VMware Releases Beta 2 Of Mac Virtualization App

The latest suite of Mac-Windows integration features new ways for protecting virtual machines with multiple snapshots and new tools for technical professionals.
VMware has released beta 2 of Fusion 2, the latest version of the company's virtualization software for running Windows or Linux on an Intel-based Mac.

Fusion 2.0 Beta 2, released Wednesday, adds the Unity 2.0 suite of Mac-Windows integration features, new ways for protecting virtual machines with multiple snapshots and new tools for technical professionals, according to VMware's Fusion 2.0 blog.

VMware plans to offer Fusion 2.0 at no charge to customers of Fusion 1.x. The software is one of two non-Apple virtualization products available for running Windows or Linux on the Mac. The other is Parallels' Desktop for Mac.

The Unity 2.0 software makes it possible to share applications between Windows and the Mac. Users can launch Mac files with Windows applications, and set Web, e-mail and other links to launch in either the Mac or Windows browser and e-mail clients.

So-called "mirrored folders" make it possible to map the contents of the Mac desktop, documents, music and picture folders to the Windows desktop, My Documents, My Music and My Pictures folders. In addition, the Mac keyboard can be mapped to send custom keynote combinations into the virtual machine.

Also new in beta 2 is the ability to take and manage multiple snapshots for each virtual machine. This feature provides recovery in case of a failure or to protect against problems when installing new software.

For gamers, DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 2 3D acceleration is more refined for better graphics within Windows games. In addition, high-definition content runs at near native speed, according to VMware.

For tech pros, Fusion 2.0 Beta 2 includes the Mac OS X Leopard Server virtual machines, and better Linux support, including support for Ubuntu Hardy Heron and Linux Unity view. The addition of Leopard Server VMs Fusion 2 supports all major server operating systems, both 32-bit and 64-bit.

Finally, Beta 2 enables users to add up to four virtual CPUs to virtual machines and control VMs from the command line using VMrun.

Fusion 2 Beta 2 and the software's release notes are available for download on the VMware site.