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Community Manager
Community Manager

Shared VMs are back in Workstation 16.1

In case folks missed it in the release notes:

(it could have been worded better... we brought the UI back for this feature and have not removed the binaries for hostd.exe, that's the 'present form' which will remain for the rest of v16's life)

https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Workstation-Pro/16.1.0/rn/VMware-Workstation-1610-Pro-Release-Note... 

Product Support Notices

  • Deprecation of the Shared virtual machine feature
    The Shared virtual machine feature (VMware Workstation as server) is being deprecated. It will remain in its present form for the remainder of the VMware Workstation 16 product life. This feature will be not available in a future release.
- Michael Roy - Product Line Manager: Fusion & Workstation
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User Moderator
User Moderator

Thanks Mike!

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Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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Contributor
Contributor

I just downloaded the linux trial of workstation pro 16.1.0-17 and dropped on my kubuntu 20.04 test system. It come up on the 16.0 license that I briefly had on the day that I downgraded from 15.5 to 16.0 (I had to go back and downgrade my license .  Shows as a 16.1 installation.

It currently doesn't show a Manage / Shared option for the local test. I'm going to presume that I have to reboot this system to get sharing back (that will have to wait a while - there is a very long repo running).

Assuming that works, which after the wasted time with the last release reverting my windows laptop back to 15.5.x to get shared VMs back, how do I upgrade my downgraded license key from 15.5 to 16.x before I try this out on windows. 

Basically vmware appear to be useless at communicating crucial information about releases. On the 16.0 release it took me a while to burrow down to the short paragraph that said they're dropped shared VMs. On this 16.1 what they mean looks as deliberately deceitfully ambiguous as a US presidential press secretary. It certainly doesn't tell me what to expect to see after I trash a working development system downgrading to a later release.

I should really look at find time to get an alternate that doesn't waste my work time.

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User Moderator
User Moderator

Hi,

I'm not vmware, but have a look at the other post from Mikero.

https://communities.vmware.com/t5/VMware-Workstation-Pro/Shared-VM-gone-in-workstation-16/m-p/281142...

That suggests that the feature is added back for Windows hosts only.

--
Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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Contributor
Contributor

Thanks. Explains why it didn't appear after a reboot on linux. This time I'll fire up a test windows laptop when I'm next at work and test it before putting it on working hardware. As I pointed out - the level of comms incompetence is pretty awesome. That lack of detail is the kind of thing that can waste a day of my time.

Windows only I can live with. I usually run shared VMs from my windows company mandated laptop as it leaves the company code on the company hardware that has access to the vpn. I just access them using ssh, scp, nfs, samba or whatever else happens to be convenient at whatever linux desktop or laptop that I'm on.

Windows with vmware makes a pretty good portable NAS. Just RDP into it to do vmware maintenance and change passwords every 6 weeks and push code up to the server.

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User Moderator
User Moderator

Hi,

No worries, I understand both the frustration and the need for this feature.
I am glad that VMware brought back the feature for this version as it was quite unexpected to see it disappear.

For a longer term solution I have worked on an alternative solution (vimarun - to be released next week), for the moment also windows only. Not exactly the same thing, but I think it will cover the need for most users. So far the feedback I got from my beta testers was positive.
So in the case that this feature really ends up getting axed forward then at least there's an alternative solution.

--
Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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