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Take Control of VMware Fusion 3
Take advantage of the full virtualization power of VMware Fusion 3!
Now that modern Macs use Intel processors, you can run Windows on your Mac without slowdowns or trade-offs, 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 3.
The ebook explains new Fusion 3 features, including the redesigned Applications menu, enhanced Virtual Library window, new Preview window (which shows a live thumbnail of your entire Windows Desktop), and improved Unity view. It also discusses Windows 7 and 32-bit vs. 64-bit possibilities.
What about Parallels Desktop and other virtualization options? If you need more of an overview of how to run Windows on your Macintosh, or want directions for setting up Parallels Desktop, read Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac.
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 technical 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 many books about the Mac, including many popular Take Control ebooks. He's also a contributing editor of TidBITS and a senior contributor to Macworld, and previously spent 10 years in the Mac software industry.
Reviews of Previous Editions
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 VMware Fusion 3, 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, sponsored by VMware, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc. Special thanks for an enjoyable collaboration to David Liu, Eric Tung, Pat Lee, and Peter Kazanjy.
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 that I couldn’t do with my Mac—and 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 Internet Explorer for Windows. Maybe it’s a Microsoft business application that was never ported to Mac OS X. Or maybe it’s a 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 and later. 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 somewhat 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. (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 3.”) The first edition of this book was about Fusion version 2; this edition covers only version 3, which includes powerful new features, interface improvements, and enhanced performance. Whether you’re upgrading from an earlier version of Fusion or beginning with version 3, this book will help you get the most from the program.
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:
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.
This book is a major update to Take Control of VMware Fusion 2. With only a few exceptions, the changes from the previous edition reflect the changes in version 3 of VMware Fusion. (Although Fusion 3 contains tons of new features, bug fixes, and interface improvements, I don’t address all of them in this book; for a complete list of what’s new, see http://www.vmware.com/go/fusion3features.)
The major Fusion changes discussed in this book are the following:
The bulk of the material in the book remains accurate and current for the various versions of Fusion 3. Additional information that covers the relatively small changes in Fusion 3.1.x are covered here: "What’s Changed in VMware Fusion Since the Latest Edition of the Book."
Yes, we do. See Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac. This ebook covers several common solutions for successfully running Windows on an Intel-based Mac.
We do still sell Take Control of VMware Fusion 2. It focuses on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, because it was published in 2008. We don't plan to update it again.
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!
Thanks, Joe, for another beautiful book in the Take Control series! I had purchased the VMware Fusion 2 book and just got the free upgrade to the VMware Fusion 3 book - a great deal for the customer and a very smart move by VMware. I love reading the books - they are visually enjoyable and the content is terrific. I have a 24" monitor and using Preview to read the Take Control books is the best setup I have for reading of any type. So thanks again for your time, energy, and talent in producing this book!
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!
January 2012 -- At this time, it looks like we won't create a new edition of this ebook for VMware Fusion 4. We still like Fusion as a product, and it's possible that we'll publish a new edition for some future version, but we are taking a break for now. Also, to learn about Fusion 3.1.x, read "What’s Changed in VMware Fusion Since the Latest Edition of the Book."
—Tonya J Engst
September 19, 2011 --
Parallels has recently released a major new version of Parallels Desktop (version 7), and VMware has countered with its own major upgrade of Fusion (version 4). Meanwhile, the free VirtualBox has also made a great deal of progress recently. I give an overview of how the latest versions of these virtualization programs stack up against each other in Mac Virtualization Update: VMware, Parallels, and VirtualBox (TidBITS, 19 September 2011). Short version: They've all gotten so good that your choice matters less now than it ever has; except for a few edge cases, almost anyone should be content with either Parallels or Fusion, and anyone on a budget owes it to themselves to check out VirtualBox.
January 13, 2011 --
The current edition of Take Control of VMware Fusion 3 covers version 3.0, but Fusion has been updated several times since the book's release and is at version 3.1.2 as of mid-January 2011. The differences between version 3.1.x and 3.0 as described in the book are relatively minor; almost everything I said about 3.0 is still accurate. However, a few changes warrant a mention.
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
October 28, 2009 --
Thanks to sponsorship from VMware, we are pleased to provide Joe Kissell's new Take Control of VMware Fusion 3 for free. In Fusion 3, VMware added 64-bit optimization for Snow Leopard users, Windows 7 support, a simplified process for porting a physical Windows installation to a virtual Mac installation, and better support for graphically intense applications. Joe covers all this, plus walks readers step-by-step through many possibilities for installing Windows on a Mac, the best ways to configure Fusion, techniques for working effectively in Windows with Mac hardware, and much more.
To help readers further explore the Take Control series, Take Control of VMware Fusion 3 also comes with a coupon code worth 50% off one ebook order.
Print copies of Take Control of VMware Fusion 3 are also available for $12.99.
If you'd like an idea of what's involved in running Windows on your Mac with Fusion (or generally), here's a slightly edited excerpt that explains the topic.
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