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Take Control of VMware Fusion 2
Use Windows on your Mac effectively by taking advantage of the full power of VMware Fusion 2!
Now that modern Macs use Intel processors, you can run Windows on your Mac without slowdowns or tradeoffs, and with the benefit of configuration snapshots, multiple installations, and the capability to mix Windows and Mac applications. In this book by cross-platform expert Joe Kissell, you'll learn how best to install and use Windows in the virtualization environment created by VMware Fusion 2.
Fusion 3 user? Download Take Control of VMware Fusion 3 for free.
After introducing you to a few basic concepts, the ebook offers advice for mixing Fusion and Boot Camp, and notes the hardware and software you'll need. Then you'll find steps for installing Windows for use in Fusion in these scenarios:
Next, you'll learn how to work with Windows in a Fusion virtual machine, with key details like how to remap mouse buttons, simulate missing keys, set keyboard shortcuts, switch display modes, and work with external devices. Other topics covered include:
Thanks to the tech reviewers at VMware who gave readily of their time, helping us to create a richly detailed and useful ebook.
Special questions you'll find answers to include these:
iPad & Kindle
About the Author
Joe Kissell has written numerous books about the Macintosh, including many popular Take Control ebooks. He's also Senior Editor of TidBITS and a Senior Contributor to Macworld, and previously spent ten years in the Mac software industry.
Table of Contents
Read Me First
VMware Fusion is a powerful and convenient tool for running Windows or other operating systems on a Mac. This book teaches you all the fundamentals of Fusion, as well as tips and tricks to get the most out of running Windows on your Mac. This book was written by Joe Kissell, edited by Tonya Engst, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
As an enthusiastic Mac user for many years, I'd developed a common habit. Every time I heard of some fantastic program that's available only for Windows, I scowled and grumbled, miffed at the fact that we Mac users had been marginalized yet again. Mac OS X may be the superior operating system, but my Windows-using friends could still do cool things with their computers that I couldn't do with mine—I didn't like that one bit.
My, how times have changed. Today, I can run virtually any Windows program on my Mac as easily as I run native Mac software. For that matter, most Linux/Unix programs run beautifully too. In fact, my biggest problem is breaking that old habit. I still have an impulse to cringe when I see "Windows XP or later" as a system requirement, but then I remember: I have an Intel-based Mac. I have the power.
Maybe it's a Web site using ActiveX controls that work only in the Windows version of Internet Explorer. Maybe it's a Microsoft business application that was never ported to Mac OS X. Or maybe it's an obscure, one-of-a-kind shareware program. Whatever the case, I don't sweat it. It'll work. Everything works. This magic resulted from Apple's choice to switch to Intel processors, which turned out to be a brilliantly shrewd move.
Apple provides its own way to install Windows on your Mac—Boot Camp, included as part of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. It works well, but it's awkward in that you must restart your computer to switch operating systems. You can't run a Mac application at the same time as a Windows application, and sharing information between the two platforms is cumbersome at best.
This is where virtualization software like VMware Fusion comes in. It lets Windows run at near-native speeds right alongside Mac OS X on your Intel-based Mac. Not only do you avoid the inconvenience of rebooting and gain easy file sharing, you can also even make Windows itself effectively disappear so the only traces of Windows you see are your Windows applications themselves. In fact, that's just the start of the ways in which you can integrate Windows and Mac OS X, for a truly seamless environment that can run just about anything.
VMware Fusion isn't the only way to do this. Parallels Desktop was the first competitor in this category, and a less-powerful but free program, VirtualBox (now owned by Sun), also lets you run Windows under Mac OS X. (I cover both of these alternatives, as well as Boot Camp, in my book Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac.)
Regardless of the virtues of other approaches to running Windows on a Mac, the book you're now reading focuses entirely on VMware Fusion 2. (By the way, the program's official, trademarked name is "VMware Fusion," but for simplicity I refer to it throughout this book simply as "Fusion" or, in some cases, "Fusion 2.") My goal here is not to provide a comprehensive reference guide, but rather to help you make the most of Fusion by focusing on the most common, important, and interesting tasks you're likely to perform. By the time you've finished with this book, you should know how to create that magical combination of Windows and Mac OS X that lets you run nearly any software on either platform with equal ease.
