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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Windows 7 on Mac with VMware Fusion Video Edition

FinderScreenSnapz002.movSome folks here at VMware yelled at me for placing the guided video tour of installing Windows 7 on Mac way at the end of my previous blog post on the topic.

They’re afraid that folks won’t easily find it, and that video’s an easier way to consumer that kind of information.

OK, fair criticism.  So here’s just the video from our original Windows 7 on Mac blog post (complete with HD embed!). Enjoy!


Counterstrike on the Mac with VMware Fusion

CounterStrikeSource_normal As we’ve talked about on this blog from time to time, one of the things that we really focus on here on the Fusion team is high performance 3D acceleration for virtualized apps.  VMware Fusion 2 leads the industry in support for DirectX 3D acceleration support, having shipped support for DirectX 9 Shader Model 2 back in April of 2008 with VMware Fusion 2 Beta 1.

One of our systems engineers here at VMware emailed me with this great video that his little brother threw together of Counterstrike Source running on his Mac with VMware Fusion

Essentially, he’s running CS:S in a Windows XP SP3 VM, sporting 2GB of RAM, on his 2.8ghz MacBook Pro. Not sure what GPU it has, but guessing the NVIDIA GeForce 8600.

The results?  It looks like he was getting around 30 frames per second even while running the screen capturing software.  Without the screencap software running, he was logging frame rates of 48 fps.

Pretty awesome stuff! Here’s the video in question:

And here are some other fun videos of 3D games running in VMware Fusion 2


Windows 7 on Mac with VMware Fusion: A Practical Guide


There’s been a lot of buzz flying around about Microsoft’s next big operating system, Windows 7, which just entered public beta.

As our readers know, a great way to start testing out a new operating system is in a virtual machine, where you can see how it works without having to dedicate a whole physical machine. 

Well guess what: this is certainly the case with Windows 7 and VMware Fusion, too.  So we wanted to take the time to share best practices on how to make this happen, with screenshots and video of the process to make it nice and easy for you.

Git yer free trial Windows!  Six months to see what you think of Windows on Mac!

Another cool thing about the Windows 7 Beta, is that it’s free to use for anyone.  That’s right.  Anyone can go and download the Windows 7 bits, and get a beta serial key that’s good through July 1st, 2009.

One of the costs associated with running Windows on the Mac is the cost of Windows.  And unlike VMware Fusion, which has a fully-functional 30-day trial for anyone to play with, Microsoft doesn’t typically provide trial access to operating systems in a way conducive to playing around in a VMware virtual machine—like an OS disk image, for example.

As such, a lot of Mac users who aren’t recent switchers, haven’t taken the opportunity to play around with the idea of Windows on the Mac, and as a result haven’t seen how fast, stable, and easy it can be.  Instead, you get people sitting back and saying “Windows on Mac? Ew!” because they haven’t really had the opportunity to learn any better.  They don’t know what they’re missing.  Well this is the chance to fix that.

It’s All About the Apps, Baby.

This kind of old-school thinking is a bit of a bummer, as there are tens of thousands of great Windows-only applications that Mac users can’t access without virtualized Windows apps, like Microsoft’s Photosynth on Mac, Worldwide Telescope on Mac, or Microsoft’s new Songsmith on the Mac, not to mention things like Google Chrome on Mac.  The list goes on and on, but you get the point.  It’s nice to have a balanced Dock!


Not just that, but Windows on the Mac nowadays isn’t your father’s Windows on Mac.  This isn’t Virtual PC for Mac, which emulated the Intel chip in software.  This is virtualization, with direct CPU access, and all the speed that entails.  Also, this isn’t Mac virtualization of the sort you may have seen in early 2007.  The Macs are twice as fast, and the software’s much more mature.

So, we wanted to take the opportunity to show you that Windows 7, like Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 98, and pretty much any other Intel-based OS (Linux too!) will run in a VM with VMware Fusion, and give some guidance on how to set things up for best success.

First, The Caveats

Windows 7 beta, both 32-bit and 64-bit, is not supported with VMware Fusion, but many VMware product features appear to work well today including Drag and Drop, Unity, and more.  Based on commentary in our VMware Fusion forums, the best experience with Windows 7 beta with Fusion results from the following VMware settings:

– Use the Windows Server 2008 option to create your VM
– Disable 3D Acceleration
– Disabled Shared Folders

We plan to support Windows 7 after it is released.

