New to OS Virtualization, what's best to use?

Gordon Bombay

Registered
So finally last night I was able to get a copy of Windows XP. I was all set to to get XP running on my Macbook pro with Tiger OS so that I could play counter strike and half life again! Unfortunately to much chagrin it seems that with the release of Leopard you can't run the boot camp beta, nor download it, for Tiger anymore, and the only way to get boot camp is if you have Leopard! So then I came on here and read about Parallels and considered it, however an 80 dollar activation key is a pretty steep price for me at the moment. Is there any other sollution out there besides one of these two programs? I did my best to search and browse these forums the past few days but didn't come up with much. Thanks in advance for your help.
 

artov

Registered
VMWare Fusion, which costs about the same as Parallels. You can download the trial version, so you can check if it is worth the money.
 

Just_Kris

Registered
I'll second the vote for Fusion. I downloaded the trial of Parallels but never received the trial activation key. I downloaded Fusion and received the trial activation promptly. Easy to run and this is my first mac!
 

aicul

Registered
I have not tried VMfusion but am glad to hear a trial version is available.

I spent money on Parallels (v 2.0) and it runs perfectly. The only inconvenience I found is that the cloning of machines does not allow for attribution of a name that is reflected in the file name (the machines name is actually stored inside the virutal machines files). This means that when you wish to delete a clone, you actually have to open it to identify what machine it actually is.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
A word of warning: don't expect to be able to play any games (Half-Life, Counter Strike, etc.) with either Parallels or VMWare Fusion -- they don't do 3D very well.

If you're looking to game, you'll either need a Windows PC to do it on, or you'll need to use BootCamp to run Windows natively.
 

eric2006

iMovie Professional
A word of warning: don't expect to be able to play any games (Half-Life, Counter Strike, etc.) with either Parallels or VMWare Fusion -- they don't do 3D very well.

If you're looking to game, you'll either need a Windows PC to do it on, or you'll need to use BootCamp to run Windows natively.

If you want to run games at their full potential/at all, you will need to run them natively with Bootcamp or a PC. Unfortunately, there's not really any other solutions, as emulators lack speed and compatibility, and there's no Bootcamp alternative.
 

aicul

Registered
I have tried VMware Fusion as per info that trial was free on this thread) here is some comparison with Parallels v2.

1. VMware is definitely more sexy in how you interact with it. Examples:

VMware : drag and drop directly from OSX to windows
Parallels : use a shared folder to swap files

VMware : ability to have windows from the windows environment without the PC background
Parallels : the fully windows environment is required either in a window or full screen

2. Cloning is a menu function in parallels and in VMware this involves files copy and XML-SETUP file manual edits.

3. Parallels v2 seems faster than VMware on a macbook

4. VMFusions files are bigger than Parallels (windows, pro suite, specific apps = 2.5Gb on Parallels and 3.2Gb on VMFusion)

5. I lost patience with both VMware and Parallels to get USB integration - this means I did not bother with network integration either.

Generally speaking, if you plan to run one instance of Windows on your mac, I think VMware is better. However, if you need to play around with multiple windows virtual machines then probably Parallels is a better option.

Oh, I did try running both Parallels and VMware simultaneously, appart from dramatic slowdown, it did work :)
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
I have tried VMware Fusion as per info that trial was free on this thread) here is some comparison with Parallels v2.

1. VMware is definitely more sexy in how you interact with it. Examples:

VMware : drag and drop directly from OSX to windows
Parallels : use a shared folder to swap files
On my Parallels 3.0 build 5582, I can drag-and-drop directly into my Parallels Windows VM, and vice-versa (back to the Mac Desktop) without issue. I had to first install the Parallels Tools inside of the Windows VM, but after that, drag-and-drop works perfectly for me.

VMware : ability to have windows from the windows environment without the PC background
Parallels : the fully windows environment is required either in a window or full screen
If you use Parallel's "Coherence," then your Windows applications integrate into the Mac OS X environment, and you can use Windows windows alongside Mac OS X windows, almost as if they were native Mac OS X applications. I don't know if this is what you're talking about, but there are actually 3 options for how Windows is displayed in Parallels: you can have the entire Windows VM in a Mac OS X window, you can display the Windows VM full-screen so it appears as if you're running nothing but Windows, and you can go into "Coherence" mode, where Windows windows integrate into the Mac OS X desktop as described above.

