VMWare rocks…

As I get around and talk to geeks I would tell them that I’ve been using Parallels so that I could run Windows on top of my Macintosh’s OSX operating system, but have had some troubles with crashing and other things. The answer back has been quite consistent: that I should use VMWare’s Fusion.

So, I finally gave in. And, damn, it is nicer and faster. You can even drag VM’s from operating system to operating system (very useful if, for instance, you’re a software developer and need to test stuff out on many different OS’s and then you want to move those OS’s around to other machines).

Highly recommended.

By the way, these things let you run OSX and Windows together. If you’re scared of moving to the Mac, this should finish that argument off.

Comments

  1. Yeah, VMWare is really remarkable. I just switched to a macbook pro and I have a copy of Adobe Master Suite for PC, I can run Photoshop and inDesign without many problems however Premiere absolutely unusable. Might be better if I had more RAM. I’ve only got 2 Gigs.

  2. Yeah, VMWare is really remarkable. I just switched to a macbook pro and I have a copy of Adobe Master Suite for PC, I can run Photoshop and inDesign without many problems however Premiere absolutely unusable. Might be better if I had more RAM. I’ve only got 2 Gigs.

  3. I use Parallels because it’s suitable for my lightweight use of Windows, and it can run Civilization IV. The developers here tell me that Fusion is what you want to use if you do any work in Windows.

  4. I use Parallels because it’s suitable for my lightweight use of Windows, and it can run Civilization IV. The developers here tell me that Fusion is what you want to use if you do any work in Windows.

  5. of course, vmware would be a damn sight better if they supported, and let people run osx on it as well, instead of bowing to apple’s nonsensical EULA.

  6. of course, vmware would be a damn sight better if they supported, and let people run osx on it as well, instead of bowing to apple’s nonsensical EULA.

  7. I own both Parallels & VMware, but right now I prefer Parallels. I don’t use Windows very heavily; I usually run Outlook, Visual Studio, and occasional MS Office apps. I find that Parallels integration is nicer and Coherence mode feels smoother than VMware.

    My main use of Windows is Visual Studio Team Server for source control (yes, we maintain our Mac source code under Windows). I have my Mac home directory mapped as a network drive in Windows, which I use to check out files. I’ve always had problems with VSTS giving an error when accessing the Mac drive. The latest version of Parallels is the first time I was able to use either Parallels or VMware without any VSTS errors.

    I’ve even removed my old Office X (which I never bothered upgrading) and I can now have office docs open automatically in Office 2004 in Parallels.

  8. I own both Parallels & VMware, but right now I prefer Parallels. I don’t use Windows very heavily; I usually run Outlook, Visual Studio, and occasional MS Office apps. I find that Parallels integration is nicer and Coherence mode feels smoother than VMware.

    My main use of Windows is Visual Studio Team Server for source control (yes, we maintain our Mac source code under Windows). I have my Mac home directory mapped as a network drive in Windows, which I use to check out files. I’ve always had problems with VSTS giving an error when accessing the Mac drive. The latest version of Parallels is the first time I was able to use either Parallels or VMware without any VSTS errors.

    I’ve even removed my old Office X (which I never bothered upgrading) and I can now have office docs open automatically in Office 2004 in Parallels.

  9. Hey Scoble!

    Glad you’re digging the software. We love it when our users are so happy, they shout it from the top of their blogs ; )

    For others who are interested, we’ve made it really easy to switch to Fusion.

    1. We are offering a $30 competitive upgrade rebate for Parallels and Virtual PC users who buy VMware Fusion (off our list price of $80): http://www.vmware.com/landing_pages/fusion_rebate.html

    2. We have a free utility called VMware Importer for importing Parallels and Virtual PC-based VMs to run on VMware Fusion: http://www.vmware.com/download/fusion/importer_tool.html

    3. And most importantly, anyone can download a 30-day free trial of VMware Fusion to see if it’s right for them: http://www.vmware.com/download/fusion/eval.html

    To everyone thinking about following Scoble’s lead: try it yourself; blog the results ; )

    -Pete Kazanjy
    VMware Fusion Product Marketing

  10. Hey Scoble!

    Glad you’re digging the software. We love it when our users are so happy, they shout it from the top of their blogs ; )

    For others who are interested, we’ve made it really easy to switch to Fusion.