Next, What You Care About

Because VMware Fusion does not yet support Windows 7, there are some tweaks you’ll have to do.

First, go ahead and download the Windows 7 ISO from Microsoft’s Windows 7 Beta site and get yourself a beta product key. You can use 32-bit or 64-bit, but we’ve heard that lots of folks are getting better performance out of 64-bit, so this example will assume that.  Just download the ISO to your desktop.

Then, you’ll go to create a new virtual machine, the same as you’ve done before via “File>New”:

Picture 1

Next, we’re going to point the New Virtual Machine Assistant at the Windows 7 ISO you just downloaded.  Typically, if you just insert a Windows install disk, VMware Fusion automagically recognizes what OS is in it, but in this case, we have to point it at the ISO.

Click “Continue without disk.”

Picture 2

Then, click “Use operating system installation disk image file”:

Picture 4

Just select the ISO in the dialog that pops up:

Picture 3

Next, based on what we’ve seen in our VMware Fusion forums, you have to do
a little bit of tweaking. 

First, Windows Easy Install will parse the disk image as Windows Vista (either 32 or 64 bit, depending on which ISO you downloaded).  Go ahead and change that to Windows Server 2008 (again 32 or 64-bit, depending on which one you downloaded).  We’ve heard that it works fine defined as “Vista” too, but this appears to be the best way.

Picture 5

Next, go ahead and take that serial key that was provided to you by Microsoft, and paste it into the Windows Product Key form in Windows Easy Install.

Also, untick “Make your home folder accessible to the virtual machine", as based on reports in our VMware Fusion forums, shared folders aren’t working in Windows 7.

Picture 6


At this point, you should see your final configuration setup, with 1 GB of RAM assigned, and a virtual hard disk that will expand up to 40GB (but will start much smaller).  Click “Finish.” 

Picture 7

Once you hit “Finish,” Windows Easy Install will be off and running, installing Windows 7.  You’ll see some reboots, and VMware Tools will install automatically.

After that’s all finished, you should be able to play around with Windows 7 as you would expect, with the noted exceptions up top.  Again, this is not a supported configuration, and there will likely be bugs, as we repeat above from reports in our VMware Fusion forums.

Running Windowed - 13

And for those who like movies more, we threw together the one below to help you through the process.

Enjoy, and remember, for those of you who haven’t played around with Windows on your Mac yet because you didn’t quite see the light, this is your opportunity to join the ranks of the truly enlightened who realize that one OS per machine is so 20th century…

Download the free trial of VMware Fusion 2 or buy yourself a copy, and then get yourself the Windows 7 Beta.

Windows 7 on a Mac with VMware Fusion: Some Quick Tips

FinderScreenSnapz002.mov Lots of folks have been tweeting us at @vmwarefusion about how best to run Windows 7 on Mac in VMware Fusion

The upshot is that Windows 7 is not yet a supported guest operating system in VMware Fusion (as opposed to the more than 60 guest OSes that are supported).

However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t run at all.

Windows 7 beta, both 32-bit and 64-bit, is not supported with VMware Fusion, but many VMware product features appear to work well today including Drag and Drop, Unity, and more.  Based on commentary in our VMware Fusion forums, the best experience with Windows 7 beta with Fusion results from the following VMware settings:

– Use the Windows Server 2008 option to create your VM
– Disable 3D Acceleration (Sorry, no Aero support at this time)
– Disabled Shared Folders

We plan to support Windows 7 after it is released. 

Please share your experience in the comments below!

Running Windowed - 13

Microsoft Songsmith on the Mac with VMware Fusion

logo_songsmith OK, so this has been making the rounds a bit, by virtue of an almost sinfully terrible demo video put together to show of the software (did they make it that bad on purpose, knowing that it would make it more viral?  Hmmmm…maybe something to keep in mind for Fusion videos!).

Microsoft Research, who also brought you Microsoft Photosynth and Microsoft Worldwide Telescope, just launched Songsmith, software that will, essentially, make a song for you based on lyrics you sing to a given beat.

Like most Microsoft Research projects, it’s Windows-only, so as usual we wondered how does this perform on the Mac, with VMware Fusion?

