|Stable release||6.0.3 / April 17, 2014|
|Operating system||Mac OS X|
|License||Commercial proprietary software|
VMware Fusion is a software hypervisor developed by VMware for computers running OS X with Intel processors. Fusion allows Intel-based Macs to run operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Linux, NetWare, or Solaris on virtual machines, along with their Mac OS X operating system using a combination of paravirtualization, hardware virtualization and dynamic recompilation.
Fusion, made possible by the Apple–Intel transition, marked VMware's first entry into Macintosh-based x86-virtualization. Fusion uses Intel VT present in the Intel Core microarchitecture platform. Much of the underlying technology in Fusion is inherited from other VMware products, such as VMware Workstation, allowing Fusion to offer features such as 64-bit and SMP support from the first beta version onward.
Fusion 1.0 was released on August 6, 2007, exactly one year after being announced.
- An Intel-based x64 Mac
- 2 GB of RAM (4 GB recommended)
- 750 MB free disk space
- 5 GB free disk space for each virtual machine (10 GB or more recommended)
- Mac OS X 10.7.0 or later (OS X 10.7.5 or later recommended)
- Operating system installation media for virtual machines
- Optional: nVidia GeForce 8600M, ATI Radeon HD 2400 or better graphics for Windows Aero support
Unity view creates a seamless desktop environment between Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X applications. It optionally hides Windows' start menu and taskbar and runs the Windows applications directly from the dock in OS X. Further, users can drag and drop files between Windows and the Mac, and use familiar Mac keyboard shortcuts to copy and paste between Windows and Mac applications. It is (almost) fully compatible with Exposé. Fusion windows that are covered by other Fusion windows don't redraw when switching to Exposé, causing visual anomalies. This feature is later made available in VMware Workstation 6.5 Beta, which is designed to be run on Windows/Linux platforms.
DirectX 9.0 is supported through dynamic recompilation to OpenGL instructions in Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 virtual machines. Hence, users can play supported games through Fusion or run applications which require 3D graphics. VMware Fusion 3 has DirectX 9 Shader Model 3 and OpenGL support.
32-bit and 64-bit guest operating systems are supported by VMWare Fusion. Over 60 operating systems are supported, including Windows Vista, Windows XP, Linux, and Solaris. Additionally, VMWare Fusion 2.0 adds support for Mac OS X Server version 10.5 (Leopard) as a guest on a Mac OS X host. Additionally, Fusion 2.0.1 added experimental support for un-released developer builds of Mac OS X Server 10.6 (Snow Leopard) – presumably for software developers with Apple-granted access to pre-release builds of Snow Leopard. There is also support for Windows XP Service Pack 2 Boot Camp partitions: a user can use his Windows Boot Camp partition, eliminating the need for two separate Windows installations. In addition, VMWare Fusion offers support of up to 8 GB of memory on guest 64-bit operating systems, and up to 16GB of RAM on Mac Pros and Xserves.
Snapshots enable users to save a stable state of the guest operating system to disk, allowing users to quickly return to their virtual machine without the need of rebooting.
Shared Folders allow the mounting of folders from the host operating system to the guest operating system.
Extensive hardware support is built into VMWare Fusion. For networking, there is support for wired and wireless networks, in NAT or bridged mode (albeit, erratic availability with wireless interfaces). There is access to physical devices from the virtual machine (i.e. read and write CDs and DVDs) as well as access to USB 2.0 devices such as video cameras, iPods, printers, and disks at full speed. Firewire support is still missing in the latest version, although a workaround exists by mounting the device as a shared folder.
Support for multiple CPUs (SMP) or multicore CPUs is built into VMWare Fusion. Fusion also allows the user to assign up to eight CPUs to one virtual machine to gain additional performance for CPU-intensive workloads.
VMware Fusion 2.0 was released as a free upgrade on September 12, 2008. New features in this release include:
- Multi-display support – enables the use of up to 10 additional displays by guest operating systems
- Virtual Machine conversion – allows the conversion of Parallels Desktop and Microsoft Virtual PC virtual machines to VMware
- Support for DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 2
- Application sharing between Windows and Mac – users can set certain files to launch with specific Mac or Windows applications
- Folder Mirroring – allows select folders to be accessible on both the host and guest operating system
- Keyboard and Mouse shortcut mapping
- Snapshot improvements – multiple snapshot support, in addition to creating automatic snapshots at set intervals
- Improved CPU resource utilization
- Support for 4 processor virtual machines
- Mac OS X Leopard Server virtualization support
- Improved Linux support
VMware Fusion 3.0 was released as a paid upgrade on October 27, 2009. Some new features in this release include:
- Optimization for Mac OS X 10.6 clients, including full 64 bit process support
- Full support for Mac OS X 10.6 Server clients
- Improved PC Migration Assistant
- Improved support for Windows 7 virtual machines, including full Windows Aero support with Flip 3D and Aero Peek
- Support for DirectX 9.0c with Shader Model 3 and OpenGL graphics libraries ( v2.1 in XPDM drivers, v1.4 in WDDM drivers )
- Improved VM disk and graphics performance under Mac OS X 10.6 clients
- New "Always-on" Applications Menu provides enhanced start menu functionality in the Mac OS X Finder
- Improvements to Virtual Machine Library window
- Automatic software update functionality
- Improvements to Copy and Paste, Drag and Drop functions on Windows and Linux virtual machines
VMware Fusion 4.0 was released as a paid upgrade on September 14, 2011. Some new features in this release include:
- Optimization for Mac OS X 10.7 clients, including support for full screen Windows programs, gestures and integration with LaunchPad and Mission Control
- Updated user interface
- Support for Time Machine compatible snapshots
- App Unity feature allows you to integrate Windows programs into Mac OS X 10.7 by adding them to Launchpad, searching them using Spotlight or accessing them directly from the Mac applications folder
- Improved resume function
- Support for virtual machine encryption
- Up to 2.5x faster OpenGL and DirectX 3D graphics performance on Mac OS X 10.7 clients
- New VMware Fusion Learning Center feature
VMware Fusion 5.0 was released as a paid upgrade on August 23, 2012. Some new features in this release include:
- Designed for Mac OS X 10.8 clients, including support for running Windows on Mountain Lion, searching Windows programs in Launchpad, using AirPlay Mirroring, and notification center.
