Mac Virtualization News

by Todd Ogasawara

Here are two Mac virtualization announcements that might interest those of you who need/want to run Linux, Windows, or some other OS in addition to Mac OS X on your Mac.

The Parallels blog reports that its Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac Feature Update Beta is available. This beta adds (or returns) Coherence working with Expose (nice), the return of the Image Tool features, virtual hard drive Explorer that works when the virtual machine is off, and iPhone support with Windows XP and Vista (sync to Outlook).

The VMware blog notes that the 50% discount promotion for the VMware Fusion product ends on Sunday Aug. 5. It is available for $39.95 until then. I'm debating whether or not to buy Fusion just to look at it or just be content with Parallels Desktop for Mac.

2007.08.04 Update: I bit the $39.95 bullet and pre-ordered VMware Fusion. Will report back here and/or my personal blog if I note anything interesting.


2007-08-02 21:56:14
You can download VMWare Fusion for free - to test it. :) However, I am on the same boat - I want 64-bit support as well as multi-processor support of VMWare Fusion but I already have Parallels Desktop for Mac 3.0. Besides, I do not use the guestOS that much anyway.
2007-08-02 22:06:28
I am contemplating purchasing VMWare Fusion while it is on sale this weekend simply because I am really tired of how much of a dog Parallels version 3 is. Parallels can bring my 17" MacBook Pro to its knees. I can't believe how slow it can be at times.
2007-08-02 23:38:26
At this time I think that I'm going to pass on Fusion. Parallels certainly seems OK at the moment (the addition of Expose support in Coherence mode will be nice once the latest update comes out of beta status) so I'm not prepared yet to pay for Fusion unless it's a significantly better product. If it's better on a MacBook Pro then I'm interested but at the moment Parallels seems to be OK for me.
2007-08-03 05:17:50
Until someone makes a robust tool to easily convert VMs back and forth between products, I think I'll stick with VMWare Fusion because I can (finally) move the VMs on and off my mac and exchange with other platforms (easily).

From what I've seen, Parallels has a slightly more integrated experience, but for a well rounded product, you want VMWare. One of the Parallels deal breakers for me was lack of guest tools for Linux guests.

Simon Hibbs
2007-08-03 09:02:53
I agree with Terry that the features offered by VMWare are very valuable in a work environment, but I use Parallels at home and I'm very happy with it. Coherence and basic graphics accelerator support make for a nice user experence.

Linux guest tools are the one area that irritates me. If I were to switch at home, that would be the reason. I've spent a lot of time configuring an Ubuntu VM and I love using it, but the lack of integration is a continual annoyance. It's not enough to make me switch yet, but if I do that will be the reason.

2007-08-03 09:09:18
One very strong reason to get Fusion along with Parallels is Ubuntu. It takes far too many tricks to install Ubuntu under Parallels and none under Fusion. You simply stick in the disk, or install from the iso and it just works with Fusion.

I finally got Ubuntu to install under Parallels, but it took 4 attempts and tricking Parallels into thinking I was installing Solaris.

Patrick Mueller
2007-08-05 08:09:44
I too am using Fusion over Parallels, as my only virualization need is Linux, and the guest tools story is much better for Fusion.
2007-08-05 15:16:51
I tried Fusion RC1 last week and was blown away by the performance improvement over Parallels 3.0. It is like chalk and cheese even when using one core. Turning on both cores in Fusion is a revelation.
There is a VMWare technique for moving your Parallels VM to Fusion which I did over the weekend and the performance improvements remained.
Needless to say, I paid up!
2007-08-06 07:40:35
what did you do to convert your parallels over to VMware
Todd Ogasawara
2007-08-06 09:08:46
Kenny: VMware has a Windows-based tool called VMware Converter for V2V conversions. I downloaded it last night but haven't tried it or even read its instructions (what a concept, reading instructions, I know...).