I am constantly amazed at the number of guest operating systems that is supported on VMware products like VMware vSphere our Enterprise Hypervisor, vCloud Air our public cloud offering which runs on vSphere and our desktop products such as VMware Fusion and Workstation. If we just look at vSphere alone, it currently "lists" 101 supported guest operating systems! (full list below) However, this is actually a tiny subset of what is actually supported on vSphere as new guest OSes are constantly being added to the support matrix. This also does not include any pre-released operating systems like the recent Apple OS X Yosemite (10.10) Tech Preview. Heck, you can even run Windows 3.11 if you really want to as shown by my fellow VMware colleague Chris Colotti.

To get the complete list of currently supported operating systems for vSphere or any other VMware products, you will want to check the VMware HCL for Guest Operating Systems. Running a filter on latest ESXi 5.5 Update 2 release for all Guest OSes, we can see that the total number of supported Guest OSes is astounding 231! I know this number is even greater as we probably can not capture every single x86 Guest OS that exists out there today which can run on VMware.

Getting back to the topic of this post, I know Microsoft has recently released a new Tech Preview of their upcoming Windows platform dubbed Windows 10 (not a typo, they decided to skip Windows 9) and I know some of you may be interested in trying out their latest release. What better way than to run it on VMware? I know there was a blog or two about running Windows 10 on vSphere, however there was some incorrect information about not being able to install VMware Tools or getting the optimized VMXNET3 driver working. I decided to run all three flavors (Windows 10 Desktop, Server and Hyper-V) on the latest vSphere 5.5 release (should work on previous releases of 5.5) and will share the Virtual Machine configuration.

Note: You can also run Windows 10 Tech Preview on both VMware Fusion and Workstation, take a look at this article for more details. These are great options in addition to vSphere and vCloud Air.

Windows 10 Desktop:

  • GuestOS: Windows 8 64-bit
  • Virtual HW: vHW10
  • Network Driver: VMXNET3
  • Storage Controller: LSI Logic SAS

windows10-desktop

Windows 10 Server:

  • GuestOS: Windows 2012 64-bit
  • Virtual HW: vHW10
  • Network Driver: VMXNET3
  • Storage Controller: LSI Logic SAS

windows10-server

Windows 10 Hyper-v:

  • GuestOS: Windows 2012 64-bit
  • Virtual HW: vHW10
  • Network Driver: VMXNET3
  • Storage Controller: LSI Logic SAS
  • CPU Advanced Setting: Enable VHV
  • VM Advanced Setting: hypervisor.cpuid.v0

For more details about running Hyper-V and the last two advanced settings, please take a look at this article on running other Hypervisors.

windows10-hyper-v
If you look closely at this last screenshot, you will see that I am not only running Windows 10 Hyper-V within a VM on ESXi, but I am also running a Nested Windows 10 VM within this Hyper-V VM! How cool is that!? Not sure there are good use cases for this, but if you wanted to, you could! In my opinion (although I may be bias because I work for VMware, but results speak for itself), VMware truly provides the best platform to the widest variety of x86 guest operating systems that exists.

Here are the guest operating systems that are currently "listed" in vSphere today that can be selected:

