Posted by: Rick Vanover
It goes without saying that working with a beta incurs a small amount of risk. With VMware Server 2.0 beta 2, I came across a particular situation that caused an issue with a virtual machine (VM). My CentOS Linux system had been running VMware Server 2.0 beta 1 since its initial release. On a separate Windows system, I had been running VMware Server 2.0 beta 2. To archive the VM, I had copied it from the beta 2 system to the beta 1 system. After the VM was copied over, I could add it to the virtual machine inventory, modify the hardware inventory to get the processor and RAM configuration correct for the destination system, however I could not power it on.
I had seemingly forgotten that the Linux system was at the beta 1 release. After downloading beta 2, a quick run of the vmware-install.pl file uninstalled beta 1 and then installed beta 2. The virtual machine, however, was still unusable due to the backward version modifications. A quick scan of the release notes for beta 2 did not make specific mention of this situation, however it makes sense that the older build (# 63231) would not be able to power on and use the newer build (#84186). Once the Cent OS Linux system was upgraded to beta 2 and had the VM copied back over, it was able to power up without modification.
The gotcha: if I would have performed an initial move of the VM instead of a copy, it would have been destroyed!
VMware products generally perform well in the category of moving VMs between versions that are on different host operating systems, as well as importing VMs to newer products. But, exercise a little bit of caution in the beta use of VMware Server 2.