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In particular I would like to be able to host VMWare images. I will need to access them from windows based machines on the same LAN. I would like the ability to create new images, copy images, etc. also copy images from my work and run them from this server.

My debian server is headless and if i utilize a gui it will need to be remotely (web-based?) from a client machine.

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This seems redundant but... Have you considered VMware Workstation for Linux? – Zephyr Pellerin Sep 16 '10 at 18:51
no i haven't - just starting to explore my options. unlike VMWare server, which is a dying product according to another poster here, i believe vmware workstation is still alive? have you used it on linux? thoughts? – Tone Sep 17 '10 at 1:39
up vote 1 down vote accepted

In an other way, you could use Virtualbox, wich is a huge Hypervisor for Linux. By the way, you can also use Xen sources on you debian plateform.

Good luck and have fun!

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any idea if virtualbox will host vmware images? – Tone Sep 17 '10 at 1:37
Yes you can, Virtualbox, is able to read directly any kind of VMDK image, then just take the vmdk files from your datastore and create a new VM on VBox, then, attribute it the VMDK Hard drive and go ahead! – Dr I Sep 18 '10 at 11:49

It is somewhat difficult to install, and it is pretty much considered to be a dead product, but have you considered Vmware Server.

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why is it considered to be a dead product? Is this different from VMWare ESX server? – Tone Sep 16 '10 at 19:12
Yes, it is different then ESX server. When it was a paid product, this was like Vmware GSX. It is dead in that Vmware said they will no longer be developing new versions or fixing things on existing issues. They seem to be committed to ESXi being the new way forward. – Zoredache Sep 16 '10 at 21:39

I have converted a couple of VMWare VMDK images and run them ok under KVM/Libvirt. Need to tweak some of the driver settings before converting or you BSOD.

I would avoid VMWare Server as the performance is not so good (running 2 installs currently and have the VM's completely running from ram).

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I belive KVM/QEmu can use VMDK disk images from VMWare, but it doesn't support and of the other configuration files (I could be wrong; it might only be able to convert vmdk files).

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