games. So far, only VMWare Workstation can handle Windows gaming with any decent speed since it supports DirectX. Do any of the other virtualizers work well with gaming? I'm talking about games like COD4, America's Army, and others based on the UT2/UT3 engine.

    It most certainly doesn't handle games with decent speed. Lets look at the game compability list, updated this month:

    http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-1287 [vmware.com]

    Now lets look at your games:

    COD4 - "Starts up fine, but too slow to play. Frame rate is about 2 FPS at 640x480 with all settings reduced to minimum. VM settings - 1.5GB ram, 2 VCPU's, optimize for VM."

    America's Army - Not on the list

    UT2/UT3 - Not on the list. Not sure which games on the list might be derivatives

    Other complaints even for games reported to work are "choppy sound, minor texture glitches", "Sluggish, but playable.", "Flawless; low FPS", "Flickery top bar and "Sticky" graphics"

    This does not sound to me like something a frequent gamer would put up with, when dual booting would give much better results.

    VMWare is to be applauded for their DirectX effort, but they're not quite there yet.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @10:10AM (#26724133)

    Not only that, but VMWare Server (which uses the same "format" of vm) is also free. Their recent move to web-only admin tools has gotten annoying, but overall it's still very nice and lets you manage things much more in depth than VMWare Player does.

  • by tlacuache (768218) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @10:32AM (#26724357)
    Perhaps you're thinking of qemu [wikipedia.org] and its accelerator module kqemu [wikipedia.org]? I don't think this actually has anything to do with KDE or the "K team," as you called it, it just happens to have a k in front of its name.
  • Re:Games? (Score:3, Informative)

    by chill (34294) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @10:32AM (#26724361) Journal

    America's Army for Linux/Mac is 2.5 (4 or 5 version behind), and has ceased to be supported. There are very, very few servers to play on. There are rumors the new 3.0 client will be back for Linux, but I'll believe it when I see it.

    By UT2 I meant UT2-engine based games. Sorry for not being clear.

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Informative)

    by PrescriptionWarning (932687) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @10:49AM (#26724597)
    funny :)

    but seriously, VMware Fusion is for OSX only and offers desktop integration. The rest are for linux and windows. Server & Player are free, as is ACE i think, but the rest are generally for cost.
  • Not to mention the cost, free with a Windows Server 2008 license.

    That's not very free...

    Microsoft offers Virtual Server [microsoft.com] for free as a standalone download. My understanding is that it's a minimal Windows Server OS as the hypervisor.

  • by Xenophon Fenderson, (1469) <xenophon+slashdot@irtnog.org> on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @12:53PM (#26726601) Homepage

    http://code.google.com/p/vmware-view-open-client/ [google.com]

    You'd think that at least one of the technology news sites reporting this would link directly to the code, but you'd be wrong.

  • by pedrop357 (681672) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @01:08PM (#26726767)

    As of the latest version, VMWare Server still (quietly) comes with the Virtual Infrastructure Client.
    For windows installs, it's here:
    C:\program files\VMware\VMware Server\hostd\docroot\client\VMware-viclient.exe

    In the field "IP Address/Name", use https://name/ [name] or IP%:8333
    You need the VMware authorization and VMware Host Agent service running, but can disable the VMware Server Web Access service if you don't use the web interface.

    I do wish they would update the viclient to use later hardware versions. As is it is right now, if you want to use the viclient, you're limited to VMs with HW version 4 and you can't do change hardware or connect/disconnect higher level virtual machines without going to the web interface.

  • by pedrop357 (681672) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @01:10PM (#26726803)

    I should have used preview
    https//NAMEORIP:8333
    insert the : after https

  • by lwsimon (724555) <lyndsy@lyndsysimon.com> on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @01:51PM (#26727321) Homepage Journal

    You meant VirtualBox OSE, right? OpenBox is a WM.

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by arkhan_jg (618674) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @02:14PM (#26727629)

    * VMware Fusion - desktop virtualization on macs, also allows you to run individual windows apps but they appear as a window on your OSX desktop. Not free.

    * VMware server - free virtual server hosting setup. Fairly basic, but allows you to run multiple OSes on a single physical server and linux or windows host OS, and have them provide services on the network - or RDP/VNC into them and use them for testing, etc.

