Dances With VMware

I finally had some time to play around with VMware Player on my home Fedora box, and besides the usual kernel module hassles (trivial, but annoying), I've done a little variation on Joel's notes and migrated a couple of my QEMU images across (including the Windows one I was using in my office desktop some time ago).

All I had to do was convert the QEMU disk image with:

$ qemu-img convert xp.qcow -O vmdk xp.vmdk

And then work off the Browser Appliance .vmx file and edit it to enable ide0 (QEMU uses IDE geometries) and set the OS type:

ide0:0.present = "TRUE"
ide0:0.fileName = "xp.vmdk"
guestOS = "winxppro"

Finding itself faced with entirely different virtual hardware, Windows crashed immediately upon boot. I just dropped in the installation CD and initiated the usual recovery steps, and am now installing the VMware utilities inside it (to get those, just get the ISO file from your current Workstation install - or register for an Workstation evaluation, they are likely to have been updated).

A couple of old VMware images as well as an old Ubuntu QEMU image all ran without problems.

But the best news (and my main reason for doing this) is that I can now run Google Earth a bit faster - I was using QEMU via Remote Desktop, and VMware is noticeably snappier, even using the OpenGL software renderer and RDP.

Direct X11 to my Mac doesn't work off the bat, but since I can run the Player inside a VNC session, this may be just a matter of tweaking... And until a native Mac version of Earth comes out, it's the best game in town.

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