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.

64 thoughts on “VMWare rocks…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 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?

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