5. I lost patience with both VMware and Parallels to get USB integration - this means I did not bother with network integration either.
All of my USB hard drives and printers work with Parallels without issue, as does networking.

This is all done pretty much "out-of-the-box" with Parallels for me, without having to jump through hoops or anything.
 

aicul

Registered
ElDiabloConCaca you are just wonderful.

maybe you could have read that I used parallels v2.

and also if you had all this knowledgeable information, why not provide it in the first place.

a saddened aicul
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
Ah, yes, I overlooked the fact that you were running Parallels version 2. I can wholeheartedly say that Parallels version 3 is much improved over version 2. If you're willing to test out version 3, I think you'll see that you can do many of the things you weren't able to do in version 2.

I didn't provide all this information up front because the original question was simply about "gaming" in a virtualized environment, not about how Parallels and VMWare Fusion compare to each other and interact with Mac OS X.

I am sorry that I saddened you. Now I am sad as well. Let's be sad together!
 

mala

Registered
Hi,

I'm about to get a MacBook Pro instead of a PC when I change employer soon. It's a more or less 100% PC/Windows environment so I plan to use virtualization to fire up Windows (probably Vista) if/when the need arise (if these is an app I need to run without a Mac equivalent, or if there is a website thar requires IE or something like this). Performance is not the big thing here, the important is that it will work, as if I had a PC. Parallels or VMWare?
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
Either one would accomplish what you want to do just fine. Whether you use VMWare or Parallels is strictly up to you and is subjective -- some people prefer Parallels, some VMWare, but in the end, both run Windows just fine with just a few minor differences.
 

sgould

Registered
I'm looking to get a MacBook to run some Windows only programmes. One of these uses ActiveX. Does ActiveX need to be run natively through BootCamp or will Parallels/VM work too.

A year or two back I bought a IBM ThinkPad to run this, since the ActiveX stuff wouldn't run in Connectix Virtual PC. ThinkPad has now decided to die.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
Both Parallels and VMWare's Fusion will do ActiveX.

Microsoft's "Windows Update" site for updating Windows works through both of these when you're running Windows, and Windows Update uses ActiveX controls.
 

Mugwumper

Registered
Both Parallels and VMWare's Fusion will do ActiveX.

Microsoft's "Windows Update" site for updating Windows works through both of these when you're running Windows, and Windows Update uses ActiveX controls.

Hola Senor ElDiablo ;^)

Thank you for your firm belief that either will allow ActiveX controls to
work. I am in a similar situation to "sgould" . . .

My situation also involves needing to connect to Windows Small Business
Server 2003. At the moment, I'm borrowing an Acer Aspire running
Vista Home Pro, and using IE. The first step is to login to a Remote
Workplace web site, and then connect to an "application-sharing server".
Voila! I'm immediately transported back to the compute world of 2003,
complete with just a blue screen and low-res icons . . . ;^)

Anyway, the question I have is whether a Fusion solution on an Intel
iMac (or maybe a MacBook Pro) will be able to deal with this Rube
Goldberg contraption. Let's see - I'm emulating a remote PC environment
on an emulated PC environment on a Mac - my head hurts! ;^)

I assume I'll need 4GB RAM, and I probably should assume I won't be
running any other apps when I fire this thing up. Any other issues I need
to worry about?

Thanks . . .

Mugwumper
 

Viro

Registered
Thank you for your firm belief that either will allow ActiveX controls to
work.

There is no reason why ActiveX will not work. ActiveX is a very different technology to DirectX, which has had problems working in an emulated environment. ActiveX is just a way of writing software components in a programming language neutral manner and it is an integral part of Windows. If you can't run ActiveX, you can't run Windows. So if any environment is successfully running Windows, it is also capable of running ActiveX controls.

It sounds as if you're going to need to virtualize a copy of Windows to run IE, and then connect to your work server thorough IE? That's not a very demanding requirement and you should be easily able to do that in Fusion. Any new Mac with 2 GB RAM will do the job. Of course, having 4 GB RAM doesn't hurt ;)
 
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