I am a lover of VMware workstation, have been from the very start.
It is said that before anything is applied to VMWare ESX, everything will be applied to workstation and fusion first.
So here it is:
VMware Workstation Technology Preview 2014
Updated! The VMware Workstation team is excited to announce the VMware Workstation Technology Preview – July 2014 release! This is an update to the Technology Preview May 2014 release with numerous bug fixing and feature optimization, we would like to keep hearing your feedback on those changes.
New OS Support – The popularity of Windows 8 is still growing especially after the Windows 8.1 release. We have been running the Windows 8.1 Update 1 since the date it was released and continuing to improve our support for it. We would appreciate your comments and suggestions for making it easier to run the latest Windows 8 / 8.1 versions in a virtual machine. Of course we are running the latest Ubuntu, Fedora, RHEL, OpenSUSE and other Linux distros as well and we would appreciate your feedback on their performance too.
VMware Hardware Version 11 – This Technology Preview introduces hardware Version 11. Hardware versions introduce new virtual hardware functionality and new features while enabling VMware to run legacy operating systems in our virtual machines.
CPU enablement – While this Technology Preview still supports creating and running virtual machines with up to 16 virtual CPUs, we extended the support of the latest generation of CPUs. The microarchitectures of both Intel Haswell and AMD Jaguar are fully supported, and those of Intel Broadwell and AMD Steamroller have been made to be compatible. We are interested in the feedback of creating and running virtual machines on those latest CPUs.
Virtual xHCI controller – virtual xHCI controller was added in virtual hardware version 8 and it conforms to version 0.96 of the Intel xHCI specification. In this version of virtual hardware, we updated it to be compliant with the latest version 1.0 of the specification. Better compatibility and performance of USB 3.0 devices is expected, we would love to see the results with your USB devices.
Dedicated graphics memory for guest operating system – In order to make our customers be able to precisely control the memory allocation when there are multiple virtual machines up running, the new virtual hardware version makes the guest video memory backed by their own dedicated chunk, which could be allocated / configured by the user.
Graphics memory configuration – For those virtual machines with virtual hardware version 11, you can adjust the maximum graphics memory on a per virtual machine basis. Go to Virtual Machine Settings -> Hardware -> Display, you can see the graphics memory dropdown and make adjustment there. This allows user to gain better graphics performance if the host has large physical memory and the work being performed in the VM requires big graphics memory. In this latest Technology Preview release, the default Graphics memory is also updated base on the Guest OS you installed, in order to provide the best graphics performance.
Windows 8 Unity mode improvements – When you run a Windows 8 / 8.1 virtual machine on a Windows 8 / 8.1 host in Unity mode, the user experience has been improved especially when you try to go to the Start screen of the host or navigate to the Start screen of the guest.
Boot virtual machine with EFI – As an alternative of BIOS, EFI is supported by more and more operating systems including Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and many Linux distros. This Technology Preview version allows you to create and boot the guest operating system with EFI. In Technology Preview July 2014, user can choose booting with EFI during the VM creation instead of making the change after the VM creation. Select Custom (advanced) wizard when create new VM and follow the steps to select EFI instead of BIOS.
Experimental performance tuning for VM suspend and resume – In this Technology Preview release, you can enable an experimental performance tuning specifically improve the VM suspend and resume time consumption. To enable the feature, add the following lines to the VMX and ensure the VM is set to Hardware Version 11.
This performance improvement applies to both encrypted VM and non-encrypted VM. In our in-house testing, suspend and resume are improved up to 20% and 60% respectively. We highly recommend you to try this feature and leave your feedback.
Experimental support for running the vSphere Beta in a virtual machine – See for more details of the vSphere Beta Program.
General stability, application compatibility and usability
If you are running workstation on Chinese or Japanese Windows host, please make sure entering the Tech Preview License Key during installation (see the 1st known issue listed below for more details).
To run this Technology Preview, you must uninstall previous versions of Workstation before installing this software. Please note that the drivers included in this preview have NOT been signed and will prompt you accordingly during installation.
The system requirements for this Technology Preview are mostly same with those for Workstation 10, with the following differences:
- All 32-Bit Host Operating Systems are no longer supported
- Windows XP 64-Bit, Windows Vista 64-Bit, Windows Server 2003 64-Bit and Windows Server 2008 64-Bit (not including R2) are no longer supported as host operating system
See this VMware Workstation Document for more detailed system requirements.
In rare circumstances, it might be necessary to recreate a virtual machine created in this Technology Preview in a subsequent version of the product. This Technology Preview includes changes to the underlying virtualization platform, which is under active development. There are no guarantees that changes in this preview will be forward compatible with other VMware software, nor that these changes will be present in future supported releases of VMware Workstation.
To uninstall the VMware Workstation Technology Preview:
- Uninstall VMware Tools from each virtual machine used with the Technology Preview
- Ensure all virtual machines are downgraded to be compatible with an earlier version of VMware Workstation (VM > Manage > Change Hardware Compatibility…)
- Exit the VMware Workstation Technology Preview
- Remove VMware Workstation Technology Preview via standard application uninstallation procedures
- On a Chinese or Japanese Windows host, Workstation can’t be properly launched if a valid Tech Preview license key wasn’t entered during installation
- When you create a RHEL 7 virtual machine, manual installation is required
- Easy Install for some Linux Guests with virtual EFI doesn’t work properly
- Graphic memory configuration can not be adjusted for Shared VM
- In RHEL 6.5 virtual machine, VMware Tools cannot be updated if you have the Technology Preview version installed already, a guest reboot is needed
- Unable to detect smart card in the USB Passthrough mode on Linux host
- When creating an ESXi VM the list of supported ESXi versions is incorrect
- This release has not been localized, only US English is supported
- Additional checks (debugging) have been enabled to aid troubleshooting. Performance of this release is likely to be significantly slower than shipping versions of VMware Workstation.