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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Alternative Operating Systems > I need to vent about VMWare Fusion

I need to vent about VMWare Fusion
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Full-Auto
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May 13, 2008, 05:00 PM
 
I've been a Parallels user for a while now. I decided to buy Fusion due to all the hype about how superior it is.

So far I've been fighting with this thing all day and making absolutely zero progress in actually getting more than one virtual machine running... partly.

1) The VMWare importer software is useless. When you try to import a Parallels VM it tells you the image is paused and must be shut down before you can import it. Umm, hello - it IS shut down. When I try to import the Ubuntu image, it crashes my entire system.
2) When I try to install Windows XP it gets part of the way through the installation and then tells me some vmsci... file is corrupt and to press any key to continue. It goes a little further then tells me there is no hard drive installed on my system and tells me to hit F3 to abort.
3) So I ask a co-worker if I can use one of her images to see if it even works on my Mac... so I copy it to my machine and fire it up. It goes through various prompts for new hardware (every time it starts)... but it does start. Then I try to update the browser from IE 6 to IE 7 and it tells me that Windows can't install anything. I've never seen such an error... and I've never had a problem like that with Parallels.
4) Then I try to clone the image and see if that changes anything. There is no clone feature like on Parallels, so you have to make a copy of the file manually... no biggie... it would be nice if they documented this though. Anyway, now I have a clone with the exact same name as the original and I can't change the name of the image. I've looked in every menu, renamed the file itself, everything... and nothing I do will allow me to change the name of the VM image.

So, here I sit after jacking with this "superior" software for most of the afternoon and I've made absolutely no progress in getting it into a usable state.

It took me only the time to install the first OS on Parallels to get it up and running... then I simply cloned my original image and made the necessary updates to each. It was easier, more reliable and far less frustrating.

One cool feature that actually worked (with a few problems) is that I can open my Bootcamp partition in Fusion.

Has anyone else had these problems with Fusion?
     
chabig
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May 13, 2008, 05:35 PM
 
I've been in your situation. I heard good things about Fusion and decided to try it out. But the importer just wouldn't do anything with my Parallels volume. So I just stayed with Parallels and I'm happy.
     
ibook_steve
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May 13, 2008, 05:38 PM
 
Let's vent in the correct forum.

Steve
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May 13, 2008, 05:44 PM
 
Sorry Steve, thanks for moving it.
     
wr11
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May 13, 2008, 07:16 PM
 
I've had some issues with Parallels (vista) to Fusion so I eventually re-installed that whole VM.

Now that I have it working it works much better than it did before. You may also want to be sure that the VMs are fully shutdown before you attempt the conversion. Either way if you can handle it I would suggest re-creating (installing windows) the vm anyways.
     
turtle777
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May 13, 2008, 08:00 PM
 
I can't speak about conversion from Parallels to Fusion, but Fusion itself is very solid.

Plus, I imported an old XP VM from Virtual PC, w/o any problem.
I like Fusion.

-t
     
cgc
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May 13, 2008, 08:44 PM
 
The problems you've encountered are due to importing. I've installed XP and about 20 variants of Linux with zero problems. Try installing from scratch and you'll see...
     
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May 13, 2008, 09:01 PM
 
I have it working. Somehow I got around the repeated "corrupted file" issue with the XP installation DVD. Now that I've installed two clean systems it's running much more smoothly. I ditched the imported system which never worked right (you guys were right, it doesn't like it).

The conversion utility is still useless. Every single conversion I've tried it tells me that the VM isn't shut down or is suspended when it's not. So I can't import many of my VM's...

The cloning doesn't seem to work so well, so I'm installing each OS over and over again... at least it's automated (so is Parallels).

The one very nice feature is Unity. I like it better than Parallels as you have the option of getting rid of the menu bar if you like. If you do have it appear, the Mac Dock appears over it... unlike Parallels where the menu bar hovers over the Dock which is goofy.

I thought the 3D direct X 9 would be sweet if I could run Battlefield 2 in a window, but alas it doesn't work with shaders... That's a downer as that's the main reason I wanted to use Fusion over Parallels - the hope I could run current Windows games in a window. One of these days!

Anyway, while it's not nearly as polished as Parallels, it's useful and has it's positives. But for now I'm still going to use Parallels for work.
     
