Saturday, May 5, 2007

VMWare 6 rocks

So I've been using Virtual PC 2007 since it was released but was always frustrated with its inferior Linux support.  I don't really understand why Microsoft drags their feet on this.  With more and more devs moving to vm only development, it's getting easier and easier to change your host platform and still development for Windows.  I'm sure Microsoft would much rather you run Windows as your host platform and run Linux in a vm when you need.   I've tried VMWare Server but since I run Vista x64 as my host, that's more pain than I really like.

Enter VMWare 6.  Sure it installs and runs on Vista x64 like a champ and performance seems great but what really blew me away was the multi-monitor support.  I've been using twin 19" monitors for nearly 2 years now and I simply can't imagine life without them.  Folks I kid you not.  It was easier to get Ubuntu running on two monitors using VMWare 6 than it was running on my actual hardware.  I installed Feisty Fawn and then followed that up by installing the VMWare tools  (which installed without a hitch).  At the final stage of the VMWare tools install, it asks me what resolution I want to use.  I gave it a reasonable response, finished with VMWare tools, and then logged off so I could restart X.  Bam, the screen jumped to some huge resolution.  Something like 3000x2000.  I hit the maximize button on the VMWare screen and the Ubuntu desktop neatly filled both my monitors.  No editing of any x config files.  No Windows desktop elements visible.  No Windows taskbar.  Nothing.  Sweetness.

Multi-monitor support is not supported in Windows Server 2003 but XP works like a champ.  VMWare 6 puts me a little bit closer to vm only development.

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