A Week With VMware Fusion for Mac
I have spent the past week or so using VMware Fusion on the Mac. The folks at VMware list their 10 things you can do with the product, though I already know what it can do. Or can’t, compared to Parallels.
The main reason I’ve been having to run virtualization is that my work laptop has been being repaired for the past few weeks. It finally arrived this past Friday afternoon after having been gone for over 3 weeks. Meanwhile, I still have Windows work to do.
The main thing I noticed between VMware and Parallels is that VMware was plain faster. I didn’t really notice any lagginess when using my applications in VMware. They just ran full speed.
But the integration into the Mac was not as great as expected. Sure, when running in Unity mode, the apps appear “Mac-like” and integrate with Expose. However, Unity doesn’t deal with a multi-monitor setup like I have. I ended up running Windows on the internal MacBook screen and Mac OS X on the big external screen, just like I do with Parallels. Parallels doesn’t deal with this either.
One thing Parallels does do that VMware does not is allow a Windows VM to launch Mac applications to read files. For instance, when I download a PDF from within Windows, I can use Preview.app to read the PDF. Irritating since I have no desire to load the crapware called Adobe Reader.
The other thing that VMware doesn’t do is allow me to map the LPT port to the Mac’s printer definition. This is a perfect way to get around the fact that my VM connects to the office VPN and rewrites the routing table so that local traffic goes through the VPN also. Makes printing over IP difficult. Mapping the Mac’s printer definition to the LPT port in the VM takes IP out of the equation.
You can see a YouTube video of the new “features” in VMware.
Personally, I’m still torn. Do I trade performance for functionality? I don’t know. maybe you have a thought on this whole thing. Feel free to leave it in the comments.