64stang06
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May 13, 2008, 09:40 PM
 
Well when you quit Parallels, does Windows actually go through the shutdown process, or just Parallels save the file so when you relaunch, it starts where you left off? If that's the case, it IS suspended and not shutdown properly.
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alex_kac
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May 13, 2008, 10:02 PM
 
For cloning, just duplicate the VM in Finder. Works perfectly. Done it many many times.
     
turtle777
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May 13, 2008, 10:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by Full-Auto View Post
I thought the 3D direct X 9 would be sweet if I could run Battlefield 2 in a window, but alas it doesn't work with shaders... That's a downer as that's the main reason I wanted to use Fusion over Parallels - the hope I could run current Windows games in a window. One of these days!
Fusion 2 will do that. The Beta is out now, and free for Fusion 1.x users.
But beware: Fusion 2 Beta will overwrite your Fusion 1.x installation.

-t
     
besson3c
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May 13, 2008, 10:49 PM
 
I wish OS X offered better virtualization software options. On Linux, you can go with VMWare which seems faster than it is under OS X, but you can also go with Virtualbox which is superb, KVM which is now built into Ubuntu, or Xen, and you can control your virtual machines via the command line. VMWare Server (which is free on Linux) and KVM also allow you to connect to your virtual machines via VNC, which allows easy separation of your back and frontend.

Contrast this to OS X and you have VMWare and Parallels which are commercial software packages, slow and major resource hogs (VMWare is at least, haven't tried Parallels), and Virtualbox which is lagging behind its Linux counterpart in development and is therefore buggy. There is also Q (based on QEmu, like Virtualbox and KVM), but I've never had any luck with getting any mileage out of it.
     
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May 14, 2008, 12:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by 64stang06 View Post
Well when you quit Parallels, does Windows actually go through the shutdown process, or just Parallels save the file so when you relaunch, it starts where you left off? If that's the case, it IS suspended and not shutdown properly.
I shut down Windows through the Start Menu. I click shut down, let it go through it's routine and then I wind up at the Parallels start menu. I know the difference between suspend and shut down... and I definitely shut down my VM's.
     
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May 14, 2008, 12:18 AM
 
Parallels on OSX runs perfectly. You can't run 3D accelerated applications in it, but for everything else it's almost as fast as a native installation. It's very easy to use.
     
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May 14, 2008, 09:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by Full-Auto View Post
Parallels on OSX runs perfectly. You can't run 3D accelerated applications in it, but for everything else it's almost as fast as a native installation. It's very easy to use.
Yes, Parallels works well when it works, but god help you if you run into a problem because technical support of any kind is virtually nonexistent. I use Parallels at work with absolutely no problems, but I've seen people on the Parallels forums with problems that still haven't been solved after months.

People there get very angry because they'll e-mail technical support, or call them on the phone and leave a message, and then they come and post on the forums saying, "It's been three weeks and I still haven't heard back from technical support." Then the support people on the forums will come on and post dumb things like, "Well, did you send us an e-mail about the problem?"

The poor victim then becomes irate because the technical support people apparently have no basic reading comprehension skills. And most of them all use "American sounding" screen names but their English is broken revealing that they're from Russia.

They claim that they're "working on fixing" their customer support problems, but they've been "working on it" for the last 18 months and there really haven't been very many visible changes.

Again, Parallels is great when it works but without decent support many places won't touch it. I'm afraid that it will catch up to them eventually and they'll drop it for lack of sales.

VMware, on the other hand, is a well-established company with a long history of providing virtualization solutions for Windows for many years, and they have EXCELLENT support. Big difference, in my opinion. I won't hesitate to "jump ship" if I start having problems with Parallels and can't get TIMELY support for them.
     
ibook_steve
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May 14, 2008, 11:54 AM
 
I've been switching back and forth between Parallels and Fusion, and now that I'm currently in Fusion, I remember why I keep going back to Parallels:

Networking: I use bridged networking. When I move my laptop to a different location using Mac OS X locations, Fusion should get a new IP address. It doesn't. I have to manually "disconnect" the network connection from the Virtual Machine menu and "reconnect" and then "Repair." Parallels does this all automatically.

Unity vs. Coherence: Just sitting at the desktop starts my fans spinning with Unity. They will sometimes go off when I go into single window or full screen mode, but not always. Also, Unity pays no attention to the dock if it's on the side of the screen, as mine is. The Start button and Windows apps get placed behind the dock on the left. Coherence doesn't do this. I also get slow redraws and desktop background appearances during window dragging operations.

Performance: Even using both processors for my Boot Camp machine, Fusion just doesn't "feel" as fast as Parallels. I haven't done any benchmarking, but it just feels slower.

Shared folders: I've enabled shared folders in Fusion, and for some reason, I just can't get them to work. And having to remember to go to \\.host\Shared Folders is annoying. Shared folders seem to work much better in Parallels.

