VMware Workstation 12 discards unity support for Linux

As of VMware Workstation 12.0 unity support for Linux has been removed. Whereas unity support for Windows 10 is one of the few areas where there is actually additional support for Windows 10, that same feature has been ripped out for Linux hosts and guests.

Here’s the excerpt from the release notes:

The following features have reached end of life in Workstation 12 Pro and have been removed:

  • Unity mode on Linux guest and host operating systems

  • Integrated Virtual Debugger Visual Studio

  • Connection to the VMware vCloud Air subscription service (The VMware vCloud Air OnDemand service is still fully supported)

Wow.. as just wow. That is a huge blow for Linux desktop users.

Guess it is not broken anymore in Fusion 8 / Workstation 12 / Player 12 as it simply does not exist anymore.

A VMware developer mentions at VMTN that the feature was removed because it wasn’t used much according to feedback.

Yes, we’ve dropped support for Unity for Linux guests only.  It’s sad to see the feature go, but our feedback indicates that Linux Unity was rarely used, and it was exceedingly difficult to maintain it at a level of quality our customers expect, so we took the tough decision to remove it.

I wonder where they get the feedback from? Is that the telemetry options that I disable by default? Have they contacted Linux users?

Note that the feature is removed for both Linux hosts as well as Linux guests, the VMware developer there – who clearly is not involved with the development of this feature – wasn’t aware of that at the time of his reply.

Did I use unity myself often? No, but I mostly use the command line, for desktop use I have Windows and OS X. The few times I did use it lately for Linux guests, it was not behaving well, I consider the feature broken with a recent Linux desktop and VMware Workstation 11 / Fusion 7 so yes it was unusable and hence not used.

What strikes me as odd even more is that the feature is available at the competition.

Parallels and VirtualBox support it just fine. So if you need this feature … then log a support request at VMware so that they know you depend on the feature or complain at the forums if you don’t currently have support.

Author: Wil van Antwerpen

Wil van Antwerpen is a software developer who loves to work on Open Source and dabble a bit with VMware products. He likes to help people out as that is a good way to learn more. He is the author of Vimalin Backup (https://vimalin.com) which is virtual machine backup software for VMware Fusion and VMware Workstation Pro.

3 thoughts on “VMware Workstation 12 discards unity support for Linux”

    their “version” of unity ONLY makes maximize (maximum window size but not over taskbar) of guest machine and them makes linux desktop surface transparent (in other words set the desktop of linux with the image behind linux), linux bar is still up there, and apps NOT APPEAR IN WINDOWS TASK BAR, so, if you change vbox window then byebye linux … that’s some kind of “look mom, I have the toy” but the “toy” is just a reflection)
    and afaik parallels only works on mac, so, windows and linux desktop users can’t use it

    I was using this a lot as terminal window and most of all some internet tv app

    I luuuuv vmware soooo much for this x(

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