    * VMware workstation - similar to vmware fusion, but for linux/windows, and without the 'open an app as a native window' feature. Not free. Designed to create and snapshot multiple vms on your own desktop.

    * VMware view - virtual desktops. You give your users their own personal desktop image, but it's stored on your ESX servers, not their local hard-drive. A bit like thin clients, but you virtualise the entire pc, not just the desktop. they break it with a virus? Spin them a new one off the spare pool, or bring their old one back from backup snapshot. Or just have a standard pool, and hand them out automatically as needed. Vmware view is the clientside app that lets them connect to their virtual desktop, but since all the virtualisation work is done serverside, the client can be low-power.

    * VMware ESX - enterprise grade virtualisation server. Combined with vmware infrastructure, you run a bare minimum hypervisor (no overhead from a standard linux or windows OS host), store your virtual machines on a SAN or NFS, have a pool of physical servers and automatically load-balance your VMs between them or even bring them back up automatically if a physical server goes bang. Nearly completely abstract your servers from the hardware, run 20 servers per actual piece of tin. Very much not free.

    * VMware Player - free basic app that lets you run VMs on your desktop, but not create them. Largely superceded by vmware server (now free) except for specific uses.

    * VMware ACE - packaged VMs. You create a VM with workstation, send it out, then they run the ACE package on their local PC, with a VM OS + app setup inside it. Allows you to have a standardised VM available on your desktop machines, without all the overhead of ESX, SAN, network etc, but your desktops need to be grunty.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @03:39PM (#26728701) Journal

    Microsoft offers Virtual Server for free as a standalone download. My understanding is that it's a minimal Windows Server OS as the hypervisor.

    Your understanding is wrong. Microsoft Virtual Server is an old MS product from the Virtual PC line. It does not have anything to do with Hyper-V.

    What you probably meant is Microsoft Hyper-V Server [microsoft.com]. And yes, that one is actually free [microsoft.com] too.

  • by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @05:10PM (#26729695)
    Amazon trusts Xen to drive it's entire EC2 cloud computing infrastructure. Which, may I add, also drive's Amazon's entire online retailing business. I'm sure it's ready for enterprise scenarios.
  • Re:Thanks... (Score:2, Informative)

    by rathaven (1253420) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @06:12PM (#26730379)
    You can use OCFS2 for clustered filesystem storage with Xen - if its good enough for some seriously scaled Oracle Database Clusters then a few host OS's (file backed) work well on it for most uses. We host Windows and Linux boxes on this with no issues.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @08:19PM (#26731719)

    Not to mention the cost, free with a Windows Server 2008 license.

    That's not very free...

    Microsoft offers Virtual Server [microsoft.com] for free as a standalone download. My understanding is that it's a minimal Windows Server OS as the hypervisor.

    The hypervisor one is HyperV. See here: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/trial-software.aspx

    The one referenced above required a host OS:
    "Supported Host Operating Systems :
            * Windows Server 2003 Standard SP2
            * Windows Server 2003 Enterprise SP2
            * Windows Server 2003 Datacenter SP2
            * Windows Server 2003 Standard R2
            * Windows Server 2003 Enterprise R2
            * Windows Server 2003 Datacenter R2
            * Windows Server 2003 Standard SP1
            * Windows Server 2003 Enterprise SP1
            * Windows Server 2003 Datacenter SP1
            * Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 SP2
            * Windows Server 2003 Enterprise x64 SP2
            * Windows Server 2003 Datacenter x64 SP2
            * Windows Server 2003 Standard x64
            * Windows Server 2003 Enterprise x64
            * Windows Server 2003 Datacenter x64
            * Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 R2
            * Windows Server 2003 Enterprise x64 R2
            * Windows Server 2003 Datacenter x64 R2
            * Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard R2
            * Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium R2
            * Windows Server 2008 Beta 3 (non-Production only)
            * Windows XP Professional SP2 (non-Production only)
            * Windows XP Professional x64 Edition (non-Production only)
            * Windows Vista Ultimate (non-Production only)
            * Windows Vista Business (non-Production only)
            * Windows Vista Enterprise (non-Production only)

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