A user named mrzarquon over at MetaFilter has already answered our question for us

In a devilish stroke of genius, he took the vocal-only track of David Lee Roth singing “Runnin’ with the Devil” and played it via Safari out the speakers of his Mac.  At the same time, he was running Songsmith on Windows on Mac via VMware Fusion.  Songsmith grabbed the audio via the onboard mic on the Mac, processed the vocal track, and then output a “Songsmithed” version of the Van Halen classic.

As he notes, he put the “happy” slider to full.  Is that the software version of “ours go to eleven”? 

You can hear what the output sounds like by bopping over to the thread, here.

And here’s the demo video that’s making everyone cringe…and then download.  Enjoy!

Ars Technica Reviews Linux GIMP on Mac using VMware Fusion

2-brushes Dave Girard (who recently reviewed VMware Fusion 2 for Ars Technica) just posted a killer review of GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) for Linux, running on his Mac with VMware Fusion 2.

We talk a lot about how VMware Fusion is great for running Windows on Mac and Windows-only applications like Google Chrome on Mac, and so on, but it’s good to remember also that VMware Fusion 2 supports more than 60 operating systems as a VM—so that means you can run your favorite Linux apps, on your Mac, without rebooting too.

In fact, with the launch of Fusion 2, you can even run those Linux apps in Unity view, so long as you’re running in Ubuntu or Red Hat.  So, if you wanted to, you could keep GIMP in your dock, and use it as your standard image editing tool, if you so desired.  Pretty cool!

Thanks for the exhaustive review, as usual, Dave.

And here’s a demo video of Unity for Linux in VMware Fusion 2:

VMware Fusion at Macworld Video Interview with TUAW

The folks over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog came by our booth at Macworld, and talked to us about 3D acceleration in virtual machines, VMware Fusion on Xserve, and more.

You can check out the post and the video here.

Pete_s VMware Dell

Join Team Fusion at our Pre-Macworld Expo User Meetup

thank-you As a big “thank you” to the Mac faithful making the trek to San Francisco for the Macworld Expo, the VMware Fusion team is hosting a user meetup at the Thirsty Bear just down the street from Moscone Center (map). 

The event starts at 5:30 and runs till 8:00 (or they kick us out!).

We’ll be supplying the appetizers, the Fusion team, the laptop and bumper stickers, and venue.  All you need to do is supply your smiling face and any of the libations you might want to partake in (we spend our budget on engineering!)

You can see more information here.

It’s been a big year for us since the last Macworld, as summed up nicely in this blog post by Pat Lee, Fusion’s former product manager, and VMware’s consumer products lead.

So come on our and celebrate with us!

And then stop by our booth on the show floor all throughout this week to learn more about Fusion, or just say hi.

Who: VMware Fusion users, fans, and friends.
What: Pre-Macworld VMware Fusion User Meetup
Where: Thirsty Bear Restaurant, 661 Howard, SF, CA (map)
When: 5:30-8:00 PM, Monday, January 5th, 2008
Why: Because you’re a friend of Fusion, and want to come hang out with the team!

As we prepare for Macworld Expo 2009, a look back at 2008…

Best of 2008

I usually leave the Team Fusion blog to the more talented writers on our team including Peter Kazanjy and Eric Tung, but I wanted to share with our readers my thoughts on 2008.

The Beginning – Macworld Expo 2008

This time last year, we were preparing to attend our second Macworld Expo. The VMware Fusion team was riding high off winning the 2007 Macworld Editor’s Choice Award right before Macworld Expo and we were excited to come to Macworld to show off VMware Fusion 1.1.

There was also a flurry of activity getting ready a surprise for Macworld, a technology preview that demonstrated installing and running Mac OS X Server in a virtual machine on Apple hardware. It was an exciting milestone to be the first virtualization company to publically demonstrate installing Mac OS X Server into a VMware virtual machine directly from Apple’s shipping Mac OS X Server installation media, but since it was a “technology preview” we couldn’t commit to when it would be released though some users were begging us to let them steal a copy of the technology preview as is from on the show floor.

Listening to Our Users and the Switch to VMware Fusion Contest

VMware Fusion continues to get amazing reviews from the press, but just important we are getting amazing user reviews on the Apple Store, Amazon.com, VersionTracker, MacUpdate and on personal blogs.  The strong support from the Mac community telling us what we were doing right and areas we could improve is something we greatly appreciate.

