All posts tagged ‘virtualization’

File Under: Software & Tools

Jumpbox Offers an Easier Way to Install Movable Type

Mt4Popular blogging platform, Movable Type is now easier to install on your local PC, thanks to a new virtual appliance from Jumpbox.

Installing Movable Type is a pretty easy process if your web host already has Perl, MySQL and the rest of the components ready to go, but what if you just want to test out MT on your local machine? In that case you may well need to install MySQL, install, or at least start up, Apache, make sure all the Perl modules are loading… it’s a fair bit of work just to test something you may not end up liking.

That’s exactly the sort of headache that virtual appliances were designed to solve, and now you download a pre-configured Movable Type 4.2 that just works right out of the box. The virtual setup is part of a new partnership between MT parent company Six Apart and Jumpbox, makers of virtual appliances.

The nice thing about the new Jumpbox MT package is that the only requirement is some sort of virtualization software. Jumpbox currently supports VMWare, Parallels, Xen Open Source, Microsoft Virtual Server, Microsoft Virtual PC and Virtual Iron.

To get started, just head to the Jumpbox download page, and click the link (the next page will ask for information like e-mail and phone number, but if you look at the bottom left corner of the form you’ll see a link to download without handing over any info). Jumpbox also offers virtual appliances for Joomla, Subversion with Trac and some other popular apps.

Once the rather large (194MB) file finished downloading I fired up VMWare and was up and running Movable Type in all of about two minutes — much quicker than a by-hand installation.

Movable Type in Jumpbox
Jumpbox running in VMWare in the background, while using Movable Type in Safari

If you’ve been wanting to test out Movable Type on your local machine but were put off by the need to install a database or other complicated prerequisites, give the Jumpbox virtual machine a try, it’s definitely the easiest method we’ve found.

[via Market Watch]

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Fusion 2 Upgrade Brings Mac and Windows Harmony

Fusion 2VMWare has announced Fusion 2, the latest release of its flagship Mac virtualization app. Like competitor Parallels, Fusion allows Mac users to run Windows applications alongside their normal Mac OS X apps.

Fusion 2 packs in a host a new features and current Fusion users will happy to hear that the upgrade is free. Among the standout new features are an improved “Unity” mode, multi-display support for virtual machines, improved 3-D graphics and easier-to-use “shared” folders for moving documents between your Mac and the guest OS.

We’ve been using the Fusion 2 betas for some time (see our earlier coverage), but the final release fixes some lingering bugs and polishes up the new features. Unity 2.0 has received a nice makeover from earlier versions and now works with multiple monitors — it even gives your Windows apps a spot on the Dock, so switching from a Mac app to a Windows app is dead simple.

In Fusion 2 the seamless integration of Mac and Windows apps is extended with the new “Mirrored Folders” feature, which provides easy access to all your Mac files from inside any Windows application. Mirrored Folders maps special folders on your Mac to their counterparts in your virtual machine. For instance, all your images in OS X’s Pictures folder will be available in your Windows virtual machine inside the “My Pictures” Folder. The same is true of the Mac folders Documents, Music and Desktop.

Also new in Fusion 2 is multiple monitor support — even your “Unity” windows can be dragged between monitors and expanded and minimized just like your Mac application windows. That means you can, among other things, move all your virtual machine windows to a second monitor so that you can have one monitor for Mac apps and one for Windows or Linux apps.

The multiple monitor support also means that any Windows-only apps that require more than one display will work without a hitch.

Gamers, Fusion 2 has quite a few features that will make your Windows games a bit faster and more impressive on a Mac. The new version offers full support for 3D video acceleration in games (and other apps) that use DirectX 9.0. There’s also support for 1080p HD video playback and more.

You’ll also find a new virus-fighting feature, AutoProtect, which makes automated snapshots of your Windows install. Should a virus strike (remember, just because you’re running Windows on a Mac doesn’t mean Windows is immune to viruses) you can easily roll things back to a pre-virus snapshot.

But Fusion 2 isn’t just about Windows on your Mac, it allows you to run just about any OS including, Linux distros which now work with Unity 2, FreeBSD, OpenSolaris and some 60 other operating systems.

Fusion 2 is a free upgrade for all owners of VMWare Fusion 1. You can grab the latest version from the VMWare downloads page. Fusion 2 costs $80, with a free 30-day trial available.

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Latest Fusion 2.0 Beta Makes Mac and Windows Play Nice

fusionbox.jpgVMWare has release a second beta for its Fusion 2.0 Mac virtualization software. The latest beta brings several new features to the table including a much improved Unity mode which allows Windows, and now Linux, application windows to run alongside your normal Mac apps.

The Windows side of Unity now allows you to launch Mac files with Windows applications (including at nice right-click option in the Finder) and even set web, email, and other links to launch in either your Mac or Windows browser and email clients. A number of bugs in Unity for Windows has also been fixed including a very annoying one that would cause the task bar to behave incorrectly when entering Unity view.

It appears that the Linux Unity support is limited to “common flavors of Linux.” but VMWare’s release notes tout support for Ubuntu 8.04 in the Easy Install dialog, so at a minimum you should be able to run Ubuntu apps in Unity mode.

Also new in beta 2 are Mirrored Folders, which map special Mac folders to their counterparts in your Windows virtual machine. For instance, you can easily access the Mac “Pictures” Folder in your Windows virtual machine as the Windows “My Pictures” folder. The same is true of the Documents, Music, Movies and Desktop folders.

Gamers will be happy to note that DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 2 3D acceleration has been improved over the last beta — which means better gaming speeds. Windows-only high-def video playback is now reportedly faster as well.

There are some other noteworthy improvements in beta 2, including keyboard shortcut mapping, support for multiple snapshots and more.

The latest beta is a free download and VMWare will be offering the final version as free upgrade for existing VMWare Fusion 1.0 customers.

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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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File Under: Software & Tools

Running Microsoft WorldWide Telescope on Your Mac

Microsoft recently made its WorldWide Telescope stargazing app available as a public beta, but, unfortunately for Mac users like our friends on the Wired Science blog, it’s a Windows-only app.

But of course you can run Windows on your Mac. WorldWide Telescope likely runs just fine on a dual boot setup using Apple’s BootCamp software, however, it’ll also work using the latest version of VMWare’s Fusion for Mac.

The VMWare team sent us a note yesterday to let us know that Fusion can indeed handle the DirectX requirements of WorldWide Telescope. I tested it out on a copy of Windows XP running in VMWare on my Macbook and, while there is a performance hit, WorldWide Telescope is still plenty snappy even running in a virtual machine.

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