Resolved Best way to run Windows apps without taking much space

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by dastinger, May 10, 2015.

  1. dastinger, May 10, 2015
    Last edited: May 12, 2015

    dastinger macrumors 6502a

    dastinger

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    #1
    Hey,

    I need to use some apps that are only available for Windows and I usually use Wine Bottler. Most of the apps I need are pretty basic so Wine does the job perfectly. But now I wanted to try a new app that will help me a ton and I can't get it to run on Wine so I need something else.

    Thing is, I have a 256GB SSD with two partitions. One for Mac and another for Windows. I could simply fire up Windows but I want to work on that specific app while using a postgresql DB I have on OS X. What's the best way to run the app without taking too much space? I know I could install a VM but that would take some precious space. If that's the only way, which one is the best option? Is it possible to run the app without firing up Windows on the VM?

    Thanks
     
  2. bernuli macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    #2
    I use VMware with limited storage on my laptop. Some of my virtual machines I run off an external hard disk. Not super convenient but super speedy once you get the thing out of your backpack and plugged in.

    A clean install of Windows XP takes up 4 - 5 GB in as a virtual hard disk. After installing Office and a couple other misc applications, the virtual hard disk takes up 13 - 14 GB.
     
  3. dastinger thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dastinger

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    #3
    Hum, didn't think it was possible to create VMs on external USB HDDs. I guess I found my solution then.

    Thanks a lot!
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    It won't be as quick as running it locally but yes, having your VMs on an external drive is your only viable solution. If you have a thunderbolt port on your Mac, then that will help greatly, i.e., get a thunderbolt enabled external drive.
     
  5. dastinger thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dastinger

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    #5
    Yeh but I don't really need speed. The app I want to use is quite simple but it doesn't run on Wine unfortunately. I have a USB 3.0 drive, I guess it's enough.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    Fair enough but just remember that all disk i/o will be going through the USB so booting up will be significantly slower and of course when its up if there's any i/o you'll see some degradation. To minimize that you could eliminate the pagefile and give it more ram. I'm just pointing out that it will be noticeably slower :)
     
  7. dastinger thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dastinger

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    #7
    Yes I will probably eliminate the pagefile and everything that could take up unnecessary space. I also have 16GB of RAM so I am able to assign 4GB to the VM without messing up what I need on OS X. I guess that's enough. What do you think?
     
  8. dastinger thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dastinger

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    #8
    I ended up trying Parallels because of the whole Apps on the dock thingy and for being able to run the app directly on a separate window like any other OS X app. I don't know if this was available using VMWare but, hey, it works and I'm happy. I also put the VM on a USB 3.0 external HDD and it runs fast enough.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  9. bernuli macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    #9
    You can do the same with VMware.

    I usually go with what Parallels or VMware recommends for RAM when setting up the guest operating system. Even if you have a ton of ram available on the host, you are better off sticking with a lower number for the guest as OS X will cache as much of the VM file as it can.
     
  10. dastinger thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dastinger

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    #10
    Thanks!

    I was going to go with the express settings at first but I noticed Parallels was only assigning 1GB of RAM to Windows 7 and I really don't think that's enough. I ended up assigning 4GB. Maybe it's too much for what I want but I'll try a lower number in the future and see what's best.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #11
    For some reason both Parallels and VMware will recommend ram that is much lower then I'd want to give my guest OS. I have 16GB of ram, and it still only recommends a tiny portion of it to my guest OS. I usually up it to 6 or 8GB since OS X has more then it needs.
     
  12. bernuli macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    #12
    I guess it depends on how many applications you are running at the same time in Windows. Most people only run windows for 1 or 2 small Win applications, so even with a small RAM allotment to guest os, the guest never ends up paging. If it does end up paging, better to have the entire VM disk cached in RAM so that it all runs super fast.

    Sometimes if I want to get the caching out of the way up front, before I start VMware I will run:

    find /Volumes/MacHD/Users/me/VirtualMachines/winXPhomeMAIN/Windows\ XP\ Home\ Edition.vmwarevm -type f -exec cat {} \; >/dev/null

    After that Windows boots like it is on an SSD…well almost.

    Although I think most people don't bother to shut down windows. Suspending should be much quicker.
     

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