written by: C.D. Crowder•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 12/27/2010
Take advantage of all Windows has to offer while still getting all the benefits of a Mac by using VMware Fusion. A Vmware Fusion installation on your Mac allows you to install Windows operating systems and programs without needing a pc.
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VMware Fusion Purpose
Unlike many other applications that work as an emulator, VMware Fusion allows you to run applications and operating systems using the resources from your Mac in real-time, meaning no glitches or delays like you find in similar software, such as Microsoft's Virtual PC. VMware Fusion is a virtual machine, which works the same as a physical computer. Virtual machines contain virtual hard drives, disk drives, processor, memory, network adapters and USB controllers. This allows you to enjoy your favorite Windows operating system or applications without needing a separate computer.
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Before your VMware Fusion installation, check to see that your system meets the necessary requirements. Your Mac must have an Intel processor. In addition, you need at least a 1.5Ghz processor with 512MB RAM, though 1GB is recommended. You need 275MB of hard drive space to install the application itself. You will also need at least 1GB of hard drive space for each virtual machine you install.
In addition to these requirements, your Mac must also meet the requirements of the guest operating system you plan to install as a virtual machine. You must have Mac OS X version 10.4.9 or higher in order to use VMware Fusion.
VMware Fusion supports a large variety of both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems, including Windows 95 and higher, Ubuntu and RedHat Linux and Novell Netware.
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VMware Fusion Installation
You can either order a CD version of VMware Fusion or download the software from VMware. The software costs approximately $79.99, though rebates and discounts are offered from time to time.
After downloading the file, double-click the file which will be in the format VMware-Fusion-e.x.p-buildnumber.dmg. This is a disk image file. Double-clicking it mounts the file so you can install VMware Fusion. Open a Finder window and select the VMware Fusion volume you just mounted. Double-click the VMware Fusion icon with the .pkg extension.
Follow the installation assistant prompts to finish the VMware Fusion installation, such as choosing the installation location. Enter your serial number when prompted. If you do not have a serial number, you can purchase one or continue using the software on a trial basis. Restart your system after the installation completes.
After installation, open the Applications folder and double-click VMware Fusion.app. From this screen, you can create a new virtual machine, browse for existing machines, open virtual machines or download pre-configured virtual machines from VMware Fusion. You can use the Windows Easy Install feature to install certain Windows operating systems, which makes Windows installation easier for beginners. For help installing other operating systems, see the VMware Fusion Help section. The Virtual Applicance Marketplace from VMware Fusion provides downloads of virtual machines for many open source operating systems in addition to Windows. After operating systems are installed, you can then install Windows and open source applications.