    1. We are offering a $30 competitive upgrade rebate for Parallels and Virtual PC users who buy VMware Fusion (off our list price of $80): http://www.vmware.com/landing_pages/fusion_rebate.html

    2. We have a free utility called VMware Importer for importing Parallels and Virtual PC-based VMs to run on VMware Fusion: http://www.vmware.com/download/fusion/importer_tool.html

    3. And most importantly, anyone can download a 30-day free trial of VMware Fusion to see if it’s right for them: http://www.vmware.com/download/fusion/eval.html

    To everyone thinking about following Scoble’s lead: try it yourself; blog the results ; )

    -Pete Kazanjy
    VMware Fusion Product Marketing

  11. @jrb: Firstly, Apple is one of our most important partners, and it is important to work with them to make sure that everyone can have success together.

    With that said, you may recall that Apple changed its licensing 10/31/07 to allow Mac OS X Leopard Server to run in a VM.

    We subsequently demonstrated a first ever technology preview of unmodified Mac OS X Leopard Server running in a VM at Macworld in January.

    You can see the blog post announcing it here: http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2008/01/virtual-leopa-1.html

  12. @jrb: Firstly, Apple is one of our most important partners, and it is important to work with them to make sure that everyone can have success together.

    With that said, you may recall that Apple changed its licensing 10/31/07 to allow Mac OS X Leopard Server to run in a VM.

    We subsequently demonstrated a first ever technology preview of unmodified Mac OS X Leopard Server running in a VM at Macworld in January.

    You can see the blog post announcing it here: http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2008/01/virtual-leopa-1.html

  13. Wow, jumping on technology trends, 9 years later on the PC side, and under a year on the Mac. ;) Your new shiny thing, not new or shiny, but it works more than well enough. Interestingly enough, the whole Microsoft vs. VMWare wars, be some nice soap opera melodrama for you to follow. They are a Palo company, right next door to godforsaken Podtech, on PageMill, nice cafeteria too. Fusion still lacks per multi-display and OpenGL but performancewise against Parallels, it be a serious rev machine.

  14. Wow, jumping on technology trends, 9 years later on the PC side, and under a year on the Mac. ;) Your new shiny thing, not new or shiny, but it works more than well enough. Interestingly enough, the whole Microsoft vs. VMWare wars, be some nice soap opera melodrama for you to follow. They are a Palo company, right next door to godforsaken Podtech, on PageMill, nice cafeteria too. Fusion still lacks per multi-display and OpenGL but performancewise against Parallels, it be a serious rev machine.

  15. Why can’t we have something like VMWare as the OS, and then run whatever OS personality module you want for the app you want?

  16. Why can’t we have something like VMWare as the OS, and then run whatever OS personality module you want for the app you want?

  17. I’ve had a great experience (pun!) running XP on Leopard with Fusion since last March (with Fusion beta on Tiger at first). No problems. Runs great. But guess what? I found a much better way to run XP. Never crashes. Fast as hell. It’s called OS X (without XP).

    OK, I still need XP now and then but am working hard for for freedom. Tough in a corporate environment where you’re the only Mac user – but I’m a determined guy!

  18. I’ve had a great experience (pun!) running XP on Leopard with Fusion since last March (with Fusion beta on Tiger at first). No problems. Runs great. But guess what? I found a much better way to run XP. Never crashes. Fast as hell. It’s called OS X (without XP).

    OK, I still need XP now and then but am working hard for for freedom. Tough in a corporate environment where you’re the only Mac user – but I’m a determined guy!

  19. I use both Parallels and VMWare. On my MacBook Pro (1st gen, so Core Duo and not Core 2 Duo) I ran parallels 3. I cannot go more than 2 GB of RAM on that machine, and I don’t care that I cannot do more than one core (nor any 64 bit OSs, since the hardware does not support 64 bit anyway…). I really like the integration of coherence and of the file management for my portable.
    At home, on my 2008 Mac Pro, I use VMWare. I use it with Boot Camp partition (so no container portability there), I dedicate 1.5 GB of my 6 GB of RAM to it, I have a whole HD dedicated to it, and I have 2 of my 8 cores dedicated to it. It was, in my opinion the best solution for the Mac Pro – can support 64 bit OSs, 2 cores – features that Parallels does not (yet anyway) support.
    I think there is room for both out there, and I am glad they are pushing each other, and I can benefit form improvements to both.

  20. I use both Parallels and VMWare. On my MacBook Pro (1st gen, so Core Duo and not Core 2 Duo) I ran parallels 3. I cannot go more than 2 GB of RAM on that machine, and I don’t care that I cannot do more than one core (nor any 64 bit OSs, since the hardware does not support 64 bit anyway…). I really like the integration of coherence and of the file management for my portable.
    At home, on my 2008 Mac Pro, I use VMWare. I use it with Boot Camp partition (so no container portability there), I dedicate 1.5 GB of my 6 GB of RAM to it, I have a whole HD dedicated to it, and I have 2 of my 8 cores dedicated to it. It was, in my opinion the best solution for the Mac Pro – can support 64 bit OSs, 2 cores – features that Parallels does not (yet anyway) support.
    I think there is room for both out there, and I am glad they are pushing each other, and I can benefit form improvements to both.

