VMware Australia Fusion 2.0 Beta 2
Virtualisation on the Mac has never had it so good
- Improved performance, mirrored folders, automatic snapshots
- Somewhat sluggish NAT performance
VMware Fusion 2.0 Beta 2 is certainly a beta release, but even so, it feels quite polished and well appointed. VMware has some heavy competition in Parallels, which has most of these features already, but Fusion 2.0 looks very promising.
Virtualisation on the Mac has never had it so good. There are several options available for running almost any x86-based operating system as a VM under Mac OS X, including Parallels, VMware Fusion, and VirtualBox.
If you like the fact that Macs are less prone to problems, viruses, and spyware, but you simply have to run a few Windows applications, it's a great time to be alive.
In that spirit, VMware has opened the doors to the second beta release of VMware Fusion 2.0, VMware's Mac desktop virtualisation package. There are more than a few new tricks in Fusion 2, including mirrored folders that map a folder on your host Mac to a folder in the VM, such as My Documents. Also nice is the new automatic snapshots feature, which can be configured to take a snapshot of the VM every 30 minutes, every hour, or every day, making rollbacks easy.
On the front end, there's support for video up to 1080 pixels in Windows XP or Windows Vista, improved 3D support, and the ability to play games in full-screen mode.
In Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, you can even mount the disk of a VM without powering up the VM, which can certainly come in handy. Also new is the ability to assign up to four CPUs to a VM, support for the VMrun command-line tools, and the ability to run Mac OS X Server as a guest.
As far as performance goes, VMware claims to have spent lots of time and effort to reduce the overhead of VMs that are running in the background — that is, without focus. The company contends it has made strides in this area in order to decrease overall system load and to minimise the impact of running VMs that might be running only a single application.
We're running VMware Fusion 2.0 Beta 2 on the very MacBook Pro on which we're writing this preview on (a 17-inch model with 2.4GHz dual-core processor and 4GB of RAM). Inside Fusion we're running a CentOS 5.1 x86_64 guest and a Windows XP guest, and we're noting snappier performance of the overall system as well as the individual VMs.
We don't yet have any numbers to back that up, but quickly swapping between OS X apps and the VMs is, well, quite fast.
The Unity feature now extends to Linux guests, and it works quite well, allowing users to run Linux apps in native OS X workspaces.
We have noticed a few oddities in the beta, such as somewhat sluggish NAT performance, and some desktop assignment issues with Spaces. Also, in Unity mode with Windows XP, the taskbar vanished, never to be seen again, even when explicitly called from the menu bar. This might also be a Spaces-related problem. In any event, this is beta code, and we're not holding it to the same standards as a final release.
On the plus side, the new Fusion beta found and booted our original Fusion VMs without a problem, and proved extremely helpful in installing new VMs, essentially handling the installation of Windows by itself as long as the install CD was in the drive.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft shows the power of its Pen with a new Whiteboard app and other upgrades
- Windows 10 S will not run Linux, even though it's a downloadable Windows app
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
- Microsoft redesigns OneNote UI to make it more universally accessible
- Windows 10 Insider build 16199 fills some holes in the Creators Update
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Asus ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard review
- The simple RAM buying guide
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCTechnical WriterVIC
- CCImplementation Manager/PlannerQLD
- FTDeployment Engineer / Field Service EngineerQLD
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystACT
- CCCCNP Network EngineerVIC
- CCSecurity Incident Analyst - Splunk - TelcoVIC
- TPInfrastructure Project ManagerQLD
- FTSenior Marketing Manager | Global Technology CompanyNSW
- CCSenior Process ModellerNSW
- TPDigital Business Analyst - AgileQLD
- CCNetwork Security Engineer - Finance - Contract - SydneyNSW
- CCProgram ManagerVIC
- CCC++ DeveloperNSW
- FTSecurity AnalystQLD
- FTSQL BI Report DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior UX/UI DesignerNSW
- CCWeb DesignerQLD
- FTWireless Networking ConsultantNSW
- CCImplementation Manager/PlannerSA
- FTSoftware Licensing and Contract AnalystNSW
- CCGun Java/ Full Stack Developer wanted...VIC
- FTSecurity ConsultantACT
- FTProject Manager HFC Capacity ManagementVIC