17 August 2008

VMware Appliance Marketplace to the Rescue

Recently I blogged about trouble with shared folders and VMWare and now I've run into it again! Previously I was working with CentOS 5.1 and now I've installed a newer copy of Ubuntu on my MacBook only to discover that folder sharing would not work at all. After searching around a bit, I found some info stating that this was an issue with the commercial version of the VMWare tools and that the open source VMWare tools has fixed the issue. I'm usually not deterred by such solutions at all, but in this case, my install of Ubuntu was plain vanilla and I just need it for testing. So I decided to grab an install from the VMWare Appliance Marketplace.

So I just grabbed an image of Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop with VMware Tools preinstalled (I figured I'd forgo the misery this time). Upon registering with VMWare to download appliances, I was taken to the website of the person who is actually offering the image for download, downloaded the image via bit torrent and had the image up and running in no time.

Until recently I wasn't aware of the VMWare Appliance Marketplace. This is similar in concept to the public and freely available OS images available on Amazon EC2 (e.g., On EC2 I have successfully used the Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Base Install). Why spend the time installing and configuring Linux distributions that I'm simply using for testing? My only requirement is Java and some Java-based tools like Ant and Maven. So there's no reason for me to waste time on a custom install when I can download, run and go. So now I've used preconfigured images on both Amazon EC2 and VMWare successfully and I definitely will again. What a time saver!

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