VMware Fusion

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VMware Fusion

VMware Fusion running Windows Vista on Mac OS X
Developed by VMware, Inc.
Latest release 2.0.4 (build 159196)[1] / 2009-04-09; 5 days ago
Operating system Mac OS X
Platform Apple-Intel architecture
Available in Multi-lingual
Type Virtual machine
License Proprietary
Website VMware Fusion

VMware Fusion is a virtual machine software product developed by VMware for Macintosh computers with Intel processors. Fusion allows Intel-based Macs to run x86 and x86-64 "guest" operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, Linux, NetWare and Solaris as virtual machines simultaneously with Mac OS X as the "host" operating system using a combination of virtualization [disambiguation needed], emulation [disambiguation needed] and dynamic recompilation. While similar in most respects to VMware Workstation, Fusion requires a Mac OS X host platform rather than the Microsoft Windows or Linux host platform that Workstation requires.


[edit] Overview

Fusion is VMware's first entry into the emerging Macintosh x86 virtualization market, which has been made possible by the Apple Intel transition. Fusion utilizes Intel VT present in the Intel Core microarchitecture platform. Much of the underlying technology in Fusion is borrowed from other VMware products, such as VMware Workstation, allowing Fusion to offer features such as 64-bit and SMP support from the first beta version onward. Built on VMware's history of enterprise virtualization technology, Fusion's strength lies in its high-performance rather than its features and OS X/Windows integration.[2]

Fusion 1.0 was released on August 6, 2007, exactly one year after being announced.[3]

[edit] System requirements

  • An Intel-based Mac (64-bit guest operating systems require a Intel 64-capable processor)
  • 1 GB of RAM (2 GB or more recommended)
  • 400 MB free disk space for VMware Fusion
  • 5 GB free disk space for each virtual machine (10 GB or more recommended)
  • Mac OS X version 10.4.11 or later

[edit] Features

Unity view creates a seamless desktop environment between Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X applications. It optionally hides Windows' start menu and taskbar and runs the Windows applications directly from the dock in OS X. Further, users can drag and drop files between Windows and the Mac, and use familiar Mac keyboard shortcuts to copy and paste between Windows and Mac applications. It is (almost) fully compatible with Exposé.[4] Fusion windows that are covered by other Fusion windows don't redraw when switching to Exposé, causing visual anomalies. This feature is later made available in VMware Workstation 6.5 Beta, which is designed to be run on Windows/Linux platforms.

Direct X 9.0 is supported in VMWare Fusion through dynamic recompilation to OpenGL instructions in Windows XP Service Pack 2 virtual machines. Hence, users can play supported games through Fusion or run applications which require 3D graphics.[5]

32-bit and 64-bit guest operating systems are supported by VMWare Fusion [6]. Over 60 operating systems are supported, including Windows Vista, Windows XP, Linux, and Solaris. Additionally, VMWare Fusion 2.0 adds support for Mac OS X Server version 10.5 (Leopard) as a guest on a Mac OS X host. Additionally, Fusion 2.0.1 adds experimental support for un-released developer builds of Mac OS X Server 10.6 (Snow Leopard) - presumably for software developers with Apple-granted access to pre-release builds of Snow Leopard. There is also support for Windows XP Service Pack 2 Boot Camp partitions: a user can use his Windows Boot Camp partition, eliminating the need for two separate Windows installations.[6] In addition, VMWare Fusion offers support of up to 8 GB of memory on guest 64-bit operating systems, and up to 16GB of RAM on Mac Pros and Xserves. [4]

Snapshots enable users to save a stable state of the guest operating system to disk, allowing users to quickly return to their virtual machine without the need of rebooting.

Shared Folders allow the mounting of folders from the host operating system to the guest operating system.

Extensive hardware support is built into VMWare Fusion. For networking, there is support for wired and wireless networks, in NAT or bridged mode. There is access to physical devices from the virtual machine (i.e. read and write CDs and DVDs) as well as access to USB 2.0 devices such as video cameras, iPods, printers, and disks at full speed[citation needed]. Firewire support is still missing in the latest version, although a workaround exists by mounting the device as a shared folder [7].

Support for multiple CPUs (SMP) or multicore CPUs is built into VMWare Fusion. Fusion also allows the user to assign up to four CPUs to one virtual machine to gain additional performance for CPU-intensive workloads [8].

Portability. Virtual machines created with VMware Fusion can be used with other VMware products and vice versa, and are compatible with other VMware virtual appliances.[5]

Grand Theft Auto III running in VMware Fusion

VMWare Fusion 2.0 was released as a free upgrade on September 18, 2008.[9] New features in this release include:

  • Multi-display support - enables the use of up to 10 additional displays by guest operating systems
  • Virtual Machine conversion - allows the conversion of Parallels Desktop and Microsoft Virtual PC virtual machines to VMware
  • Support for DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 2[10]
  • Application sharing between Windows and Mac - users can set certain files to launch with specific Mac or Windows applications
  • Folder Mirroring - allows select folders to be accessible on both the host and guest operating system
  • Keyboard and Mouse shortcut mapping
  • Snapshot improvements - multiple snapshot support, in addition to creating automatic snapshots at set intervals
  • Improved CPU resource utilization
  • Support for 4 processor virtual machines
  • Mac OS X Leopard Server virtualization support
  • Improved Linux support

[edit] Version history

Version Released Notes
VMware Fusion 1.0 August 6, 2007 First release, following 4 betas
VMware Fusion 1.1 November 12, 2007 Support for Leopard, Boot Camp, and improvements to DirectX support and Unity
VMware Fusion 1.1.1 January 24, 2008 Various bug fixes
VMware Fusion 1.1.2 April 23, 2008 Support for Time Machine and various bug fixes
VMware Fusion 1.1.3 May 30, 2008 Various bug fixes
VMware Fusion 2.0 September 16, 2008 Multiple Snapshots with AutoProtect, Improved Unity, DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 2 3D, and support for Mac OS X Server guests
VMware Fusion 2.0.1 November 14, 2008 Various bug fixes
VMware Fusion 2.0.2 February 11, 2009 Import from Parallels, supports Mac OS X Server 10.5.6 host, mounts dmg, supports Ubuntu 8.10 in Unity mode[11]
VMware Fusion 2.0.4 April 9, 2009 Various bug fixes. Adds experimental support for Snow Leopard Developer Builds[12]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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