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Parallels, VMWare Battle For Mac Virtualization Supremacy

VmwarevsparallelsParallels and VMWare, the two major virtualization options for Mac OS X, have both pushed out some interesting new features in their respect beta releases. Parallels has released a new build with support for Parallels Tools in Linux virtual machines and VMWare has added Mac OS X Server to its list of supported guest operating systems.

It’s worth noting that Parallels Server for Mac already supports Mac OS X Server, but due to the OS X Server licensing restrictions, you could only run a virtual server on a real OS X server. Now that Apple has lifted the licensing restrictions for OS X Server slightly (you still can’t run it on non-Apple hardware), VMWare has jumped in on the fun.

Parallels’ latest salvo in the feature war between these two is support for the Parallels Tools in various Linux distributions (including Ubuntu 8.04). That means the same tools that you use in Windows VMs are now available for your Linux VMs. The Parallels update also includes support for running 3D graphics in your Windows VM on Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.3.

Reader often ask which of the two is a better option for virtualization on the Mac. The truth is they’re both great and either one will handle your virtualization needs without difficulty — just make sure you have plenty of RAM installed.

You can grab the latest build of Parallels of the download site and VMWare Fusion 2 beta 1 is available from the VMWare site.

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