VMware Fusion Evaluation

Since much of my job involves rolling out Linux solutions I’ve been experimenting with VMware Fusion Beta for the Macintosh in my development environment. Given that the product is still in beta, I have very few complaints about its actual stability. Most of the features work reliably as advertised, but there are some basic points of functionality that I feel the software is lacking. More on that later.

First, let’s take a look at exactly what VMware Fusion is. At its core, the package allows the user to create and run virtual machines on the Macintosh. For those who are new to virtualization, it is a way to run multiple virtual computers on one actual computer. The hardware resources are abstracted and shared to the virtual machines through the virtualization software — in this case VMware Fusion. A complete description on virtualization can be found here.

Previous to Fusion, only VMware player was available to Macintosh users, so it is nice to actually be able to create virtual machines locally. The snapshot feature is also very nice for development purposes since you can instantly roll back to a previous working state should you corrupt the software on the virtual machine.

Perhaps the problem that annoyed me most, however, was the fact that there is no clear way to delete virtual machines from within the software. I actually tried to get rid of one by deleting this folder:

/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/myaccount/Documents/Virtual Machines/Mymachine.vmwarevm

But I just ended up breaking the “Virtual Machine Library” application and having to uninstall and reinstall everything from scratch. The process detailing how to delete a virtual machine did not exist anywhere in the VMware Fusion FAQ or documentation as far as I could tell. Granted, it’s beta software, but I would think this should be a core feature of any virtualization product. At least they provide an “Uninstaller” script.

VMware Fusion is a basic piece of software that succeeds in fulfilling the most fundamental of virtualization requirements. If all you want to do is be able to run a virtual machine or two on your Mac, it will most likely work for you. If you are looking to deploy it as part of an enterprise solution, I would suggest letting the product mature a while and using something like Parallels instead.

13 thoughts on “VMware Fusion Evaluation

  1. Thanks for posting this. I was trying to find a way to remove a VM also, but couldn’t find any documentation about it. I had set up a VM with Fusion, but then decided to use the BootCamp partition instead. So now I have a 20GB VM not doing much of anything for me. Blah.

  2. Yup no info on deleting – just hit delete when selected in the window… far too easy – then close and delete folder which you indicated. Then uninstall and use Parallels ;)

  3. yes, i am extremely annoyed too. i had already installed bootcamp, and when i installed Fusion and started running XP, it asked me to reactivate windows – and it never would let me. ahhhh…now it’s been deleted and i can run windows via bootcamp in peace.

  4. I hope this helps. I am using VMWARE in Ubuntu. Removing a virtual machine is a piece of cake.
    1. Boot VMWARE
    2. Hit F9 or from the VIEW menu select “Inventory
    ” This will open a side window on the left.
    3. Right click on the Virtual Machine you wish to remove.
    4. Select “remove from disk”

    Good Luck

  5. The correct way to delete a virtual machine is to delete /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/myaccount/Documents/Virtual Machines/Mymachine.vmwarevm, just like you would any other document. You should go over to the VMware Fusion forums and give some more details about how it caused the Virtual Machine Library to break (also, this isn’t a separate application) and/or report a bug.

  6. To delete a virtual machine in Leopard go to /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/myaccount/LibraryApplication Support/VMWare Fusion/Virtual Machines/Boot Camp and delete the folder containing the virtual machine you wish to delete.


  7. Previous to Fusion, only VMware player was available to Macintosh users,

    …Where?? This is all that I need, and no, according to everything I find, Fusion IS VMWare Player for OS/x, there is NO free player for OS/x, only a worthless trial.

    If I’m incorrect, then please point me in the direction of the free vm player for OS/X, otherwise, check your facts.

  8. I had installed XP Home under Fusion, but want to use XP Pro instead. I just dragged the XP Home out of the Virtual Machine Library (application window, not file directory) and into the trash can. Looks gone to me.

    There is a reference to removing certain files at
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080123153021AA1fqxb
    but I could not find the files types listed there or the ones mentioned in these posts.

    vmware fusion help says to 1) power off the VM, 2) use finder – user/documents/virtual machines/(VMfile), 3) drag vmfile to trash.

  9. Eric, comment 6 was a Godsend– too easy! Worked great! I am a 25 year Dos/windows guy, and I find I am stopped by many Mac things because they require only 1 easy step, and I don’t know what it is. I owe you…
    Jim

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