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Monthly Archives: July 2020

Workstation Tech Preview: New Container CLI

Today we’ve released a new Tech Preview with a first look at a big new feature: Containers.

vctl container CLI with Workstation Tech Preview

A reminder that this is pre-release software and should be used for testing purposes only.

Containers are shipping…

Building and running containers has become a mainstay in modern cloud-based application development, but today if users want to build an app with containers and test it with different clients, you’d need multiple tools.

Recently, VMware Fusion introduced ‘vctl’, the command-line interface to our container platform. vctl gives users the control to Build, Run, Pull and Push OCI container images without needing another container runtime installed, while continuing to build and run virtual machines.

With the release of today’s Workstation 20H2 July Tech Preview, we’re beginning to bring the same container workflow of  ‘vctl’ to Workstation for Windows.

[Link to the Tech Preview Getting Started Guide]

vctl allows users to Build, Run, Pull and Push OCI container images using Workstation. By default vctl supports pulling directly from docker hub, but can be configured to pull images from any compatible registry such as Harbor.

vctl default output

This being our first release of this technology on Windows, we’re eager to hear feedback from the community about your experience. We’re working to deliver a container runtime that leverages the benefits of the VMware Workstation hypervisor stack, optimized for containers, to deliver an experience that supports the workflows of today in a familiar and friendly way.

We encourage users to test their container apps by doing a ‘vctl pull’ from docker hub or ‘vctl build’ in a directly with a standard Dockerfile, and fire it up with ‘vctl run’. Let us know how it goes and where we can improve!

[Link to the Tech Preview Getting Started Guide]

Port Forwarding is not required: Each container has its own lightweight vm appliance host based on Photon OS

What else is new?

In addition to support for containers with vctl, we’re also looking for feedback in the following areas:

Vulkan renderer support for Linux Workstation.

Vulkan is seen as the successor to OpenGL and Workstation for Linux is testing a new Vulkan-based rendering engine.

This feature enables Linux hosts with Intel GPUs to provide 3D support with DX10.1 and OpenGL 3.3 to VMs, which was previously not possible without discrete GPUs from AMD or Nvidia.

    • If Workstation detects an Intel GPU is present and in use by X, it will default to the Vulkan renderer. No additional configuration necessary.
    • If AMD or Nvidia GPUs are in use by X it will default to the OpenGL renderer with DX11 and OpenGL 4.1 (currently in testing)

USB 3.1 controller support

USB 3.1 devices are now able to connect to virtual machines

Increased VM Maximums

VM Maximums have been increased to 32 vCPUs, 128 GB virtual memory, 8GB vRAM per virtual machine

    • On systems that support these configurations, virtual machines can now run with up to 32 virtual CPUs and 128GB of virtual memory. (i.e. 16 or more CPU cores and >128GB of RAM)
    • vGPU can be configured with 8GB of shared memory

Join us in the Tech Preview Community and share your experience!


A reminder that this is pre-release software and should be used for testing purposes only.