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I'm trying to minimize the number of different product versions used on my PC's both at work and at home. So far I have a mixture of:

  • VMware Server 1.0.7
  • VMware Server 2.0.2
  • VMware Player 2.5.3
  • VMware Player 3.0.0

and I would love to upgrade each product family to the latest version.

Since Virtual Machine Mobility Guide is marked as deprecated, can anyone point me to some fresh information about virtual machine compatibility between VMware Player and VMware Server, in order to still be able to move virtual machines back and forth between the mentioned products?

Update What I'm looking for is an updated document with virtual machines hardware versions, and the VMware products that are able to use that specific hardware version, so I can know - given the products that are using a specific virtual machine - what is the maximum hardware version that I can update the virtual machine to.

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7 Answers 7

Tested so far:

VMware Server 1.0.10-203137

  • creates and runs virtual machines with:
    • virtualHW.version = "4"

VMware Server 2.0.2-203138

  • creates and runs virtual machines with:
    • virtualHW.version = "7"
    • virtualHW.version = "6"
    • virtualHW.version = "4"
  • upgrades virtual machines:
    • from virtualHW.version = "6" to virtualHW.version = "7"
    • from virtualHW.version = "4" to virtualHW.version = "7"

VMware Player 2.5.4-246459

  • runs virtual machines with:
    • virtualHW.version = "4"

VMware Player 3.1.3-324285

  • creates virtual machines with:
    • virtualHW.version = "7"
  • runs virtual machines with:
    • virtualHW.version = "7"
    • virtualHW.version = "6"
    • virtualHW.version = "4"

VMware Player 4.0.4-744019

  • creates virtual machines with:
    • virtualHW.version = "8"
  • runs virtual machines with:
    • virtualHW.version = "8"
    • ...

VMware Player 5.0.0-812388

  • creates virtual machines with:
    • virtualHW.version = "9"
  • runs virtual machines with:
    • virtualHW.version = "9"
    • virtualHW.version = "8"
    • ...
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We have been moving images between VMWare server (v 2.x) running on Centos, Player on Windows and Fusion (Mac equivalent of Workstation). It worked OK, with occasional need to manually edit VM definition file (e.g. CDROM being E: or /dev/sdb)

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well, I know this is not the exact answer you're looking for, but in my experience it works as follows: new versions can use old VM's, and the other way around it works most of the time, but not all.

Most of the time, if you want to use the VM created on the new version on the old, you only need to edit .vmx file and change the hardware level config setting. If created in the old version, it works in both - new and old, unless you do a VM hardware upgrade.

However, in one of the versions (I don't know exactly when unfortunately), the .vmdk format also changed, and those new disks you can't read on older versions. I think the best bet would be to create a simple small VM and just try it out with your versions and see how it goes.

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why not just make a copy of your images, then try the VMware converter, and if it seems to run afterwards. Be happy, if not - go search for more info on how to fix it or accept it? I would... I know this might sound as waste of time, but if it works, why look any further? You will still have your data in safe backup, so its easy to do a rollback - or?

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I don't see any reason why you can't do some virtualization on virtualization and keep your existing products.

E.g. VMware Server on top of Workstation / ESXi, etc.

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I'd suggest two different things:

(1) Update all VMs to the most current version of Player / Workstation

(2) Abstract your interface to the VMs so you only need use one server (ESXi) ?

(3) Do not go with the present version of VMware server, as it is horrible.

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(1) I would love to, but there are other users with older versions, and I wish to upgrade my Player/Server to the latest version that doesn't require an HW version unsupported by older versions. –  alexandrul Apr 14 '10 at 7:14
    
(2) It's not my decision :( (3) Thanks for the tip –  alexandrul Apr 14 '10 at 7:15

You can always use VMware vCenter Converter to update your virtual machines compatibility and use them with the newer products.

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since I can't upgrade all the product lines, how can I know that an upgrade still allows me to use the virtual machine with the previous version? –  alexandrul Dec 12 '09 at 18:37
    
Converter will do what it says on the tin - it converts from one VM hardware version (or a physical machine for that matter) to a different one, if required by the target. –  Helvick Feb 24 '10 at 21:53
    
The VMware converter also won't break or change the original VM that you were using - it simply makes a copy of it in the new format. –  Joe Heck May 12 '10 at 5:17

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