- Windows 8 optimisation
- Enhanced Mac support, including compatibility with Mountain Lion, retina displays, USB 3.0 and large memory
- Next generation performance including up to 40% faster general performance, improved power management and faster 3D graphics
- Additional functionalities, including an updated virtual machine library, one click snapshots, a new Linux graphics driver and embedded learning center
VMware Fusion 5.0 Professional was also introduced. Some features include:
- OVF support
- Restricted virtual machines
- VMware Player 5 commercial license
- Support and management
VMware Fusion 6.0 was released as a paid upgrade on September 3, 2013. Some new features in this release include:
- Designed for Mac OS X Mavericks
- Windows 8.1 support
- Near-Native Performance
- Retina Display Optimization
|This section requires expansion. (May 2012)|
|1.0||August 6, 2007||First release (following 4 betas).|
|1.1.0||November 12, 2007||Support for Leopard, Boot Camp, and improvements to DirectX support and Unity.|
|1.1.1||January 24, 2008||Various bug fixes.|
|1.1.2||April 23, 2008||Support for Time Machine and various bug fixes.|
|1.1.3||May 30, 2008||Various bug fixes.|
|2.0||September 12, 2008||Multiple Snapshots with AutoProtect, Improved Unity, DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 2 3D, and support for Mac OS X Server guests.|
|2.0.1||November 14, 2008||Various bug fixes.|
|2.0.2||February 11, 2009||Import from Parallels, supports Mac OS X Server 10.5.6 host, mounts DMG images, supports Ubuntu 8.10 in Unity mode.|
|2.0.3||April 2, 2009||Various bug fixes. Adds experimental support for Snow Leopard Developer Builds.|
|2.0.4||April 9, 2009||Fixed Host code execution vulnerability.|
|2.0.5||June 23, 2009||Support for Nehalem Mac Pro. Experimental support for Mac OS X 10.6 as guest. Support for Ubuntu 9.04 as guest. Various bug fixes.|
|2.0.6||October 1, 2009||Fixed issues when running on Snow Leopard. Fixed issues with NVidia graphics cards on Mac OS X 10.6. Various bug fixes.|
|2.0.7||April 8, 2010||Fixed security issues, accepts VMware Fusion 3 license keys.|
|3.0||October 27, 2009||Added support for Windows 7 with Aero. Full 64‑bit compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6 host and guest. DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3 3D. WDDM-compatible display driver.|
|3.0.1||December 10, 2009||Improved 3D & video performance, full support for Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala), 64‑bit networking subsystem, improved VMware Importer, improved VM resume times.|
|3.0.2||February 18, 2010||Fixes a problem so that the latest release of Mac OS X 10.6 Server (Snow Leopard) can run in a virtual machine.|
|3.1.0||May 25, 2010||Improved 3D & video performance, improved Unity view performance and integration, USB EasyConnect, improved migration assistant, 8‑core SMP support, increased virtual hard disk size, updated operating system support.|
|3.1.1||August 12, 2010||Various bug fixes. VMware vSphere 4.1 is now supported as a guest operating system.|
|3.1.2||December 2, 2010||Fixes various bugs and security issues.|
|3.1.3||May 31, 2011||Fixes various bugs and security issues.|
|3.1.4||April 13, 2012||Fixes a bug with starting virtual machines on OS X 10.7.4.|
|4.0||September 14, 2011||Run Lion, Lion Server, Snow Leopard, Snow Leopard Server, and Leopard Server in virtual machines, up to 2.5x faster 3D graphics, add Windows programs to Launchpad, view in full screen, or in Mission Control.|
|4.0.1||September 14, 2011||Contains an update that ensures that disk buffering is enabled when set to automatic.|
|4.0.2||September 27, 2011||Addresses an issue starting virtual machines running a forthcoming version of Mac OS X Lion.|
|4.1.0||November 17, 2011||Added support for Lion's full screen mode, improved performance, and reintroduced the ability to turn on virtual machines automatically when VMware Fusion is opened.|
|4.1.1||November 23, 2011||Reintroduces the Mac OS X Server check after it was inadvertently omitted from 4.1.0.|
|4.1.2||April 12, 2012||Adds early host and guest support in preparation for the future release of OS X Mountain Lion.|
|4.1.3||June 13, 2012||Various bug fixes|
|4.1.4||November 8, 2012||Various bug fixes|
|5.0.0||August 23, 2012||VMware Fusion 5 has been revamped to take advantage of new technologies only available in Mountain Lion, Windows 8 and the latest Macs|
|5.0.1||August 30, 2012||Improved handling of USB devices|
|5.0.2||November 8, 2012||Various bug fixes|
|5.0.3||March 14, 2013||Various bug fixes|
|5.0.4||December 11, 2013||Various bug fixes|
|6.0.0||September 3, 2013|
|6.0.1||September 19, 2013|
|6.0.2||November 05, 2013|
|6.0.3||April 17, 2014||Maintenance release which resolved some known issues|
- Comparison of VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop
- Desktop virtualization
- Platform virtualization
- Virtual disk image
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