Tag Archives: virtual-machine

Parallels vs VMware Fusion – No Contest?

Parallels owns this space right now, no doubt – Windows virtualization on the Intel Mac platform. Despite its heavy branding, Parallels has yet to prove its worth in performance (and has, up until recently, been the only viable commercial virtual machine contender on Apple’s OS X). I had been taking a tentative look at Vmware Fusion, only after raving about Vmware Workstation solving my Vista woes with an XP VM.

More people are discovering Vmware Fusion now. Scott Beale, with Unparalleled Windows Virtualization:

I just installed VMware Fusion 1.0, a new desktop virtualization program that allows you to seamlessly run multiple operation systems on your Intel-based Mac. I setup a virtual machine for Windows Vista on my Mac Pro. The whole process was super easy and took only a few minutes, in fact for me it was much faster than installing Windows on a PC. So far everything works really well and I like it as much, if not more than Parallels Desktop for Mac (another great virtualization program).

And he points to Paul, who starts by pointing out why Vmware is pwning the performance game:

Fusion was built from the ground up in OS X’s native programming environment, Cocoa, and as such Fusion benefits from speed increases and lower memory overhead. Fusion puts less strain on your computer than any other virtualization product at this point. The use of Cocoa in development gives Fusion a more native Mac application feel with customizable toolbars.

Wither Parallels? Well, I wasn’t set up for a true side-by-side last night, but I did at least want to tell people that there’s a new VM in town – and it’s already giving Parallels a beating:

Aero is still missing, as well as the ability to dump a Windows VM into a new Boot Camp partition, but the idea of “switching” is finally worth seriously considering for those of us dyed-in-the-wool Windows users.

Virtual PC Security

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Community members Sven writes:

I'm running Vista as a host machine and Virtual PC 07 which has XP Pro installed on it. The virtual hard drive is saved on an 80GB partition separate from any Vista files. If my XP caught a virus or some nasty spyware on it could it transfer itself onto my Vista partitions or will it be regulated to just the virtual PC?

This depends on how your Virtual Machine is set up and what infection you get. If your VM is networked in any way to your real machine it is possible that the infection could spread via that network connection.

Also, it's possible that viruses and spyware are being authored to exploit flaws in virtual machine software. While it appears to be theoretical right now, this is something you should keep in mind.

The best thing you can do to safeguard yourself from an infection on your real machine is to not network that virtual machine at all: don't share folders, don't let it see your real machine on the network, and in fact, remove its Internet connectivity.

As always, make sure you are running antivirus on both your real and virtual machines.

Community member Icy chimes in:

As per your video a couple days ago on using Virtual PC on a Vista machine to prevent against viruses, a friend of mine did get a virus that hacked through the virtual machine (he was using vmware player) and infected his hard drive. Besides transmitting a virus from a virtual machine over the network, is it possible that if a virus wrote a bunch of bits of data to RAM and overflowed the allocated RAM for the virtual machine, that extra bits would be written to RAM allocated to the real machine. Then, those bits could potentially be executed, transmitting the virus to the physical machine. Is this possible? Is there another way a virus could exploit a vulnerability in VMWare or any virtual machine while running on a virtual machine?

Do you have any advice for Sven?

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What is a Virtual Machine?

http://live.pirillo.com/ – A VM – Virtual Machine – allows you to run a, operating system inside of another operating system; for example, with Parallels you can run Windows inside of OS X, or with VMWare you can run Linux inside of Windows.

In the past Virtual Machines were limited to technical positions in companies, so programs could be run under multiple instances of operating systems, or for customer service technicians could debug a problem in another operating system when a machine with the specific Os was not installed.

In addition to allowing you to run Windows application inside OS X, virtual machines allow you to run programs in a "sandbox" environment, where you can test programs in a virtual environment before you run it on your main machine.

Microsoft acquired Virtual PC which runs on the Mac and Windows, but many people have complained that Microsoft has limited VirtualPCs use by only allowing people to run difference versions of Windows.

Chris considers VMWare to be the most powerful VM software, but it comes with a price. What makes VMWare so cool is the ability to switch between multiple virtual machines almost instantly.

Do you use VM software, or have any recommendations for running virtual machines?

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CrossOver, Boot Camp, Parallels, VMWare…

Exclusive Coupon: 20% off Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac Upgrade for existing customers OR $10 off for Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac for new customers.

Apple is prepping Boot Camp for Leopard inclusion next year. I wouldn’t be surprised if they soon figured out how to enable Windows apps to run “natively” in OS X. CodeWeavers already has CrossOver Mac, which pretty much does that now. Dual booting is for geeks, though I believe that VMWare and Parallels will keep everybody but the gamers happy. I just learned about 2X ApplicationServer tonight:

2X ApplicationServer for Windows Terminal Services allows Windows applications to be tunneled seamlessly onto remote desktops, saving on administration & support. ou can use it to seamlessly tunnel up to 5 applications per server onto remote desktops – perpetually. During the first 30-days it also allows you to tunnel an unlimited number of applications.

Though I believe 2X’s cross-platform / network setup is still somewhat of a kludge, this is certainly a step in the right direction. Dunno. The more I look, the more I’m finding OS X equivalents for my favorite Windows programs. Let’s see if Entourage 2008 kills Outlook once and for all.

I do have a coupon for Parallels, though…

Save $ on Parallels

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Find More Coupons

I’m waiting to see what Leopard is going to look like, but until then… everybody in the OS X community is going ga-ga over Parallels for the Mac. Here’s a way to save $30 on registration (that’s about 40% off).

“Parallels Desktop for Mac is powerful desktop virtualization solution that empowers IT professionals with the ability to develop, test and deploy in multiple operating systems on a single Intel-based Mac. A sophisticated virtual machine engine supports nearly every standard x86-based operating system, including the entire Windows family, multiple Linux distributions, OS/2, MS-DOS and FreeBSD, each of which can be launched and utilized in completely networked, fully portable, totally independent virtual containers. Since guest operating systems are self-contained and directly access hardware profiles, users never need to proactively partition hard drives allocate system resources, or continually reboot the host operating system.”