Apple Mac OS X 10.5 (32-bit)
Apple Mac OS X 10.5 (64-bit)
Apple Mac OS X 10.6 (32-bit)
Apple Mac OS X 10.6 (64-bit)
Apple Mac OS X 10.7 (32-bit)
Apple Mac OS X 10.7 (64-bit)
Apple Mac OS X 10.8 (64-bit)
Apple Mac OS X 10.9 (64-bit)
Asianux 3 (32-bit)
Asianux 3 (64-bit)
Asianux 4 (32-bit)
Asianux 4 (64-bit)
CentOS 4/5/6 (32-bit)
CentOS 4/5/6/7 (64-bit)
Debian GNU/Linux 4 (32-bit)
Debian GNU/Linux 4 (64-bit)
Debian GNU/Linux 5 (32-bit)
Debian GNU/Linux 5 (64-bit)
Debian GNU/Linux 6 (32-bit)
Debian GNU/Linux 6 (64-bit)
Debian GNU/Linux 7 (32-bit)
Debian GNU/Linux 7 (64-bit)
FreeBSD (32-bit)
FreeBSD (64-bit)
IBM OS/2
Microsoft MS-DOS
Microsoft Small Business Server 2003
Microsoft Windows 2000
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
Microsoft Windows 3.1
Microsoft Windows 7 (32-bit)
Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)
Microsoft Windows 8 (32-bit)
Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit)
Microsoft Windows 95
Microsoft Windows 98
Microsoft Windows NT
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (32-bit)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (64-bit)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Datacenter (32-bit)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Datacenter (64-bit)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard (32-bit)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard (64-bit)
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Web Edition (32-bit)
Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (32-bit)
Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (64-bit)
Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 (64-bit)
Microsoft Windows Server 2012 (64-bit)
Microsoft Windows Vista (32-bit)
Microsoft Windows Vista (64-bit)
Microsoft Windows XP Professional (32-bit)
Microsoft Windows XP Professional (64-bit)
Novell NetWare 5.1
Novell NetWare 6.x
Novell Open Enterprise Server
Oracle Linux 4/5/6 (32-bit)
Oracle Linux 4/5/6/7 (64-bit)
Oracle Solaris 10 (32-bit)
Oracle Solaris 10 (64-bit)
Oracle Solaris 11 (64-bit)
Other (32-bit)
Other (64-bit)
Other 2.4.x Linux (32-bit)
Other 2.4.x Linux (64-bit)
Other 2.6.x Linux (32-bit)
Other 2.6.x Linux (64-bit)
Other 3.x Linux (32-bit)
Other 3.x Linux (64-bit)
Other Linux (32-bit)
Other Linux (64-bit)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (32-bit)
Other (32-bit)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (64-bit)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (32-bit)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (64-bit)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (32-bit)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (64-bit)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (32-bit)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (64-bit)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (32-bit)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (64-bit)
SCO OpenServer 5
SCO OpenServer 6
SCO UnixWare 7
SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 (32-bit)
SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 (64-bit)
SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 (32-bit)
SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 (64-bit)
SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 (32-bit)
SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 (64-bit)
SUSE Linux Enterprise 8/9 (32-bit)
SUSE Linux Enterprise 8/9 (64-bit)
Serenity Systems eComStation 1
Serenity Systems eComStation 2
Sun Microsystems Solaris 8
Sun Microsystems Solaris 9
Ubuntu Linux (32-bit)
Ubuntu Linux (64-bit)
VMware ESX 4.x
VMware ESXi 5.x

6 thoughts on “VMware has the best platform to run latest Windows 10 Desktop, Server & Hyper-V Tech Preview!

  1. Did you get audio to work in the Windows 10 Desktop? Also, the newest Apple OS X version I show in my ESXi 5.5 U2/ vCenter 5.5 environment is Apple Mac OS X 10.7 (64-bit). How do you get the 10.8 and 10.9 options?

    • Yes, audio was working fine. For OS X 10.8/10.9, you’ll need to upgrade your virtual hardware to version 10 and these will be options when creating your OS

      • Thanks for the info on OS X version. Yup, it was the HW version. I just re-installed Windows 10 again and verified the same settings you used. Still unable to get an audio driver installed. I am using the “Windows Technical Preview for Enterprise” ISO for the install. Not sure if that matters. Maybe you can test with that version and see if you are seeing the same thing if that’s not the version you are already using.

        Here’s a screenshot: http://i61.tinypic.com/wjicg2.jpg

          • Sorry I didn’t get a chance to respond right away. I was playing around in my Horizon View 6.01 lab today and decided to see if I could get audio to work in the Tech Preview. Doing a standard install on ESXi 5.5 U2 with latest hardware version (vmx-10) and VMware Tools installed and I had no audio still. I then installed the Horizon View Agent and the audio driver was installed and works. I’ll chalk it up to being a beta. The preview works great though under View. BTW, Installed the same way on Workstation 10 and the audio worked from the start.

  2. did you installed Windows Server 2003 (32 Bit) in VMWARE Vsphere 5.1 ? is it working fine without any slow?

Thanks for the comment!