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VMware Open Sources the View Client

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VMware has open sourced its View Client software which enables connections from Linux clients to remote Windows desktops managed by VMware View. VMware would like to see their partners developing the client for non-x86 devices using operating systems other than Windows XP or Linux.

VMware View, formerly known as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), allows companies to host Windows virtual desktops controlled by View Manager inside data centers making them available to thin clients running on a large variety of devices from any location. By open sourcing the client, VMware allows partner companies to speed up the process of adjusting the client for their particular device.

VMware considers that the virtual desktop market is poised to increase citing a Gartner report:

  • Gartner projects that approximately 50 million user licenses for hosted virtual desktops will be purchased by 2013.
  • The thin-client terminal will account for about 40% of user devices for hosted virtual desktop deployment.

The View Open Client has been released on Google Code under the GNU Lesser General Public License version 2.1 (LGPL v 2.1), adding that "support for the VMware View Open Client is provided only by this [Google Code] community. No commercial support from VMware, Inc. shall be provided”.

The View Open Client has been optimized for thin client devices and VMware encourages their partners to “develop clients for non-x86 platforms, or operating systems other than Windows XP/e or Linux" while those interested in using the client for Win XP or Linux are advised to use the commercial View Client.

As technical details, the View Open Client runs on a i586 processor with 128MB of RAM. It has been fully tested on SUSE Linux Enterprise Thin Client (SLETC) and Debian 4.0, but should work on any Linux.

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