VMware Workstation Pro less of a hassle than VirtualBox?

yoba222yoba222 Posts: 926Member ■■■■■□□□□□
Not a virtualization cert question but a question regarding my personal home virtual lab used to obtain other kinds of certs.

VirtualBox is fantastic for me when it's up to date and configured correctly. My use case is running 2-10 simultaneous virtual sandboxes that I use for labbing.

The problem is whenever VirtualBox puts out an update I have to deal with re-installing guest additions, which occasionally break the guest OS installation in some way. Guest additions are a big deal to me as they usually correct screen resolution scaling issues and allow sharing of the clipboard between the host OS and the guests. The VMware equivalent to Guest Additions is VMware Tools.

2017 is not yet complete and this year alone there have been 9 VirtualBox updates. So about once a month I cross my fingers in applying a patch that I hopefully did not just bork my guest OSes in some way. The vast majority of the time things are fine, but not always.

Can't argue with its price: VirtualBox is free. VMware Workstation Player is free too, but what an utterly useless product: only one guest OS can be run at a time. VMware Workstation Pro is far from free at $250 for a license.

So does VMware Workstation Pro also have the same hassle of near-monthly updates and having to constantly update VMware Tools on the guest OS? I'd seriously consider paying $250 for a license if I had peace of mind without having the hassle of constant updates that may ruin the extended functionalities.
Obtained: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | CySA+ | PenTest+ | CAPM | eJPT | CCNA R&S | CCNA CyberOps | GCIH | LFCS
2018: Virtual Hacking Labs
2019: eCPPT &/or OSCP | CISSP

Comments

  • DigitalZeroOneDigitalZeroOne Posts: 234Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have not used virtualbox in years, so I realize that my opinion may be biased. I have been using VMware Workstation (now Pro) for many years, I received the first copy free with my VCP. I use it, and only it. I did try client Hyper-V, and years ago I used virtual box. Workstation only requires an update to tools on guest OSes when there is an update, as in a new version of Workstation, so if it goes to 12.5.1 from 12.5, you may have an update to tools, but it's not required.

    I have not had any issues with workstation, and I now pay for the new release every other year, or if a big enough change is made within a year. I have not had any issues with it, I run multiple VMs, and I'll probably be a life long user, but I would at least try something else if it's compelling enough.

    Just try the free trial, spin up a few VMs and see if it fits your needs.
  • Mike7Mike7 Posts: 1,061Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    yoba222 wrote: »

    VMware Workstation Player is free too, but what an utterly useless product: only one guest OS can be run at a time.

    I am able to launch a few instances of Player and run a VM in each instance.
  • Mike7Mike7 Posts: 1,061Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    yoba222 wrote: »
    So does VMware Workstation Pro also have the same hassle of near-monthly updates and having to constantly update VMware Tools on the guest OS? I'd seriously consider paying $250 for a license if I had peace of mind without having the hassle of constant updates that may ruin the extended functionalities.

    Updating VMware tools is a lot easier with Workstation Pro.

    For Windows guest OS, you can configure VMware Workstation to auto update to latest VMware Tools version on Windows guest startup. For Linux OS, use open-vm-tools package that comes with your distro.

    If you intend to get Workstation Pro, wait for Black Friday. They had Pro at 40% off last year
  • yoba222yoba222 Posts: 926Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Thanks for the VMWare feedback. Interesting about multiple instances of Player. That Black Friday tip definitely sweetens the prospect.

    I am a bit concerned about the product stagnating considering that VMware fired all their devs 2 years ago:
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/01/27/vmware_fusion_and_workstation_development_team_fired/
    Yet patches still keep rolling out from somewhere--the latest just 2-3 weeks ago.

    I've been leaning towards living with VirtualBox and then seriously exploring Linux KVM, but a 40% off sale, well shoots I don't know now.
    Obtained: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | CySA+ | PenTest+ | CAPM | eJPT | CCNA R&S | CCNA CyberOps | GCIH | LFCS
    2018: Virtual Hacking Labs
    2019: eCPPT &/or OSCP | CISSP
  • Mike7Mike7 Posts: 1,061Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you are running Windows 10 pro, Microsoft HyperV is available and is suitable especially when your guest OS are primarily Windows. Hyper-V is a hypervisor though, so VirtualBox and VMware will not work with it enabled. You can boot up with Hypervisor disabled. Perhaps that will satisfy your requirements.
  • Mike7Mike7 Posts: 1,061Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    yoba222 wrote: »
    Thanks for the VMWare feedback. Interesting about multiple instances of Player. That Black Friday tip definitely sweetens the prospect.

    40% off at VMware Online Store
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