VMware vs. Parallels

I need to run several Windows applications for work (Outlook, Visual Studio Team Server, and a custom database application), so I’ve been using Parallels Desktop since the first beta. Their Windows support is excellent and the new Coherence feature makes the experience of running Windows on a Mac almost seamless. However, I also need to run Linux for a few projects and Parallels isn’t nearly as good for running Linux.

My big annoyance with Parallels is their lack of Linux tools, which means it captures the mouse in the VM window until you release it, and the clock doesn’t remain properly synchronized. It’s only been getting worse and the latest Ubuntu beta won’t even boot in Parallels.

I’ve tried all 3 VMware Fusion betas and I’m starting to like it more than Parallels. Their Linux support is excellent – I now have Ubuntu 7.04 running beautifully in VMware. I haven’t been able to successfully convert my Windows VM to VMware or I would switch completely. It’s too much of a pain to install a fresh Windows XP system and set it up with all of the software & remote network settings. I also miss Parallel’s Coherence feature. On the other hand VMware seems to use less resources so it has less of an impact on other applications.

Several other blogs also prefer VMware. I’ll most likely switch when the final version is released.

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