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Proxmox gives VMware ESXi users a place to go after Broadcom kills free version

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Broadcom has made sweeping changes to VMware’s business since acquiring the company in November 2023, killing off the perpetually licensed versions of VMware’s software and instituting large-scale layoffs. Broadcom executives have acknowledged the “unease” that all of these changes have created among VMware’s customers and partners but so far haven’t been interested in backtracking.

Among the casualties of the acquisition is the free version of VMware’s vSphere Hypervisor, also known as ESXi. ESXi is “bare-metal hypervisor” software, meaning that it allows users to run multiple operating systems on a single piece of hardware while still allowing those operating systems direct access to disks, GPUs, and other system resources.

One alternative to ESXi for home users and small organizations is Proxmox Virtual Environment, a Debian-based Linux operating system that provides broadly similar functionality and has the benefit of still being an actively developed product. To help jilted ESXi users, the Proxmox team has just added a new “integrated import wizard” to Proxmox that supports importing of ESXi VMs, easing the pain of migrating between platforms.

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