VMworld 2007 was the place where VMware, Inc. announced their release of a majority of VMware Tools as open source software, all making part of the Open VIrtual Machine Tools project. VMware Tools comprises a number of guest operation system virtualization components that enhance performance and can improve the management of VMware virtual
Open Virtual Machine Tools enables VMware, by integrating Linux distribution partners to streamline the delivery, maintenance and support of these guest OS components, to better support their customers. The areas where collaboration with the community is expected include porting to new operating systems, creating new technologies and increasing the involvement in the creation and testing process.
Paul Poppleton, senior staff IT engineer at Qualcomm, considers Open Virtual Machine Tools the best solution for reducing costs and better support Qualcomm’s virtualized Linux deployment, and he thinks that VMware has created a clear path for Linux distributors to integrate VMware Tools within the operating system.
VMware is also working with Ubuntu, Novell, Red Hat and others to integrate open-sourced VMware Tools in the system’s setup process. The founder of the Ubuntu project, Mark Shuttleworth said: “We are very pleased with VMware’s demonstrated ability to work with the open source community. Open Virtual Machine Tools streamlines the process of providing ISVs with an edition of Ubuntu optimized for virtual appliances that follows the JeOS concept of ‘Just Enough Operating System’ and allows us to provide end users of the Ubuntu operating system with a compelling out-of-the-box experience. We look forward to the debut of Open Virtual Machine Tools within a future release of Ubuntu.”
Open Virtual Machine Tools will be released under GPLv2 and GPLv2-compatible licenses, and a commercial version will be available too. The decision to release the product under the afore-mentioned licenses was taken because the VMware wanted their software to be consistent with the Linux kernel’s license.