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VMware Workstation is now free for personal use

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As the title says. Broadcom has retired the basic VMware Player editions and made Workstation (or Fusion, if you're a Mac person) free for personal use.

It's the best hypervisor software around and the only one you can actually run some games on, its GPU emulation is far ahead when compared to the other hypervisors (with full DirectX 11 support). This is excellent news for anyone who wants to keep a fully functional earlier version of Windows like Vista or 7 handy. It seems that this news piece flew under the radar with all the hubbub of Computex, apparently this change happened a couple of weeks ago, and I only came to learn of this today chatting on Discord with someone, TPU didn't have a news article/press release about it.


Direct download link if you don't want to deal with Broadcom's messy website: https://softwareupdate.vmware.com/cds/vmw-desktop/ws/17.5.2/23775571/
 
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Wow, as a paying user under vmware I really didn't expect Broadcom to be that uh... generous?

Don't mind though. No more renewals.
 

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Cool, easier to manage snapshots of VM state now
 
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Wow, as a paying user under vmware I really didn't expect Broadcom to be that uh... generous?

Don't mind though. No more renewals.

I like this new licensing model, and I think the pricing for commercial use is very sensible, $120 a year and you're also entitled to all major version upgrades without needing any extra purchase
 
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FREE ??

Nothin in life worth having is really, truly FREE, so what's the catch ?

Is this a "freemium" deal or bait-ware, or have they just made soooo much money from milkin the paid versions all these years that they now just wanna be generous for some reason ???

Sorry but I really have to question their motives here :D
 
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FREE ??

Nothin in life worth having is really, truly FREE, so what's the catch ?

Is this a "freemium" deal or bait-ware, or have they just made soooo much money from milkin the paid versions all these years that they now just wanna be generous for some reason ???

Sorry but I really have to question their motives here :D

There's no bait and it's not freemium/ad-supported.

New management, new goals I suppose. The bulk of the profits for companies like VMware are always the enterprise customers, after all, easier for them to simplify licensing by reducing the amount of SKUs and encouraging commercial subscription licensing, it's the same route Adobe took with their CS software, just more generous for home users.
 

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If you already have Windows Pro why not just use Hyper V which is a type 1 hypervisor? Are there benefits to using VMWare Workstation? VMWare claims it does a better job with GPU emulation with DirectX 11 and OpenGL.
 
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If you already have Windows Pro why not just use Hyper V which is a type 1 hypervisor? Are there benefits to using VMWare Workstation? VMWare claims it does a better job with GPU emulation with DirectX 11 and OpenGL.

It's much faster, broad operating system support (you can get anything from NT/95 to 11+ running on it), complete hardware simulation with BIOS or UEFI with virtual TPM support (up to 32 CPUs/128 GB RAM per VM), USB 3.1 and full GPU support (on Vista+ it actually supports DX11-level graphics), you can even pass the OS through to/from a real hard drive. IIRC Hyper-V is still based on the Microsoft Virtual PC platform. Think like VirtualBox, but much more powerful and versatile.

Workstation used to be quite expensive (tune of $200 iirc), so it's a great time to try it out if you never used it before. Unofficially, VMware can also run Mac OS.
 

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IIRC Hyper-V is still based on the Microsoft Virtual PC platform. Think like VirtualBox, but much more powerful and versatile.

I think that is where my confusion comes in. Microsoft claims Hyper-V is a type 1 hypervisor but then I read on and it sounds more like there is another layer in between it and the bare metal. Typical microsoft...
 
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I think that is where my confusion comes in. Microsoft claims Hyper-V is a type 1 hypervisor but then I read on and it sounds more like there is another layer in between it and the bare metal. Typical microsoft...

The difference between type 1 and type 2 hypervisors are that type 1s run on bare metal and type 2s run under an operating system, yes. Hyper-V is a type 1 hypervisor, but since it runs on the bare metal, this means that your host OS itself is being virtualized. That's one of the reasons why people turn HVCI off ;)

Bit long, but this post answers your question in better detail than I could


Basically if Windows Hypervisor is enabled, software must use its API to virtualize instead of their own hypervisor, newer versions of VMware and VirtualBox can do this, but you can't run two hypervisors at once, regardless of type or level. For VMware Workstation, it'd probably be more appropriate to call it a "VM platform" instead?
 

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It's much faster, broad operating system support (you can get anything from NT/95 to 11+ running on it), complete hardware simulation with BIOS or UEFI with virtual TPM support (up to 32 CPUs/128 GB RAM per VM), USB 3.1 and full GPU support (on Vista+ it actually supports DX11-level graphics), you can even pass the OS through to/from a real hard drive. IIRC Hyper-V is still based on the Microsoft Virtual PC platform. Think like VirtualBox, but much more powerful and versatile.

Workstation used to be quite expensive (tune of $200 iirc), so it's a great time to try it out if you never used it before. Unofficially, VMware can also run Mac OS.

No, Hyper-V is a type 1 hyper visor and other than the GPU pass through does TPM BIOS/UEFI and the early versions (Windows 7 and earlier) already support upto 64 vCPUs.

software must use its API to virtualize instead of their own hypervisor, newer versions of VMware and VirtualBox can do this, but you can't run two hypervisors at once,

This is correct. Being a Type 1 hyper visor prevents virt nesting like this on purpose. Software like vbox that are virtualization ontop of a host are inherently slower since its all software emulated calls.
 