Great user reviews allowed VMware Fusion 2 to be chosen as the Most Loved Software product on Amazon.com and users voted VMware Fusion to be the only Mac virtualization software in the 2008 TidBITS Gift Guide. So, thanks for you support in 2008!

We had heard a lot of users telling us their were switching from Boot Camp and Parallels to VMware Fusion, so we wanted to hear their stories. We sponsored a Switch to VMware Fusion video contest and we saw some great videos, though Cara Jean Mean’s winning video was absolutely incredible.

VMware Fusion 2 Announced and Enters Public Beta 

In May 2008, we announced VMware Fusion 2 and released VMware Fusion 2 Beta 1. The VMware Fusion 2 announcement was exciting as the team had been working six months on a great new product and all we could say publically since VMware Fusion 1.1 was “no comment, but we are constantly working on making VMware Fusion even better.”

We are big fans of public betas at VMware. Our public betas give our users the opportunity to see what we are working on and more importantly it gives us broader coverage to make sure when we release the product that it is ready for prime time. So, thanks to you our users for taking the time to give us valuable feedback on what we did right and what we did wrong, which allows us to ship even better products!

VMware Fusion 2 Launched

On September 15, 2008, we launched VMware Fusion 2 at VMworld in Las Vegas and at Apple Expo in Paris. VMware Fusion 2 has over 100 new features and improvements over VMware Fusion 1 and was FREE upgrade to for all VMware Fusion customers as our thanks to you for choosing VMware Fusion as your choice for running Windows on your Mac.

Awards and Reviews in 2008 

VMware Fusion 2 received many great reviews so far including three I want to call out:

Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal said "VMware Fusion is now the better choice for running Windows on the Mac virtually."

Rob Griffiths at Macworld said "If you want to run Windows, Linux, or other operating systems on your Intel-powered Mac, there’s no better choice than VMware Fusion 2."

Dave Girard at Ars Technica said "VMware, in my opinion, is just the better option at this point…It’s fast, extremely stable, supports 64-bit client operating system and up to four processors for VMs, has VMrun command-line access, and multiple snapshots: all server-level features in a consumer priced product."

In addition to the many great reviews, VMware Fusion has won some great awards in 2008 including our second Macworld Eddy Award in a row!

PC World’s Top 100 Products of 2008

2008 Macworld Editor's Choice Award

Amazon's Best Software of 2008

Thank You

2008 was an amazing success for the VMware Fusion team thanks to your support. We can't thank the Mac community enough for how you have embraced VMware Fusion to date and we look forward to making 2009 an even better year for Mac users running Windows and other operating systems on their Mac.

Please come by our Macworld booth to meet me, Pete, David, and other members of the VMware Fusion team, we are in Booth 2202 in Moscone South.

Come Visit VMware Fusion at Macworld


Macworld’s just around the corner, and the VMware Fusion team is going to be there demoing our hearts out, talking to users, and doing our best to engage with the Mac faithful.

Come Say Hi!

Firstly, location.  We’ll be located in Booth 2202 in Moscone South.  This is the hall where Apple is located, and we’re on the right as you enter the hall.  Just turn right as you enter, and look for the big VMware banners hanging from the ceiling…

Or, just look at this map:


What We’ll Be Up To

We’ll be demoing VMware Fusion 2 on five demo stations, handing out “My Mac Loves VMware” laptop and bumper stickers, and doing presentations in our theater.

Even better, we’ll have some special guests in our theater.  Every day at 2PM, Joe Kissell from Take Control Publishing, will be presenting tips and tricks from his awesome book “Take Control of VMware Fusion 2”, the quintessential power user’s guide to VMware Fusion 2.

So if you would like to come say hi, whether you’re a curious would-be user, a current customer, press, partner, or so on, our booth is the place to be.  We’ll have something for everyone.

RSVP Pretty Please

If you’re planning on coming by our booth, do us a favor and drop us a note in the comments, or RSVP for our Facebook event.

Also, if you’re in town on Monday night, we’ll be sponsoring a user meetup at The Thirsty Bear restaurant, providing some good company and some tasty appetizers for Friends of Fusion before the show starts. 

Again, please RSVP so we know how many people to expect!

We’ll see you in San Francisco!