Dear VMware: Recent OS Support

Dear VMware,

I’ve noticed that your flagship product, ESX Server, doesn’t support Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, Fedora, Solaris x86, or FreeBSD 5.x. RHEL 4 was released on February 14th, 2005. FreeBSD 5.0 was released in January 2003, with releases of 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, and 6.0 spread evenly until today. Fedora has been out forever, it seems. Solaris x86 10 is pretty recent, but with all of the talk last summer of Sun and VMware teaming up I was expecting something to happen.

I am mostly concerned with support for Red Hat’s products. Back in the summer of 2005 you told me that support for RHEL 4 would come in ESX Server 3.0, which, at the time, was estimated to be done in time for VMworld. This fall you told me that ESX Server 3.0 would be out in Q1 of 2006. Now you’ve sent me email saying that ESX Server 3.0 will be out in July 2006 (yeah, first half, I know how that works).

Seventeen months is a long time to wait for support for a commercial OS. Three years is a little long to wait for any OS, even if it is open source. You don’t support Linux distributions like Fedora or Gentoo Linux at all, and you don’t support Solaris x86 on ESX Server.

I’ve been really happy with ESX Server, VMotion, and VirtualCenter, but I cannot wait until you get around to supporting the OSes I’d like to consolidate. I have customers and I have things to consolidate, and Xen is looking pretty sexy. Please make support for some of this available in an interim release.

Thank you.