  21. Now if I can just get the new Macbook Pro that may or may not be announced tomorrow I will be in MacOS and Windows nirvana… virtually!

  22. I just recently got a Macbook Pro when I found myself needing to replace my laptop. VMWare Fusion and the Intel chipset was what finally made it possible for me to be a Mac user. I make my living working with some tools, including a VPN client into my work network, that only exist in the Windows world, so as much as I’ve wanted to get a Mac, it wasn’t in the cards. That being said, I still have a Vista desktop and an Ubuntu desktop at home that I use all the time as well, but it’s nice to have the Mac for when I’m mobile, and still be able to access those Windows tools I need.

    In fact, next week I’m doing some training classes on CT Summation, a litigation review tool that only runs on Windows, using the MBP to do my demonstrations. Should be interesting to see what kinds of reactions I get. :)

  23. I just recently got a Macbook Pro when I found myself needing to replace my laptop. VMWare Fusion and the Intel chipset was what finally made it possible for me to be a Mac user. I make my living working with some tools, including a VPN client into my work network, that only exist in the Windows world, so as much as I’ve wanted to get a Mac, it wasn’t in the cards. That being said, I still have a Vista desktop and an Ubuntu desktop at home that I use all the time as well, but it’s nice to have the Mac for when I’m mobile, and still be able to access those Windows tools I need.

    In fact, next week I’m doing some training classes on CT Summation, a litigation review tool that only runs on Windows, using the MBP to do my demonstrations. Should be interesting to see what kinds of reactions I get. :)

  24. I have noticed massive Fusion/Vista improvements, since SP1, bit more snappy, Vista was virtualization brutalization. ;) In general, SP1 much better overall, fixed some of the weird WPA2 wireless problems, and runs tons smoother, virtual and regular.

    It doesn’t speed things up

    Yeah, I’ve noticed that too, thought it was only me. I uncheck it.

    Still I want to run OSX on my Gateway Tablets and souped up HP. Funny how, people always talk about Apple being an important partner (read suck up to), Microsoft never gets that treatment from VMWare. I just can’t imagine VMWare saying “it is important to work with them to make sure that everyone can have success together” or “respects their licensing policies” about Microsoft. So if they don’t suck up to Microsoft, why Apple? Fusion and OSX for the PC, please — no more OSx86 hacked up hassles.

    OSX on Apple hardware, nice, in terms of true virtualization, but quite missing the point in terms of the market wants. VMWare will duke it out with Redmond and send the lawsuits flying, but bows to Apple’s “nonsensical EULA”. Odd that.

  25. I have noticed massive Fusion/Vista improvements, since SP1, bit more snappy, Vista was virtualization brutalization. ;) In general, SP1 much better overall, fixed some of the weird WPA2 wireless problems, and runs tons smoother, virtual and regular.

    It doesn’t speed things up

    Yeah, I’ve noticed that too, thought it was only me. I uncheck it.

    Still I want to run OSX on my Gateway Tablets and souped up HP. Funny how, people always talk about Apple being an important partner (read suck up to), Microsoft never gets that treatment from VMWare. I just can’t imagine VMWare saying “it is important to work with them to make sure that everyone can have success together” or “respects their licensing policies” about Microsoft. So if they don’t suck up to Microsoft, why Apple? Fusion and OSX for the PC, please — no more OSx86 hacked up hassles.

    OSX on Apple hardware, nice, in terms of true virtualization, but quite missing the point in terms of the market wants. VMWare will duke it out with Redmond and send the lawsuits flying, but bows to Apple’s “nonsensical EULA”. Odd that.

  26. VMWare make excellent products; I’ve used Workstation since 2000 on the PC and moved into the server products since.

    Now I’ve started using a Mac Book Pro I was able to literally drag and drop my library of standard build Windows test/dev VMs from my USB flash drive to my Mac and fire them up and keep going – simple!

    You /can/ run Mac OS X under VMWare on a PC if you google hard enough (unofficial/illegal hack..) it works but performance could do with some improvements.

    VMWare has totally changed my workflow in the years I’ve used it in my infrastructure support/projects roles; no longer do I need to maintain rooms of spare PCs and spend hours building or (worse!) re-building test machines, debugging faulty/old spare hardware just clone, snapshot, roll back or trash.