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No, Hyper-V is a type 1 hyper visor and other than the GPU pass through does TPM BIOS/UEFI and the early versions (Windows 7 and earlier) already support upto 64 vCPUs.

I've been reading on how it works, my knowledge on this was quite a bit out of date. Seems that the new rules changed quite a bit how the virtualization itself is being done.
 

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I've been reading on how it works, my knowledge on this was quite a bit out of date. Seems that the new rules changed quite a bit how the virtualization itself is being done.

It is a great topic virt has come a long way all the way around. I do wish MS would bring back GPU passthtough.

Type 2's like virtual box and vmware player, qemu etc. can do "GPU passthrough" because they are basically software, not bare metal. So they can run through the host kernel to gain feature set but otherwise just spin a process that takes GPU time while you run whatever you want to inside that process.

Unlike things like SRV-IO where dedicated slices of silicon time are given.

im off topic. good deal on the software! shame there prices are atrocious in enterprise land.
 

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Wow, as a paying user under vmware I really didn't expect Broadcom to be that uh... generous?
Absolutely, especially considering how much they fucked up the licensing for enterprises since buying VMWare

why not just use Hyper V
VMWare Workstation is MUCH better imo, it does exactly what you expect, with a simple to use interface. I use it all the time to execute stuff that I don't want to "pollute" my main system
 
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If you already have Windows Pro why not just use Hyper V which is a type 1 hypervisor? Are there benefits to using VMWare Workstation? VMWare claims it does a better job with GPU emulation with DirectX 11 and OpenGL.
A show stopper for me: I never figured out how to boot USB outside vmware and it was a VERY modern build just to get there. I'm still on 16, can't login to this new Broadcom migration and I'm okay with this. I fully expected existing management to gut the trad license model and hype Enterprise contracts since they typically only care about the biggest fish in the pond.

On the other hand I'm getting comfy with my current loadout without the virtual machines. Setting up virtual networking and the way that interacts with my workstation has never been fun. Despite all this, unless you're doing VM work on some absolutely headless Windows Server, it's best to just stick to vmware. ✔ I have one box setup for Hyper-V and it isn't really all that effective.
 
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As the title says. Broadcom has retired the basic VMware Player editions and made Workstation (or Fusion, if you're a Mac person) free for personal use.

It's the best hypervisor software around and the only one you can actually run some games on, its GPU emulation is far ahead when compared to the other hypervisors (with full DirectX 11 support). This is excellent news for anyone who wants to keep a fully functional earlier version of Windows like Vista or 7 handy. It seems that this news piece flew under the radar with all the hubbub of Computex, apparently this change happened a couple of weeks ago, and I only came to learn of this today chatting on Discord with someone, TPU didn't have a news article/press release about it.


Direct download link if you don't want to deal with Broadcom's messy website: https://softwareupdate.vmware.com/cds/vmw-desktop/ws/17.5.2/23775571/
I found this out a few weeks ago when VMWare Workstation was bugging me to update. I tried to login to the portal and discovered all my license keys were not migrated over! Gone forever! But fortunately I had them all on backup. :clap:
It's much faster, broad operating system support (you can get anything from NT/95 to 11+ running on it), complete hardware simulation with BIOS or UEFI with virtual TPM support (up to 32 CPUs/128 GB RAM per VM), USB 3.1 and full GPU support (on Vista+ it actually supports DX11-level graphics), you can even pass the OS through to/from a real hard drive. IIRC Hyper-V is still based on the Microsoft Virtual PC platform. Think like VirtualBox, but much more powerful and versatile.

Workstation used to be quite expensive (tune of $200 iirc), so it's a great time to try it out if you never used it before. Unofficially, VMware can also run Mac OS.
VMWare workstation also supports virtualization instructions so you can run docker and hyper-v in the guest VM.
I was never able to get the HDD pass-though feature to work properly though. I really would like to figure that out then I can use a USB disk as a native drive.

1718093707372.png

A show stopper for me: I never figured out how to boot USB outside vmware and it was a VERY modern build just to get there. I'm still on 16, can't login to this new Broadcom migration and I'm okay with this. I fully expected existing management to gut the trad license model and hype Enterprise contracts since they typically only care about the biggest fish in the pond.

On the other hand I'm getting comfy with my current loadout without the virtual machines. Setting up virtual networking and the way that interacts with my workstation has never been fun. Despite all this, unless you're doing VM work on some absolutely headless Windows Server, it's best to just stick to vmware. ✔ I have one box setup for Hyper-V and it isn't really all that effective.
Do you mean like using a virtual USB stick like you can do a virtual floppy? I have USB stick images and would like to know how to do this too if possible.

If you already have Windows Pro why not just use Hyper V which is a type 1 hypervisor? Are there benefits to using VMWare Workstation? VMWare claims it does a better job with GPU emulation with DirectX 11 and OpenGL.
I like the snapshot feature in case something happens I can rollback changes instantly to the last snapshot. I simply do daily snapshots so worst case I might lose one days work if something goes wonky and I have to revert to the prior day. Also snapshots are good to test out changes and how they will effect your system and allow you to rollback if needed or even spawn multiple branches to test different scenarios using the same base image.

Other good things if you were forced to work remotely as I was after the global *cough* VMWare Workstation with Windows 10 Guest on Windows 10 Host works flawlessly with Microsoft Teams also if you then need to access corporate networks via VMWare VDI platform using Horizon Client inside the guest that works too included the pass though for your headset if you need to run Teams or other meeting software though that added layer of remote virtualization.

Another big plus is multi-monitor support.
 
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