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» VIEW ALL POSTS May 16 2008   9:45AM GMT

Still no Linux VMware VI client



Posted by: Eric Siebert
Tags:
Eric Siebert
Linux and virtualization
Microsoft
VMware

As this long running thread in the VMware forums indicates, many users are frustrated with VMware’s lack of support for a Linux-based Virtual Infrastructure client to manage VI3 environments. Currently, the VI Client will run only under Windows (as it’s written in .NET), so Linux shops are forced to purchase and install Windows to run it. An alternative web interface does exist; however, it can only manage virtual machine operations and not the ESX hosts which severely limits its usefulness to VMware administrators.

While VMware has not officially announced any plans to develop cross-platform versions of the VI Client or any of its other Windows-only applications, the above-mentioned thread includes one response from a VMware employee who hints that VMware may eventually release a Linux version. A Linux version of a VI Client would be considered a welcomed addition by many VMware customers, if not as an essential feature for those that are using ESX servers in non-Windows environments.

Many customers have also been wanting a Linux version of VirtualCenter, VMware’s centralized management product for ESX,  and support for open source databases like MySQL. VirtualCenter will only install on a Windows server and its required database only supports Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle databases. You can also use SQL Express with VirtualCenter, but it is not recommended or supported for production environments. Because of this limitation, customers that wish to use VirtualCenter must also plan on the additional expense of Windows operating systems licenses for the VirtualCenter server as well as a database license if they do not already have an existing SQL/Oracle database server that they can use for the VirtualCenter database.

Unless more customers speak up and request that VMware produce cross-platform versions of their current Windows-only applications, they will probably not end up developing them. If the demand exists, there’s a better likelihood of it happening. Having Linux versions would also help VMware compete in an increasingly competitive virtualization market. If you would like to see VMware develop a Linux version of the VI Client and other applications, contact your VMware sales representatives and let them know.

7  Comments on this Post

 
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  • Eric Siebert
    I am sure there would be quite a few willing developers to re-write the app for linux only if VMware would release the code. In this day of age it's strange to see companies not opting to do so more often. In a mean time, VirtualBox looks more and more appealing.
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  • Eric Siebert
    A Linux client is a must have.
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  • Eric Siebert
    FYI -- this blog says that Steve Herrod announced the intent to develop a Linux VI3 client at VMworld this year. So that suggests it could actually happen someday... =] http://windowsitpro.com/Articles/Index.cfm?ArticleID=100325&feed=rss&subj=0
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  • Eric Siebert
    Check out Pam Derringer's story, VMware users await Windows-free VirtualCenter, VI Client. Don't hold your breath, but a cross-platform VI Client is on its way.
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  • Eric Siebert
    I can understand the unwillingness to release the code as it is part of the licensed product. But they should definitely be developing Linux (and OSX via X) Clients. That said they should also be working out a better licensing and virtual center solution that does not require SQL Server - that's a hell of a high ticket item if you just need it to get support it will run on MSDE but the trainers themselves stress that you will probably not get support for it.
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  • Isaac
    I hate .net, it's the bane of my existence. It's that one thing that makes my company have to keep a vm of winxp that the desktop users can RDP to in the event they have to do something that requires .net. (for some reason it's usually Chinese government sites and programs and anything quickbooks that love to use .net... makes me want to pull the server power plug) I can't wait to see a linux vi client!
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  • Eric Siebert
    I only found about about this a few days ago when I was planning an upgrade. It looks like I'm stuck with VMware server 1.0.8 for now. All servers I'm using, hosts and VM's, are using CentOS or Debian. My desktop is an OSX machine. Perfect combination. No Windows here.
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