Where VMWare Fusion Shines Over Parallels Desktop

There’s no question that Parallels Desktop is the current tool to beat when it come to running Windows applications under Mac OS X. There are a number of great features that Parallels offers like being able to create a VM image from a real PC and import VMWare images. These are a few things that VMWare Fusion doesn’t yet offer, but does it matter?

So one has to wonder, why choose VMWare Fusion at all? For one, Walt Mossbergs review sums up the difference between the two products nicely and I can agree with his findings. I have had Parallels pretty much paralyze my machine while resuming a saved state. It would do this for about 2 minutes before Mac OS X became usable again. Parallels can be a major CPU hog in many cases, but VMWare on the other hand, feels much lighter on it’s feet.

One thing I find amusing though is that everyone is focusing only on the “running Windows” aspect of virtualization. If you take Windows out of the equation, Parallels Desktop kinda sucks. Sure, I was able to run OpenSUSE 10.2 under Parallels, but there is no desktop integration at all. Under a non-windows OS, you still have to ctrl-enter to return cursor control to Mac OS X. VMWare on the other hand has it’s VMWare tools supported by several Linux distributions as well as Solaris 10. Additionally, VMWare will dynamically adjust the screen resolution of the target OS when the VMWare window is resized. It does this flawlessly under Ubuntu. I am currently writing this post in Ubuntu 7.04 in VMWare and I can seamlessly bring my cursor into both OS’s. Under Parallels, Linux integration isn’t this smooth (And BTW, Ubuntu is a very slick distribution!).

So the long of the short is, if you’re looking for running more than Windows, you should give VMWare a look.

6 thoughts on “Where VMWare Fusion Shines Over Parallels Desktop

  1. This post describes exactly the opposite of my own findings. Parallels desktop runs nice and smoothly for me, but VMware Fusion is a hog. Even if all the VM is doing is running a web browser, it locks my machine from doing anything else. And this is with 2GB of RAM, and only running XP in the VM.

    Funnily enough I found this post while searching on Google for a way to migrate my image away from VMware. 🙂

    Well, even if the software has no by-design way of doing it, it’s always possible to do these things via a live CD and drive copying… just means I’ll have VMware Tools on an image which is not on VMware…

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  2. This post describes exactly the opposite of my own findings. Parallels desktop runs nice and smoothly for me, but VMware Fusion is a hog. Even if all the VM is doing is running a web browser, it locks my machine from doing anything else. And this is with 2GB of RAM, and only running XP in the VM.

    Funnily enough I found this post while searching on Google for a way to migrate my image away from VMware. 🙂

    Well, even if the software has no by-design way of doing it, it’s always possible to do these things via a live CD and drive copying… just means I’ll have VMware Tools on an image which is not on VMware…

    Like

  3. Although I understand some of where you are coming from with this article – I still can’t disagree with you more. Parallels Desktop for Mac has outperformed Fusion in almost every area for me. I personally run Ubuntu 7.10 on a daily basis with no problems at all using Parallels 3.0 build 5584. I also like the fact that Parallels doesn’t crash on my like Fusion does regularly.

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  4. Although I understand some of where you are coming from with this article – I still can’t disagree with you more. Parallels Desktop for Mac has outperformed Fusion in almost every area for me. I personally run Ubuntu 7.10 on a daily basis with no problems at all using Parallels 3.0 build 5584. I also like the fact that Parallels doesn’t crash on my like Fusion does regularly.

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  5. The Linux non-integration you mentioned is no longer the case. I have Parallels 3.0 (specifically build 4560) with a Kubuntu image, and I don’t have to click to activate, or press Ctrl-Enter to get back to OSX. It works just like the Windows integration does. It may not support shared folders, but since it’s a networked device, you can use ssh or SMB.

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  6. The Linux non-integration you mentioned is no longer the case. I have Parallels 3.0 (specifically build 4560) with a Kubuntu image, and I don’t have to click to activate, or press Ctrl-Enter to get back to OSX. It works just like the Windows integration does. It may not support shared folders, but since it’s a networked device, you can use ssh or SMB.

    Like

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