Best virtualization software to run windows ?

dacoolest

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 11, 2011
184
0
Hi, I have a macbook pro with 4GB RAM and I have to set up windows for some of my college work. Which is the best way to run windows in a virtual environment? Or should I install it through boot camp ? Please help me to find a good "how-to" or tutorials in doing that. Thanks
 

dacoolest

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 11, 2011
184
0
To run Windows apps on your Mac, you need to install Windows via Boot Camp or use Parallels or VMware Fusion.

If you don't have a Windows license, you can use CrossOver to run some applications. Not all Windows apps are compatible with CrossOver. Check their site for compatible apps.
Thank you for the reply. I thought of trying Parallels. Would this expose my mac os to viruses or any other problems by virtualizing windows? Or does it makes any major changes in the mac os installation that I should be aware of ?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,419
756
Thank you for the reply. I thought of trying Parallels. Would this expose my mac os to viruses or any other problems by virtualizing windows? Or does it makes any major changes in the mac os installation that I should be aware of ?
Of course, you'll want antivirus to protect your Windows installation, but Windows malware can't have any affect on Mac OS X. Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released 10 years ago. You cannot infect your Mac simply by visiting a website, unzipping a file, opening an email attachment or joining a network. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which cannot infect your Mac unless you actively install them, and they can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install. Also, Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,331
243
One of the beauties of virtualization is that you can have more than one virtual machine, so if one is compromised, you just hose it and use the other. And you can set up a machine that is optimised for the software you're using on it, and stop it almost mid process, so you can later take up where you left off. That's often much easier than booting in and out of Bootcamp.

If I were you I'd check the support for VMWare, Parallels and Bootcamp. I found the Parallels info to be the most up-to-date and complete for my needs, so that's why I use the current version of that software. YMMV, however.

Rob
 

dacoolest

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 11, 2011
184
0
Of course, you'll want antivirus to protect your Windows installation, but Windows malware can't have any affect on Mac OS X. Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released 10 years ago. You cannot infect your Mac simply by visiting a website, unzipping a file, opening an email attachment or joining a network. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which cannot infect your Mac unless you actively install them, and they can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install. Also, Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.
One of the beauties of virtualization is that you can have more than one virtual machine, so if one is compromised, you just hose it and use the other. And you can set up a machine that is optimised for the software you're using on it, and stop it almost mid process, so you can later take up where you left off. That's often much easier than booting in and out of Bootcamp.

If I were you I'd check the support for VMWare, Parallels and Bootcamp. I found the Parallels info to be the most up-to-date and complete for my needs, so that's why I use the current version of that software. YMMV, however.

Rob
Thanks again for both replies. I'm going to set up with Parallels now :)
 

teeshirt

macrumors newbie
Jan 24, 2012
7
0
nowhere
Thanks again for both replies. I'm going to set up with Parallels now :)
I used to run Windows under Parallels on my old MacBook, 2 GB RAM and it worked, but it slowed down the computer a lot and used a lot of battery power.

I have managed to avoid having to use Windows for almost two years since I got my new MacBook Pro but now I have to, so I am really considering VirtualBox, because it is free, open source (open source software very often runs much better and is better supported than proprietary software) and because I really don't wanna go back to Parallels. The information on the VirtualBox website looks good, but does anyone have any experience?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,429
31,473
Boston
I've used vmware, virtual box and parallels and of the three I prefer Vmware fusion as it offers a good balance performance, stability and awesome support.
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,386
61
I made the same experience as maflynn, VMWare is the most solid and stable of the pack. Virtualbox doesn't have to be quite on one level as it is free but I am very glad I tried Parallels before I bought it. Parallels gave me way to many troubles to be worth the money.
 

waynep

macrumors 6502
Dec 31, 2009
434
0
I currently run Win 7 in VM using VirtualBox. I tried Fusion and liked it but decided to try VB which is free. That was a year ago and I am still on VB as I have had no problems and it's done what I need. I only fire up the VM about 3-4 times per month so it's not a daily task that I need.
 

Panch0

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2010
683
6
Virginia
The only reason that I would bother with Bootcamp would be to play PC games.
All three VM options have advantages.

Parallels is almost always one version ahead in Graphics performance.
VMWare has been, in my experience, stable and trouble free.
VirtualBox is free.

I currently use VMWare at work and Parallels at home, but after the last Parallels upgrade I decided they would never get another cent from me. The two are equivalent in features and usability for me, but Parallels support was just unacceptably bad the one time I had to contact them.