    In the Wintel enterprise space I work in VMWare is making the underlying tin pretty irrelevant/disposable, you can buy cheaper hardware as you can acheive a good level of fault-tolerance via a “virtual grid” using ESX and start to get away from some of the religious arguments over being an HP or IBM shop because they integrate better with the chosen OS..

    The only problem is frustrating lack of clarity on support from 3rd party vendors – I’m trying to start a discussion on my blog here http://vinf.net/2008/02/21/support-for-virtualized-osapplications-an-open-debate/
    if anyone has any input

  27. VMWare make excellent products; I’ve used Workstation since 2000 on the PC and moved into the server products since.

    Now I’ve started using a Mac Book Pro I was able to literally drag and drop my library of standard build Windows test/dev VMs from my USB flash drive to my Mac and fire them up and keep going – simple!

    You /can/ run Mac OS X under VMWare on a PC if you google hard enough (unofficial/illegal hack..) it works but performance could do with some improvements.

    VMWare has totally changed my workflow in the years I’ve used it in my infrastructure support/projects roles; no longer do I need to maintain rooms of spare PCs and spend hours building or (worse!) re-building test machines, debugging faulty/old spare hardware just clone, snapshot, roll back or trash.

    In the Wintel enterprise space I work in VMWare is making the underlying tin pretty irrelevant/disposable, you can buy cheaper hardware as you can acheive a good level of fault-tolerance via a “virtual grid” using ESX and start to get away from some of the religious arguments over being an HP or IBM shop because they integrate better with the chosen OS..

    The only problem is frustrating lack of clarity on support from 3rd party vendors – I’m trying to start a discussion on my blog here http://vinf.net/2008/02/21/support-for-virtualized-osapplications-an-open-debate/
    if anyone has any input

  28. Once I get the money together, apple is the way I’m going now that the workstations are a better value and can run both operating systems. Is there a drop in performance when running windows on a mac, that’d help me figure out which version of a program to buy.

  29. Once I get the money together, apple is the way I’m going now that the workstations are a better value and can run both operating systems. Is there a drop in performance when running windows on a mac, that’d help me figure out which version of a program to buy.

  30. Mind you VMWare under Vista kills autoplay in a nasty way that doesn’t get fixed even when you uninstall; not until you tweak the registry.

    Lovely. I went back to Virtual PC.

  31. Mind you VMWare under Vista kills autoplay in a nasty way that doesn’t get fixed even when you uninstall; not until you tweak the registry.

    Lovely. I went back to Virtual PC.

  32. Anybody want to explain why I would need to run two operating systems if I – and the business world at large – am happy with XP?

    Anyone?

  33. Anybody want to explain why I would need to run two operating systems if I – and the business world at large – am happy with XP?

    Anyone?

  34. want to explain why

    You might not, but a whole market of people, who do, for whatever various reasons. Working in Final Cut, yet having Vegas 8, AP and AVID Xpress, works for me.

    Many many segments of the “business world at large” that be not happy with plain ole XP. All of Hollywood and the Film Industry, for example.

  35. want to explain why

    You might not, but a whole market of people, who do, for whatever various reasons. Working in Final Cut, yet having Vegas 8, AP and AVID Xpress, works for me.

    Many many segments of the “business world at large” that be not happy with plain ole XP. All of Hollywood and the Film Industry, for example.

  36. I have both Parallels 2.5 (!) and VMware Fusion 1.1.1, and I think that Parallels has some features making it more usable than Fusion.

    First, Parallels’ Coherence Mode excludes the Dock while VMware’s Unity does not, maximized windows or the start menu (if you have it displayed) are partially obscured by the Mac’s Dock.

    Next, I had frequent crashes with VMware, which is perhaps to FileVault being active – although VMware says in its release notes for 1.1.1 that those issues were resolved. After a crash, my VM’s settings file (.vmx) and the VM’s CMOS were corrupted, so I had to repair the settings file and BIOS settings were reverted to defaults.

    However, I followed a workaround hint from http://vmblog.com/archive/2008/01/23/tip-vmware-fusion-conflict-with-filevault-and-workaround.aspx, and had no crashes any more then.

    When you run out of disk space while taking a snapshot in VMware, your virtual disk might need repair afterwards… and VMware seems to have no GUI for this but simply says that the disk needs repair (there is a command-line repair tool, however: “/Applications/VMware Fusion.app/Contents/MacOS/diskTool” – calling it with “-x” or “-f”, it worked for me, but use it at your own risk).

