Parallels 4 vs Fusion 2

in Mac Software edited January 2014
What a week.

I went over these two Virtual Machines this whole week. I finally decided which one I like the best.

I want to make this brief because I feel there are only a few features here and there with each that are overwhelmingly important.

1st feature:

Use boot camp or actual hard drive. This basically allows you to use your hard drive that has a native windows or even linux (with Paragon Linux EXT2/3).

2nd feature:

Native toolbox for virtual os. This is essentially the custom tool set that can be installed into the virtual OS.

3rd feature:

Keystrokes & Clipboard. This is how the App controls sharing with whatever is on the clipboard between running VMs.

4th feature:

File sharing and file exchanging. This is how you can just drag a file in a window to some other window in any VM.

5th feature:

OS Merging, basically Coherence for Parallels and Unity for Fusion. This allows you to hide the vm desktop/shell and put the menu/task bars where you want and windows can be from any OS running (depending).

6th feature:

Video Memory allocation. This allows you to set up how much memory you want to use.

7th feature:

Processor and Memory distribution. This allows you to dedicate 1 to x processors to each VM.

Here is a list of the winners in each category:

1:HD usage - Parallels

2:Tools - Fusion

3:Keys & Clip - Fusion

4:File copying - Fusion

5:OS Merging - Fusion

6:Video Memory - Parallels

7:Processors and Memory - Tie

The end result here in my mind is clearly Fusion. I installed Parallels first and thought that I would go ahead and stick with it but I felt it was a little to buggy in the tools department. One thing that stands out though is the hard drive feature. With Paragon EXT2/3 File system extension and some help (google) I was able to use my Linux install to boot natively or us virtually, with windows also. The problem with that was that the vm tools for linux were really buggy with file sharing.

Fusion is a dream though I miss the native hard drive of parallels where you can use either or at will native or virtual, which I couldn't figure out how to do with Fusion in linux, it worked with windows boot camp partition but not my Ubuntu. The sickest feature though of Fusion is the tools. They run flawlessly. Keystrokes, file sharing, clipboard for URLs in Linux or Win didn't matter. The Unity feature, after using Parallels, I thought wouldn't be able to work just due to programming complexity, but NOPE. Unity works like a charm, Mac windows, Window windows, and Linux windows all floating around.


If you really need or want to use the same partition natively and virtually then go with Parallels but one note is you have to uninstall the Virtual Tools, then boot natively and work with the Xorg config in Linux. But for development and I suppose not much gaming, I would say Fusion is the way to go.

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