I've been using VMware Server to run some development virtual machines on my PC for the past year or so. The idea was that I get tired of having to reinstall all my development tools and other software every time my motherboard dies or I need to upgrade my hardware, so I decided to do a minimal install on my host OS, with all of my software installed in virtual machines. So far this system has worked pretty well, but there are a few minor annoyances, such as the following:
- VMware Console is a little slow, so I use Remote Desktop to connect to the VMs instead.
- Occasionally the sound card gets "disconnected" from the VM, and I have to open the VM configuration and reconnect it in order for sound to work.
- Multi-monitor support isn't very good. There is no obvious option to enable dual screens for VMware Console, and using Remote Desktop with the -span option is annoying because the 2 screens are treated like a single extra-wide screen (e.g., the taskbar spans across both screens, and windows open half on one screen, half on the other). My workaround is to use WinSplit Revolution, but even that can be annoying.
- Switching between multiple VMware Console windows is extremely annoying. When you click the previous/next buttons in the console window bar, those buttons are repositioned based on the length of the virtual machine's name. Also, all the VMware Console windows seem to minimize and maximize at the same time, rather than just the one that I tried to minimize/maximize.
There are probably a few other annoyances, but these are the big ones. I've looked over the product page for VMware Workstation, but I have a few questions for someone who has actually used it:
- Does VMware Workstation have the same problems I've listed above?
- Is VMware Workstation worth the extra $150?
- How well does the Eclipse integration in VMware Workstation work (rewinding/replaying test sessions for debugging)?
- Are there any other products I should be looking into besides VMware Workstation? (I'm strictly asking about products that can match VMware Workstation 7 feature-for-feature. At a glance, it looked like VirtualPC and VirtualBox were lacking several of VMware Workstation's more advanced features, although VirtualBox does look like a better fit than VMware server for what I'm currently doing.)