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 PostPost subject: VMWare guest compatibility in new versions        Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:10 am 
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Up until now, I've been using VirtualBox for my virtualization needs.
Although it works pretty well, I'm sure some OSs may work better under VMWare.

I was looking at VMWare's official compatibility list and documentation, and found the following.

VMWare Workstation:
8.0.6 latest supporting Solaris 8 and 9, FreeBSD 4 as guests
9.0.4 latest supporting DOS, Win 3.x, Win9x, WinNT4, Netware, Java Desktop System 2 as guests

VMWare Player:
5.0.x latest supporting DOS, Win 3.x, Win9x, WinNT4 as guests

I will be testing these versions as well as newer version, but thought I'd ask for experiences from existing users:
Has anyone tried running old OSs under newer VMWare (either Workstation or Player)?
Do VMWare Tools work?

I'm basically trying to understand if the lack of support is at the technical level (ie. application) or at the support level (ie. vmware will not provide tech support to customers trying to run these old OSs under new versions).


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 PostPost subject: Re: VMWare guest compatibility in new versions        Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:29 am 
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For Linux, Workstation 12 can run guests from late 1999 (eg. Redhat 6.1 (with GNOME or KDE) ) easily, you just need to set the HW version to Workstation 5.x and install an old (4.5.x) version of VMware Tools to get X. There are also one or two issues you need to get past though they are with the OS and not with Workstation.

For proof, here's an default install of Redhat 6.1 running in a VM with the configs above:

Image

FreeBSD 4.6.2 onwards works perfectly under VMware, you just need to get an older version (4.5.x-6.5.x) of VMware Tools though. I'm pretty sure I also managed to get 4.1 working, though it was in Workstation 11.

For Solaris, the earliest version I could manage to get running was Solaris 9 Update 5.

For Windows, early versions up to 3.x will work with VGA only.

9x versions work perfectly (with VGA), minus 999, the 11xx beta builds, and 1351-1400. You can install VBEMP 9x or Scitech Display Doctor to get better video drivers though.

Here's 1593 running under Workstation 12:
Image

NT versions with these ranges work well with VMware: (in my experience, I only used NT 3.x, NT 4 betas and most NT 5 betas in VBox)

NT 4.0 (SP3 onwards)
2091-2195.x
2410-5308 (not including 5.50.5111 from 1999 and 5.10.2465-5.10.2475 from 2001, you can get Aero for builds 5048, 5219, 5231.x, 5259.x and 5270.)
5365-10532 (you can also get Aero from 5381 onwards.)

The 22xx builds are buggy with VMware at best, and they work better with VBox anyway, IMO.
The builds from 2465-2475 have a very bad bug that makes them stall up to 10 minutes before each login.
5342 x86 has majestic bootloader errors with VMware, and 5342 x64 has majestic video driver errors under VMware. It's also buggy under VBox, but at least it installs there.

Here's 5744 Business running with Aero:
Image

If you want more info about running a particular version of an OS, contact me through a PM.

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Linux/BSD Distribution Betas
Enabling Aero in Windows Vista 50xx+ (VMware)


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 PostPost subject: Re: VMWare guest compatibility in new versions        Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:52 pm 
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There is a SVGA driver patch that enables SVGA in Windows 3.x. It works, but it's a bit dodgy.


Windows 95/98/Me will work perfectly in VMware, you just need the right sound drivers.


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 PostPost subject: Re: VMWare guest compatibility in new versions        Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:16 pm 
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Fred_PJ wrote:
There is a SVGA driver patch that enables SVGA in Windows 3.x. It works, but it's a bit dodgy.


Windows 95/98/Me will work perfectly in VMware, you just need the right sound drivers.


Insert this line into your VM config file (.vmx):

Code:
sound.virtualdev = "sb16"


Then, reboot and install the default Sound Blaster 16 driver. Voila! Sound will work perfectly.

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Enabling Aero in Windows Vista 50xx+ (VMware)


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 PostPost subject: Re: VMWare guest compatibility in new versions        Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:29 pm 
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I personally prefer installing the Sound Blaster 128 drivers instead of changing the emulated sound hardware to the inferior SB16, but that will also work, yes.


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 PostPost subject: Re: VMWare guest compatibility in new versions        Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:11 pm 
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VMware Workstation 12 Pro Guest Operating System Installation Guide: http://partnerweb.vmware.com/GOSIG/home.html


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 PostPost subject: Re: VMWare guest compatibility in new versions        Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:32 am 
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Thanks for the feedback everyone; especially courage with all the details! :)

Hopefully I'll start my testing this weekend.
I'll get back with any issues or questions I may have.


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 PostPost subject: Re: VMWare guest compatibility in new versions        Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:06 pm 
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Chicago 58s at 99% works on VMware 10, so the same with 12.


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