Visual Studio 2005 on Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by bsmpsu, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. bsmpsu macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2009
    Hello everyone, hopefully I am in the right place...

    I am posting for a friend of mine, who is not so tech-savvy. I am, but I do not have a Mac, which makes things complicated, but here we go. My friend is taking a class which requires the use of Visual Studio 2005 for C++ programming. It's just for a few months, but it will be a lot of work for those few months. The issue is, she has a Mac, and the program is not compatible with Mac.

    I have heard of programs like Parallels, VMX fusion, Bootcamp, etc., but I do not know what these programs do, or how they function. Parallels looks like a good option, but I would assume she would also have to buy a version of Windows of somewhere to load onto her Mac.

    So finally, my question is, what is the easiest, and most inexpensive way to use Visual Studio on a Mac, and please explain how.

    Thanks very much in advance to anyone who can help.
  2. ncoffey macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2005
    The only one I would recommend is to use Boot Camp. Look up tutorials online for how to install it, such as on Apple's website. You will need a copy of Windows and some extra hard drive space. For VS 2005 I would recommend XP if you can get it, but it should work in Vista as well. If you do run into issues they would likely be resolved by installing the service pack for VS 2005

    If installing VS 2005 in Vista install this first:

    and then this:

    (This is assuming you're installing an academic or professional copy. If you're using the express edition then 2008 should be fine.)
  3. iBert macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2004
    I'll have to disagree with ncoffey, Boot Camp is one way to do but not necesarry. Look into Virtual Box , it's the same as Parrallels and VM Ware. They will run Windows while you are on Leopard or Snow Leopard. If this is a starting course in C++, don't sweat it about performance since you won't be actively learning this.

    Another thing your friend can do is load up Xcode and program with xcode, no need for Windows nor VS 2005 or any of its flavors. She should ask if this is an option for her, since learning C++ is mostly the same across platforms. Except when you start looking into OS specific commands.

    Again my options would be,
    1. Use Xcode
    2. Virtual Box (Free) and get a copy of Windows XP and VS express.
  4. MasConejos macrumors regular


    Jun 25, 2007
    Houston, TX
    If you want to go really cheap, I believe you can still get a (free) ~6 month license for Windows 7 RC1, which should be stable enough for programming, and will last long enough until the class is over.
  5. bsmpsu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2009
    First off, thanks for the responses. Xcode SEEMS to be the best option so far, because I'm afraid of trying to tell this girl how to install all this software over the phone...

    Is Xcode similar to Visual Express? Enough that she'll be able to use xcode at home and Visual Studio in class? And, there's no difference in commands is there? Like, the language is exact, the only difference would be icons and menus with the program, right?

    thanks very much.
  6. Maxpilot macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2009
    I use Visual Studio on my MacBook Pro using VMWare Fusion and Windows XP. It works well. I recommend this as she will be able to work in both platforms at the same time. If she wanted she could have XCode running and Visual Studio running in VMWare/XP at the same time and switch back and forth.
  7. printf macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2008
    you said the class requires visual studio 2005. xcode will not be able to read the .sln or project files, not to mention getting carbon (this is C++, not Objective C, right?) apps up and running are going to make this extra challenging if they have to port their projects. And multiply that times like 10+ if there is a UI. Quartz vs. GDI, etc.

    being a windows developer and having done a bit of mac dev, i'd suggest using bootcamp. you should be familiar with this concept if you've ever set up a dual boot on windows. for the Mac you'll only have to hold down the Option key when you start your computer and it will give you the option of the OS to boot into. then when the class is over, your friend can choose to delete the new partition via the bootcamp assistant.

    of course, this is just my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions...

    ps. Maxpilot's suggestion looks good as well.
  8. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    For a beginner, I would say to avoid Xcode. It's different enough to be a hindrance in this case. VS on Windows is the way to go if that's what the class is using.
  9. zippyfly macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2008
    IMHO the best option is:

    1) Use Bootcamp to install a PC partition onto her Mac so this way you run a 100% PC device

    2) Buy/get a copy of Windows to install onto the Bootcamp partition -- note that Windows 7 beta has been discontinued and is no longer free to download

    3) Get Visual Studio 2005 and install onto the Windows partition.

    4) Suffer Windows and get back to Mac after several months.


    This method guarantees that she is running a 100% Windows and Visual Studio environment and will be able to get help from others who are on the exact same environment. Anything other than this (such as using various other Win32 support methods), and her "problems" could be unique to her configuration. I don't recommend newbies use Parallels or Fusion; I have seen them get totally confused and even lose the mouse pointer and forget how to get it back or accidentally go into "coherence" mode.
  10. zippyfly macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2008
    By the way, for the purposes of your problem, I would say that Xcode is TOTALLY DIFFERENT from Visual Studio.

    Definitely, different enough that a beginner would be totally confused.

    Experts could consider them similar in the way pilots can fly different airplanes.
  11. jamesapp macrumors 6502a

    Mar 7, 2008
    I think running bootcamp is the way to go. When you partition your hard drive you can startup your computer as windows vista. And as far as I can tell it is like having a windows vista computer. I was taking an assembly language class and I used bootcamp and I installed windows vista on my intell mac. When I took the class all I had to do was install visual studio, and then I was running what everyone in the class was running.

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