VMware server now free

As of tomorrow, there will be a free version of VMware server available.

This is good news – VMware have a great product – and it’s particularly interesting for us at Ndiyo. We’ve been starting to plan some experiments using a single machine to serve terminals with a mix of Linux and Windows – an organisation where one user really has to stay on Windows software could then still make a switch to a predominantly Linux system. Another option is that somebody with a Windows machine might be able to run a virtual Ndiyo server, and support multiple Nivo-based users, without having to pay any more licence fees.

It’ll be interesting to see whether any of this is viable on a modestly-priced PC.


Have you had a look at Xen? With the new VT-x feature available in the latest P4 from Intel you can run an unmodified OS (Windows) as a VM with next to no slow down. Without the VT-x feature though you can still Linux and BSD as child VMs, they just need a little patching.

At the moment I’m trying to get my Via mini-itx system to boot Xen and Centos 4.2.

Hi Matthew –

Yes, Xen is another possibility, and particularly attractive because (a) it’s GPL, (b) it’s a local (Cambridge) product and (c) some of my friends are behind it. I haven’t played with it yet but I think it’s rather harder to get Windows running on it than on VMware at present, and that’s likely to be what we’d need.


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