    Another thing that annoys me is that VMware cannot simply “pause” a VM without saving the entire VM’s state, while Parallels distinguishes between a “pause” to temporarily halt your VM (so that it does not eat up your CPU resources) and a suspend mode to save the VM’s state so you can close the VM and later resume it.

    On the other hand, my Fusion 1.1.1 now seems to be more stable than Parallels 2.5 which sometimes caused kernel panics, probably to high wireless network traffic from within the VM.

  37. I have both Parallels 2.5 (!) and VMware Fusion 1.1.1, and I think that Parallels has some features making it more usable than Fusion.

    First, Parallels’ Coherence Mode excludes the Dock while VMware’s Unity does not, maximized windows or the start menu (if you have it displayed) are partially obscured by the Mac’s Dock.

    Next, I had frequent crashes with VMware, which is perhaps to FileVault being active – although VMware says in its release notes for 1.1.1 that those issues were resolved. After a crash, my VM’s settings file (.vmx) and the VM’s CMOS were corrupted, so I had to repair the settings file and BIOS settings were reverted to defaults.

    However, I followed a workaround hint from http://vmblog.com/archive/2008/01/23/tip-vmware-fusion-conflict-with-filevault-and-workaround.aspx, and had no crashes any more then.

    When you run out of disk space while taking a snapshot in VMware, your virtual disk might need repair afterwards… and VMware seems to have no GUI for this but simply says that the disk needs repair (there is a command-line repair tool, however: “/Applications/VMware Fusion.app/Contents/MacOS/diskTool” – calling it with “-x” or “-f”, it worked for me, but use it at your own risk).

    Another thing that annoys me is that VMware cannot simply “pause” a VM without saving the entire VM’s state, while Parallels distinguishes between a “pause” to temporarily halt your VM (so that it does not eat up your CPU resources) and a suspend mode to save the VM’s state so you can close the VM and later resume it.

    On the other hand, my Fusion 1.1.1 now seems to be more stable than Parallels 2.5 which sometimes caused kernel panics, probably to high wireless network traffic from within the VM.

  38. Scoble.. I find myself agreeing with you a lot on many different topics but i cant here. I started with fusion, switched to parallels and gave up on bootcamp months ago. I took another look at fusion yesterday and My blackberry wont even sync.. gross

  39. Scoble.. I find myself agreeing with you a lot on many different topics but i cant here. I started with fusion, switched to parallels and gave up on bootcamp months ago. I took another look at fusion yesterday and My blackberry wont even sync.. gross

  40. I own both VMWare and Parallels. Even though VMWare is faster, it has some drawbacks that leave me using Parallels instead.

    1. I use SecureCRT for Windows to access the character-based version of the back-office software my company resells. The software (SouthWare Excellence Series) uses keystrokes that VMWare doesn’t properly pass to the program, but Parallels does. (I’ll eventually get around to reporting this to VMWare to see if they can resolve it.)

    2. Parallels allows me to double-click a file in Finder and open it in a Windows program. This is important because a lot of my clients send me MS Office files, and it just saves time to be able to default to opening in Office XP.

    3. In Parallels, if I have a Windows program open, I can drag a file from the finder into the programs application window, and Parallels will translate the UNC path and open the file from the “network”. This also works in a file open dialog on Windows; just drag the file from Finder to the file open dialog, and it translates the path. The same action causes VMWare to copy the file to the Windows VM before opening it – so I’m not actually editing the original, but a copy of it.

    Perhaps VMWare has improved some of these issues with its latest update; I just haven’t had time to test.

  41. I own both VMWare and Parallels. Even though VMWare is faster, it has some drawbacks that leave me using Parallels instead.

    1. I use SecureCRT for Windows to access the character-based version of the back-office software my company resells. The software (SouthWare Excellence Series) uses keystrokes that VMWare doesn’t properly pass to the program, but Parallels does. (I’ll eventually get around to reporting this to VMWare to see if they can resolve it.)

    2. Parallels allows me to double-click a file in Finder and open it in a Windows program. This is important because a lot of my clients send me MS Office files, and it just saves time to be able to default to opening in Office XP.

    3. In Parallels, if I have a Windows program open, I can drag a file from the finder into the programs application window, and Parallels will translate the UNC path and open the file from the “network”. This also works in a file open dialog on Windows; just drag the file from Finder to the file open dialog, and it translates the path. The same action causes VMWare to copy the file to the Windows VM before opening it – so I’m not actually editing the original, but a copy of it.

    Perhaps VMWare has improved some of these issues with its latest update; I just haven’t had time to test.