I bet many people have run into this; You have a laptop/device with VMware WorkStation/Player. When you want to install the View Client with Offline Functionality, you get an error saying you have to uninstall WorkStation first. Both applications can’t run on the same device together out of the box.
There is a way to get both application to work on 1 device. However, and read this carefully, it is NOT supported by VMware. If you run into issues, VMware support can ask you to revert to a supported configuration first before they help you. VMware Product Management created this workaround because of the demand but purely as informative. Thanks to Product Management for letting me publish this.
The background of this all is that VMware Player (PL), View Client with Offline Functionality (VCWOF) and WorkStation (WS) share a common virtualization engine, called the VMX. You can’t install different versions of the VMX’s on 1 device. To make things easier for customers, PL gets installed with VCWOF as well with WS. This is to line up both products and their VMX. This to ensure compatibility. As long as the VMX (build/version) of all products are the same, you could theoretically run all 3 applications on 1 device. Make sure all products (in this case WS and VCWO, the PL part) have the same build/version. If they don’t have that, this co-install will fail.
Co-install View Client with Offline Functionality and VMware Player;
Let’s start with co-installing VCWOF and PL. This is easy because when you install VCWOF, PL gets installed as well. You just don’t see PL as a general purpose application.
To enable PL as a general purpose application you have to expose a EULA for you to agree to, and put a PL shortcut in a desired location;
1. Locate the EULA.rtf in %ProgramFiles%\VMware\VMware View\Client\ and copy it to %ProgramFiles%\VMware\VMware View\Client\Local Mode\
2. Create a shortcut to vmplayer.exe and place it where ever you want. vmplayer.exe can be found in the %ProgramFiles%\VMware\VMware View\Client\Local Mode\ folder.
3. Double click on the shortcut, accept the EULA and you are good to go!
Co-install View Client with Offline Functionality and VMware WorkStation;
1. First, you have to make sure the installer of VCWOF and WS have the same virtualization engine. You can check which version of WS your current VCWOF is compatible with; Install VCWOF, browse to %ProgramFiles%\VMware\VMware View\Client\Local Mode\, right click on “vmplayer.exe” and click on the details tab;
2. Install the compatible WS version and license it properly.
3. Copy the content of %ProgramFiles%\VMware\VMware Workstation\ to another place; let’s say %ProgramFiles%\VMware\VMware Workstation-Copy\
4. Uninstall WS. Go to Control Panel, Add Remove Programs. IMPORTANT; preserve the license and user preference information! This is the default setting so don’t uncheck the boxes.
5. Now WS is out of the way you can install VCWOF. Run the installer and after the installation, make sure everything works; start VCWOF, connect and check out a VM.
6. Browse to %ProgramFiles%\VMware\VMware Workstation-Copy\, copy “vmware.exe” to
%ProgramFiles%\VMware\VMware View\Client\Local Mode\. Vmware.exe is the executable for the WS GUI.
7. Create a shortcut to the “vmware.exe” you just copied to %ProgramFiles%\VMware\VMware View\Client\Local Mode\. From now you can run WS and VCWOF on 1 device. However, there are some functionalities that won’t run unless you copy more binaries to the “Local Mode” folder. To be sure, copy everything from the root of “VMware Workstation-Copy” to the “Local Mode” folder.
8. Last thing you will have to do is to register “vmdkShellExt.dll”. This utility adds the ability to directly interact with .vmdk files via Windows Explorer. This utility only works on 32-bit hosts today. To register this dll, you have to run cmd with Administrator privileges, navigate to %ProgramFiles%\VMware\VMware View\Client\Local Mode\ and execute the command “regsvr32 vmdkShellExt.dll”.