Overall Satisfaction with VMware Fusion
We use VMWare Fusion to run disk images of Windows operating systems on a Mac, as well as running VMWare Fusion on a Debian Linux machine to run other Linux environments. The reason for this is so we can save a pristine climate configured perfectly for a project without risk of corrupting the environment by changing configuration variables on the host operating system.
- Running isolated software development environments. Setting up environment variables and installing the right software versions for a given project can be time consuming and fragile. By doing all of this within a virtual disk image, we can easily switch between software environments without risk of breaking anything.
- Running Windows-only programs on a Mac is invaluable. We use MacBook Pro laptops for our primary development environment. There are simply some programs we cannot run on OS X. Having VMWare Fusion is an invaluable asset for running Windows apps on Mac laptops on the go.
- This is not the fault of VMWare Fusion, per se, but the disk images are rather large. Being able to have one parent disk image and then save smaller variants of the disk image with slight changes would be nice.
- Copying files to and from the disk image and its host machine is a little bit clunky. It would be nice to be able to drag-and-drop files. I have read that this is possible but have not personally been able to get it working, so instead, I just put files in a shared folder. It's not too tricky, and I imagine there is a way to get drag-and-drop working, but it doesn't seem to work right out of the box, at least for me.
- VMWare Fusion has had a positive impact insofar as it has mitigated our need to purchase Windows laptops to be able to run Windows applications (as we use MacBook Pro laptops as our primary development environments).
- It has also saved countless hours in environment configuration by allowing us to configure an environment once in a virtual machine and then save it as a disk image.
- GitHub and Bitbucket are both used by our company for code sharing and are much easier to use for collaborative source code versioning. We internally use GitHub and have some clients who use Bitbucket. In some cases, we have software projects that are very hard to configure, taking days or weeks of software environment setup to get them building. In these cases, we get the software development environment working in a virtual machine using VMware Fusion, although we typically also put the code in a source code versioning repository like GitHub.
- I have used Parallels and VirtualBox before as well, and they were fine, but I have more experience with VMware Fusion. I did not have any complaints with VirtualBox when I used it before. I also found Parallels to be just fine for running Windows 10 if your host computer is a Mac running OS X. VMware Fusion offers more functionality than Parallels and similar functionality to VirtualBox. Ultimately, we were more familiar with VMware Fusion and had more experience with it.
I have never contacted VMware, but there is a lot of support online on message boards, forums, StackOverflow, YouTube tutorial videos, and the like. VMware has been around nine years longer than its leading competitor, VirtualBox, although both seem to have a good presence of online user communities who can help solve issues that come up.
Do you think VMware Fusion delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with VMware Fusion's feature set?
Did VMware Fusion live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of VMware Fusion go as expected?
Would you buy VMware Fusion again?
- VMWare Fusion is well-suited when you need to share development environments between developers, or when you need to run a Windows environment on a Mac (or vice versa). It is also well-suited for backing up development environments so you can be guaranteed that you've saved the necessary configuration to build a software project, even if the hard drive fails.
- VMWare Fusion is less well-suited for software projects that are not complex to set up, as there is no need to add the extra step (and use the extra disk space) of saving an image of the environment when you can just put the code on GitHub.