Friday, October 21, 2005

VMware Player Changes Everything

In the words of the immortal Joey -- "whoa." I just learned of, and tried, the new VMware Player. If you haven't heard of it yet, VMware player is a free program for Windows and Linux users that allows them to run a single VM on their host OS. VMware Player is like a stripped down version of VMware Workstation. It does not support snapshots, and the documentation says only one VM can run at a time (despite what the comparison chart implies).

This changes everything. Everyone who is an end user of VMs (not a creator) just saved $189 for a VMware Workstation license. This includes students who use VMware on their class desktops or laptops. Authors can now distribute VMs with books (like a second edition of Real Digital Forensics?) and have readers access those VMs with the free VMware Player.

I tried one of the freely available images in the Virtual Machine Center -- the Browser-Appliance. As you can see from the screen shot below, it's an Ubuntu Linux distro.

I have not tried any of the innovative hacks involving VM files, but I would like to evaluate them. I'm considering building VM of a complete Sguil installation using FreeBSD 6.0 and Sguil 0.6.0 when available. This approach easily avoids the problems with building and maintaining live CDs!

I applaud VMware for providing this free no-cost program. It is obviously an attempt to build market share and direct attention away from Microsoft's product. (The two were compared in a recent NWC review.)

How do you plan to use VMware Player?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see companies distribute pre-configured (as in correctly/securely configured) software using this. I went to a VMWare conference a few months ago where they mentioned this as a possible use for virtualization in general. I may be off base with this idea but you're ideas gave me more to think about and makes this offering more interesting than I previously envisioned.

Joe S said...

i want vmware images for cisco equipment so i dont have to buy the equipment to learn on. i know this can be done...somehow.

Joao Barros said...

I haven't tried out the "Player" yet. Does it has all the features of Workstation (networking, teams, etc) ?
Richard, I believe this might change your class setup ;)

"i want vmware images for cisco equipment so i dont have to buy the equipment to learn on. i know this can be done...somehow."
# posted by Joe S : 10:21 PM

Errr what you're talking about are simulators (commercial)...and those are normal install/uninstall programs.

Richard Bejtlich said...

Player does not have all the WS features -- see this chart.

Joao Barros said...

Well, one can still create bridged, host only, and NAT network configurations.
That allows for some nice setups :)

Scott said...

I think it would be very cool if you made a nice slim downloadable VM like this!

Scott

Anonymous said...

Has anyone had any luck importing Virtual PC created virtual machines into VMC player? I have a perfectly working FreeBSD 6.0 RC-1 virtual PC on my WinXP Pro laptop that won't import into VMC player. There are other rumblings on the VMC forums about not being able to import Msft Virtual PC created virtual machines, though no-one seems to be getting anywhere.

Anonymous said...

I would absolutely LOVE to see a full sguil distro on a VMWare image! I've been fighting with this exact setup (FreeBSD 6.0 and Sguil 0.6.0) for a couple of weeks now. I've tried following your instructions, but with only one computer and no access to the DNS server. I am trying to do this for a proof of concept so that we can get some idea of what is actually on our network. So far, the blowback from management is "Yes, we should have something like this. I'll give you a budget of $0 and no time to work on it. Let me know when it is up and running."

Anonymous said...

Hi!

Probably because Virtual PC does not officially support Linux vmp can't import a VPC with Linux as guest OS. Microsoft OS's works like a charm. Maybe if we ask the VMware people nicely there will be an update to support this?

//Hasse