Application quitting: The VMWare Fusion app *really* likes to quit unexpectedly with no dialog box or anything. It just disappears. Thankfully, since I'm using BC, when I start Fusion again, I'm right back where I was before the crash (which Parallels doesn't do), but it shouldn't be crashing in the first place.

Well, there's my venting. If people know solutions to these problems that might make me like Fusion more, please let me know.

Steve
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etung
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May 14, 2008, 06:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by ibook_steve View Post
Networking: I use bridged networking. When I move my laptop to a different location using Mac OS X locations, Fusion should get a new IP address.
The recently released beta of 2.0 should do this.

Application quitting: The VMWare Fusion app *really* likes to quit unexpectedly with no dialog box or anything. It just disappears. Thankfully, since I'm using BC, when I start Fusion again, I'm right back where I was before the crash (which Parallels doesn't do), but it shouldn't be crashing in the first place.
You're describing a UI crash - the fact that Fusion comes right back up isn't related to using Boot Camp, it's because your virtual machine was still running. vmware-vmfusion.log may have some information the developers can use to troubleshoot this.

I'd encourage you (and anyone else) with questions or comments about Fusion to head over to the Fusion forums.
     
ibook_steve
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May 27, 2008, 09:36 PM
 
Just an update: I'm back with Parallels again. My Fusion problems were just getting worse and worse: To boot the Boot Camp VM with Fusion took at least 5 minutes to get to starting an application, and the fans run almost constantly on my MBP. Unity is basically junk because of the fans and the lousy redraws, so I was operating in single-window mode, not what I want to work in. Plus, it all just runs too slow.

Granted, I do like the dual monitor support in the beta (which I have not experimented with), but I'm willing to bet Parallels will get this as well eventually.

Maybe Fusion works better with a virtual disk than with BC, but I'm not wasting any more time or effort to verify this. I'm sticking with Parallels.

Steve
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alex_kac
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May 27, 2008, 10:10 PM
 
Were you using the beta? I haven't tried the beta because its just that - beta.

I am using the released version and while Parallels kernel panics my machine(s) coming out of sleep and *so* many other issues with USB and such (could never flash a device over USB), Fusion has been rock solid for me.

The only issue I had was when I had Missing Sync installed - it conflicted with that if I hooked up a Windows Mobile device via USB.
     
ibook_steve
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May 27, 2008, 10:35 PM
 
No, I own the retail and have not even tried the beta.

Steve
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Arkham_c
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Jun 2, 2008, 09:42 AM
 
I haven't tried Fusion. I bought parallels when I got my Mac Pro, and did one paid upgrade. My upgrade subscription is now defunct, but I'll likely upgrade it when I see something compelling.

I run Win XP SP 3 on my Parallels. I don't do anything really strenuous with it, but it works well whenever I use it. Just the other day my son wanted to play a Flash game on CartoonNetwork that wouldn't work on Safari, but it worked great in IE under Parallels. I was really impressed with how simple it was.
     
dustrho
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Jun 3, 2008, 09:22 PM
 
I've been using Parallels for a while until I can't get Ubuntu 8.04 to shut down all the way. So after hearing all the rave about VMWare Fusion, I decided to give it a try. And, I think I'm going to purchase it as it works well, my VMs run much faster in it (Ubuntu and Windows XP), Ubuntu shuts down properly, and they have good support (we use VMWare for server virtualization at work).

Regarding some comments ibook_steve wrote above...

Originally Posted by ibook_steve View Post
Performance: Even using both processors for my Boot Camp machine, Fusion just doesn't "feel" as fast as Parallels. I haven't done any benchmarking, but it just feels slower.
As I mentioned above, Fusion seems much faster to me than Parallels.

Originally Posted by ibook_steve View Post
Shared folders: I've enabled shared folders in Fusion, and for some reason, I just can't get them to work. And having to remember to go to \\.host\Shared Folders is annoying. Shared folders seem to work much better in Parallels.
Why don't you just map a network drive so you don't have to remember the full path of the shared directory? I have a few mapped network drives to my most used directories sitting in Leopard.

Originally Posted by ibook_steve View Post
Application quitting: The VMWare Fusion app *really* likes to quit unexpectedly with no dialog box or anything. It just disappears. Thankfully, since I'm using BC, when I start Fusion again, I'm right back where I was before the crash (which Parallels doesn't do), but it shouldn't be crashing in the first place.
Thankfully, after only one day of using VMWare Fusion, I haven't experienced it crashing like you've mentioned.

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turtle777
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Jun 4, 2008, 01:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by dustrho View Post
Thankfully, after only one day of using VMWare Fusion, I haven't experienced it crashing like you've mentioned.
I haven't had a single UI crash ever.