As you may know, Fusion supports lots of operating systems—not just Windows. Although I mention some of these (particularly Linux and Mac OS X Server) from time to time, I assume that Windows is what most readers are interested in and direct my attention accordingly.
I should also mention that Fusion includes some fantastically powerful command-line tools for power users. Great as they are, I say little about them (except for Appendix B: Fusion for Propellerheads) because I assume most people with the geeky disposition to use those tools can also figure out how to use them on their own.
If you need help beyond what's in this book, you have several options:
"We're extremely happy with the reception of VMware Fusion 2 by the Mac community and Joe Kissell's new "Take Control of VMware Fusion 2" is the icing on the cake. Joe has done a fabulous job at teasing out some of VMware Fusion's less obvious features and explaining not just how VMware Fusion works, but how users can best make use of it in the real world." —Pat Lee, Group Manager of Consumer Products at VMware"
For the most part, this book progresses from basic material through more advanced topics. So to get the most out of this book, and of Fusion, I recommend working through each section in order. At the very least, read Understand Fusion Basics and Use Windows in a Virtual Machine before delving into later sections.
Yes, we do. See Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac. This ebook looks at the overall problem of wanting to successfully run Windows on an Intel-based Mac and it covers several common solutions.
After you buy the ebook and download it, you'll have a PDF on your computer. You'll find the coupon on the last page of the PDF.
There are lots of great ways to read our ebooks on these devices. For more details, please read our latest Device Advice.
Feel free to ask us if you have a question about this title!
How could we not publish such kind words? If you'd like to send us your comments (good or bad, though we hope they're all good), just click the Feedback link on the cover of your copy of the ebook. Be sure to let us know if we can publish your comment. Thanks!
October 2009 -- We have no plans to update this Fusion 2 edition, but Take Control of VMware Fusion 3 is available for free, thanks to sponsorship from VMware.
September 22, 2010 --
Fusion's main competition for Windows emmulation on a Mac, Parallels Desktop, was recently updated to version 6. Here's what Joe has to say about the update, and about how Fusion now compares to Parallels Desktop.
—Tonya J Engst
January 22, 2010 --
In MacVoices #1005, author Joe Kissell rounds up his latest recommendations for how to best run Windows on a Mac. In recent months, Microsoft shipped Windows 7, VMware shipped Fusion 3, and Parallels shipped Parallels Desktop 5, so there's a lot to talk about. The podcast episode corresponds with the release of the fourth edition of Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac.
—Tonya J Engst
November 5, 2009 --
In MacVoices # 8134, you can listen and learn about Fusion 3 as author Joe Kissell chats with podcast host Chuck Joiner about using Fusion to run Windows on your Mac. This podcast coincides with the release of Take Control of VMware Fusion 3, which is available for download at no charge, thanks to a sponsorship from VMware.
—Tonya J Engst
November 5, 2009 --
In MacVoices # 8134, you can listen and learn about Fusion 3 as author Joe Kissell chats with podcast host Chuck Joiner about various aspects of using Fusion to run Windows on your Mac. This podcast coincides with the release of Take Control of VMware Fusion 3, which is available for download at no charge, thanks to a sponsorship from VMware.
—Tonya J Engst
March 11, 2009 --
The Team Fusion blog, part of the VMware Web site, has just begun running a series of short excerpts from this ebook. If you're a fan of Fusion and want to learn some tips (including handling driverless printing not working after applying a recent Apple security update), I recommend the blog.
—Tonya J Engst
February 12, 2009 --
Wondering what author Joe Kissell is like in real life? Joe gave 11 presentations at Macworld Expo last month, so some of you surely met him in person then, but if you didn't, or for whatever reason, you can see him now on MacVoicesTV. Chuck Joiner from MacVoices caught up with Joe at Macworld Expo. You can watch (or listen) to their conversation, and learn about the types of Windows users that Joe encountered at the Expo. You can also learn Joe's age, and what hardware caught his eye at the Expo.
—Tonya J Engst
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