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Category Archives: developers

The best way to run Windows 8 on your Mac

Microsoft decided to piggy-back on the excitement generated by the launch of VMware Fusion 4 and VMware Workstation 8 by announcing the Windows 8 Developer Preview yesterday. Microsoft's preview has seen plenty of coverage on-line and the VMware Personal Desktop team is in Southern California to learn more about the future of Windows.

VMware Fusion 4 is a great choice if you want to try Windows 8 for yourself. Many users are running both OS X 10.7 (Lion) and the Microsoft Windows 8 Developer Preview on their Mac. By running in a virtual machine you can isolate the new code from your documents and other Windows applications. You can even use the new snapshot viewer to experiment, then roll-back to a known good state, if something goes wrong.

VMware Fusion 4 is available today, download your trial from vmware.com.

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Fusion Geek Speak: Cooking up a Poor Man’s RAID-Z with ZFS, USB Memory Sticks, Solaris, and VMware Fusion

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OK, this post may not be for the faint of heart…put on your propeller beanies, because here we go.

Jim Laurent over at Sun has a really cool post over on his blog about using a VMware Fusion hosted Solaris 10 virtual machine to play around with the open source ZFS file system and  a trio of USB sticks to make a poor-man’s Raid-Z array using USB sticks instead of actual hard drives.

So if you ever had a dream of using your Mac to make yourself a redundant array of inexpensive disks using USB sticks, but without having to deal with RAID-5′s write hole (ed note: what a great name), well, now you know what you’re doing this weekend.

You can see a more advanced version of what Jim did with his VMware Fusion Solaris VM and three USB sticks demo’d by some german colleagues of his in this video, where they use three separate USB hubs, each with four USB sticks in it, to demonstrate  the redundancy of zPools and ZFS in a RAID-Z configuration.

Are your propeller’s spinning yet?


Fusion Geek Speak: Shawn Morel Talks About Virtualization at C4 Mac Dev Conference

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Team Fusion member Shawn Morel gave a killer talk at Wolf Rentzsch’s C4 indie Mac developer conference last year.

The talk was excitingly named "Virtualization Vivisection" and gets into as much nitty gritty detail about x86 virtualization as you can probably get before you have to start paying tuition.

Some of the topics Shawn dives into (and some helpful links for you to follow as you go along with the talk)?

1. Virtualization history and basics going back to Popek and Goldberg and their seminal paper on virtualization.

2. Why the Intel architecture was such a challenge to virtualize.

3. How VMware did it back in 1998 (or, how the researchers who eventually founded VMware did it, and then how that became what VMware is today).

4. "Hijacking OS X" and other things that sound scary, but make VMware Fusion possible.

5. Intel’s VT versus good old fashioned Binary Translation (BT)

6. Virtual devices (and why USB is a tough nut to crack).

7. PowerPC virtualization (and why it’s probably not going to happen any time soon).

8. 3D Graphics in virtualization

9. Virtualized Mac OS X on Mac OS X (which is funny, because this talk was given months before the Fusion Team demo’d Mac OS X Leopard Server virtualized at Macworld)

And, of course, much, much more.  Thanks to Wolf and company for getting these talks up on Viddler:

Some other great talks at the event:

 

VMware Fusion: Cross Platform Developer’s Delight

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Sol Young has a great post on using VMware Fusion on a Mac to provide the best of all worlds for cross-platform development.

In this case, Sol’s rig consists of a MacBook Pro with XCode installed, and VMware Fusion hosting both a primary development virtual machine with Visual Studio installed, and a handful of other Windows virtual machines (XP Home, XP Pro, Vista, etc. etc,) for doing regression testing of built apps.

Sol does a great job of doing a quick intro of how VMware Fusion can be used above and beyond just letting you run Windows on a Mac, but can even help turn your Mac into a serious development platform for Windows applications. 

Sounds funny to the ear at first, but Sol, and lots of other users are doing just that, using VMware Fusion to take full advantage of their great Mac hardware, while using the power of virtualization to do things like snapshot and rollback to allow a clean base state for testing.  Not to menion: finally getting Visual Studio for Mac!

Great post Sol!