April 19, 2001

Wasabi Systems ports VMware to NetBSD

Author: JT Smith

Rick Smotkin tells us: Wasabi Systems, Inc., a company founded by key members of the NetBSD project, today announced they have enabled VMware to run under NetBSD. Anyone with a valid license for the Linux version of VMware can now directly run it on NetBSD/i386, using the improved emulation. This means that NetBSD users can now run other operating systems on their NetBSD PC desktop at near-full speed.
Wasabi Systems developed a set of kernel modules and scripts that will allow owners of the Linux version of VMware to run their binaries under NetBSD. To use this software, a user will need to buy a copy of VMware for Linux and download and install the Wasabi VMware compatibility package. This can be downloaded at http://www.wasabisystems.com/vmware-survey.html.

"Wasabi Systems created the VMware compatibility package because we feel VMware is a valuable tool for the NetBSD community. Unfortunately, we were forced to do it without assistance from VMware, Inc., so we can't offer a natively compiled, packaged and supported version," said Perry Metzger, CEO of Wasabi Systems. "Luckily, NetBSD has the ability to run Linux binaries, and so by porting the Linux kernel modules supplied by VMware it was possible to make VMware run under NetBSD. We hope that someday VMware, Inc. will recognize the size of the BSD marketplace and choose to cooperate on making a native, supported version of the software available."

VMware is a proprietary software package for the i386 platform that allows users to run "guest" operating system such as Windows inside a "virtual machine" run by another operating system such as Linux.

"Having the option to run a different operating system on NetBSD without having to restart the one that you are currently using is a powerful feature. For example, it makes running Windows applications easy; you just start up a complete Windows session using VMware," stated Frank van der Linden, a senior developer at Wasabi Systems. "I have put this feature to good use myself already on a regular basis, and am happy to provide it to the NetBSD community."

About Wasabi Systems
Wasabi Systems, Inc. (www.wasabisystems.com), is the premier source for commercial NetBSD development, support and customization, and offers a range of integrated NetBSD system solutions, including support contracts, focusing on the server appliance and embedded systems markets. Wasabi's team includes the world's foremost NetBSD developers, including several members of NetBSD Core and release engineers for the NetBSD project.

About NetBSD
The NetBSD Operating System is a fully functional Open Source Unix-like operating system descended from the Berkeley Networking Release 2 (Net/2), 4.4BSD-Lite, and 4.4BSD-Lite2 sources. NetBSD runs on 35 different system architectures featuring twelve distinct families of CPUs, and is being ported to more.

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