I'm not a heavy Fusion user, only on occasions. But It never crashed on me.

-t
     
ibook_steve
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Jun 4, 2008, 02:08 AM
 
Then I'm just lucky, I guess. I'm sticking with Parallels.

Steve
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Cold Warrior
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Jun 4, 2008, 07:52 AM
 
I'm relatively happy with Fusion. It's stable and works well with my boot camp XP pro partition. I used to use Parallels, but I had issues with it corrupting my partition and not shutting down properly or at all.
     
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Jun 4, 2008, 09:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
I'm relatively happy with Fusion. It's stable and works well with my boot camp XP pro partition. I used to use Parallels, but I had issues with it corrupting my partition and not shutting down properly or at all.
I've had the same issues. I used to work with Parallels exclusively until it gave me so many headaches that I decided to try out the demo of VMWare Fusion. The latter runs so much faster and has less quirks that I bought the full version. I am a lot more happy with Fusion than I was with Parallels. It has not crashed on me yet, is faster and feels more solid.
     
ibook_steve
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Jun 4, 2008, 12:38 PM
 
Mini poll to those who like Fusion: are you using a virtual disk or a Boot Camp partition?

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Faust
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Jun 4, 2008, 12:49 PM
 
I am using virtual disk.
     
Cold Warrior
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Jun 4, 2008, 09:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by ibook_steve View Post
Mini poll to those who like Fusion: are you using a virtual disk or a Boot Camp partition?

Steve
boot camp
     
ixus_123
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Jun 7, 2008, 11:16 AM
 
You can run all of those on os X

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I wish OS X offered better virtualization software options. On Linux, you can go with VMWare which seems faster than it is under OS X, but you can also go with Virtualbox which is superb, KVM which is now built into Ubuntu, or Xen, and you can control your virtual machines via the command line. VMWare Server (which is free on Linux) and KVM also allow you to connect to your virtual machines via VNC, which allows easy separation of your back and frontend.

Contrast this to OS X and you have VMWare and Parallels which are commercial software packages, slow and major resource hogs (VMWare is at least, haven't tried Parallels), and Virtualbox which is lagging behind its Linux counterpart in development and is therefore buggy. There is also Q (based on QEmu, like Virtualbox and KVM), but I've never had any luck with getting any mileage out of it.
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alex_kac
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Jun 7, 2008, 12:39 PM
 
I disagree. VMWare runs as fast on my Mac Pro and MacBook Pro than almost native virtual XP for Visual Studio work.
     
besson3c
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Jun 7, 2008, 01:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by ixus_123 View Post
You can run all of those on os X
Point me to where I can install Xen, KVM, or Libvirt/virsh for OS X please.
     
dustrho
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Jun 7, 2008, 03:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by alex_kac View Post
I disagree. VMWare runs as fast on my Mac Pro and MacBook Pro than almost native virtual XP for Visual Studio work.
After playing with the trial version of VMWare Fusion for three days, I'm very impressed with it. It runs fast, isn't a resource hog, and runs both of my Windows XP and Ubuntu VMs quite nicely. It does take longer to come out of suspended mode in VMWare Fusion compared to Parallels, but it's MUCH faster when you're actually using the different VMs.

I think I'll be throwing down some money toware VMWare's way. I like it... a lot.

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Spoffo
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Jun 18, 2008, 02:33 AM
 
I had just one reason for trying Fusion: I have several devices that require database downloads via USB from a Windows-only proprietary app. Parallels (which I liked otherwise) just wasn't able to handle these, with behavior ranging from being unable to mount the device to mounting it, but then giving very flaky, unreliable downloads.

Fusion promised reliable USB2 support and delivered. Yes, the installation (on my existing Boot Camp partition) was a nasty adventure with several crashes and cryptic messages. Parallels definitely wins for user-friendly installation. But, once I got Fusion running, it felt very solid, faster than Parallels, and worked with all my hardware.
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legacyb4
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Jun 18, 2008, 09:17 AM
 
Virtual disk for both Windows XP Pro and Windows Vista Business.

Originally Posted by ibook_steve View Post
Mini poll to those who like Fusion: are you using a virtual disk or a Boot Camp partition?

Steve
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64stang06
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Jun 18, 2008, 10:02 AM
 
Boot Camp partition.
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kalex
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Jul 4, 2008, 08:11 AM
 
I'm running fusion using my bootcamp partition which i setup to play games
Last time I booted into Windows was about 7 months ago, when my hard drive that had OSX on it failed and I couldn't figure out how to load Leopard DVD into my MacPro. DVD tray wouldn't open. So I ended up booting into Bootcamp, loaded DVD and restarted into the Installer
     
   
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