Virtualize, don't dual boot

Virtualize, don't dual boot

Summary: There's been plenty of hype about Apple's dual boot option for Windows Macs, Boot Camp but there's another option that is worthy of consideration.

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There's been plenty of hype about Apple's dual boot option for Windows Macs, Boot Camp but there's another option that is worthy of consideration.

In my post about Boot Camp yesterday I mentioned that although it's a great option for people that need a full Windows workstation, I prefer something like Wine that allows you to run Windows applications while still living in Mac OS X.

There's another solution that does this now called Parallels. Parallels Workstation 2.1 is the first desktop virtualization solution for Intel-based Macs that enables you to run Windows, Linux and other operating systems in parallel inside Mac OS X.

Its important to note that this is not a "dual-boot" environment like Boot Camp. Parallels allows you to use Windows or any other operating system at the same time as Mac OS X, so that you can stay in your Mac OS X desktop while still being able to use applications from other OSes. Parallels allows you to build virtual machines running nearly any x86-compatible OS, including Windows 3.1-XP/2003, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, OS/2, eComStation, and MS-DOS.

Think of it as a "single boot" solution for running other OSes simultaneously on your Mac.

The Mac version is still in beta testing, so you should expect some problems. The mouse is a little wacky, there's an issue with it forcing a restart when OS X wakes from sleep if you leave an instance of Windows running and full screen support is not included in the Beta.

Download a free, fully-functional 30-day trial of Parallels Workstation 2.1 for Mac OS X and submit comments, suggestions and feedback on the Parallels Web site.

Topic: Operating Systems

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  • Dual Boot is Good

    I've always carped at my sibling brother that you couldn't dual boot on OSX platforms, and made the point that you 'should' be able to do so if the situation warrants. That always troubled me, and I see the advent of 'Boot Camp' as possibly a indicator of a new philosophy--namely--Apple is in the hardware business, primarily.

    What will really be more interesting, as distinguished from running a VM on OSX, such as is the case with Parallel's product, is to see if, that 'philosophy' holds true, Apple puts forth support for a 'Xen'-like kernel. Since OSX is an *ix derivative, this wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities, and not a stretch for them to bring to market!

    But, Dual Boot is Good simply because you can do it if you want.

    My argument to my brother doesn't hold water anymore.

    To the Apple 'faithful' let me be clear, this add another reason why I just might get a MINI or a MacBookPro.

    It's getting more interesting by the 'hour'! ;)
    D T Schmitz
    • Dual booting on older Macs

      ---I've always carped at my sibling brother that you couldn't dual boot on OSX platforms, and made the point that you 'should' be able to do so if the situation warrants.---

      You could always dual boot on a Mac. There are plenty of PPC variants of Linux that dual boot just fine with OSX.

      ---


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      Virtualize, don't dual boot


      TalkBack 1 of 2:



      Dual Boot is Good
      I've always carped at my sibling brother that you couldn't dual boot on OSX platforms, and made the point that you 'should' be able to do so if the situation warrants. That always troubled me, and I see the advent of 'Boot Camp' as possibly a indicator of a new philosophy--namely--Apple is in the hardware business, primarily.

      What will really be more interesting, as distinguished from running a VM on OSX, such as is the case with Parallel's product, is to see if, that 'philosophy' holds true, Apple puts forth support for a 'Xen'-like kernel. Since OSX is an *ix derivative, this wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities, and not a stretch for them to bring to market!

      But, Dual Boot is Good simply because you can do it if you want.

      My argument to my brother doesn't hold water anymore.

      ---To the Apple 'faithful' let me be clear, this add another reason why I just might get a MINI or a MacBookPro.----

      Join us......join us.......
      tic swayback
      • Dual Boot Point Well Taken

        I meant Windows.

        I pointed out dual-boot Linux to my brother--he wouldn't have any part of it. ;)

        Thanks for clarifying the point [i]tic swayback[/i]!
        D T Schmitz
  • Someday it will be standard

    I predict that someday, the computer operating systems MUST include virtualization built-in to the base system.
    I have seen for years, that it is necessary to be able to run some programs that belong to one system and then some on another.
    The recent solutions have been to BUY another machine that has the OS that you need.
    Dual Boot, is a very bad way to go, as you find yourself having to perform some task in one boot and then save some data to a common area and then reboot to the other OS.
    Networking has solved some of the problems, but then Desk Real Estate has to go and your operating area on the desk gets trashed.
    Virtualization really makes sense, and if some of the BIG Boys or Girls come out first with the OS, then more people will by it than one without the virtualization.
    Speed can be improved also by enhancing the underlying chips so that Guest OS actually run at expected speeds.
    Apple has already shown that they can PORT their system to Intel, but why not have BOTH CPU systems in the same box.
    Amiga, way back in the 80s, did just that when they created a plug in board with an Intel 386 on board to run Windows programs on an AMIGA without a dual boot necessary. It needed some savvy user to work it right and set it up, but it did work.
    Most casual users would never need a system like this, but developers and professionals would really benefit by having a computer that "out-of-the-box" could run almost all available operating systems and programs without the need to reboot.
    Just my $0.02
    Bob
    rem1010
    • Secondary CPU boards? Been there...

      There have been secondary CPU cards for running additional OSes for years. Apple made a few themselves back in the NuBus days (early-mid 90s), one with a 486 and one with a Pentium I-equivalent Cyrix. As I recall, Windows 3.1 + DOS was all they'd run.

      There were also PCI cards later on by third-party developers; but most of them were intended for Linux, and used PowerPC. If memory serves, someone around 1998 made a PCI card with a Pentium II on it, for running Win95.
      adlerpe
  • Dual Boot is interesting, Virtual is better

    Boot Camp is avery good approach for those that need to use XP,
    but the shifting between OS X and XP is going to take a lot of
    time. Maybe Apple will develop it to where it can use Fast User
    Switching, but even that doesn't support drag & dropping of
    files.

    Parallels would have had the folks at MS reaching for the
    antacids not only because Parallels came out first (and probably
    a lot cheaper) but also because of the wide range of OSs that it
    will support. MS had probably hoped to have their upcoming
    VPC for Mactels supporting only 2000, XP and Vista.

    While Parallels will be great for the tech oriented that want to
    use Linux (and a few of the others supported) I think most users
    will be happy just having a Win solution and the decision for
    them will be both cost and, more importantly, how close to
    native speeds the virtual computer will run. MS should have the
    advantage in terms of speed and will need to face reality in the
    area of pricing. They also need to move rather fast now that the
    competition has hit the market and more will probably follow.

    It's rather ironic that the Mac will end up being the computer
    than can "do it all" - even the cheapest Mac mini.
    Ken_z
  • Dual boot sux totally

    You can't be in two places at the same time! Not only that, but you can't access files of one from the other! Virtualization is the way to go - but VMWare needs to create a version of its workstation for OS/X (and Solaris x86).
    Roger Ramjet
    • Mount

      Actually, I have routinely mounted volumes (including Windows NTFS) from Linux--see the man pages.


      It 'should' be the same in OSX to mount and read another primary active partition, but I have no experience level with Apple OSX.

      Mounting another 'non-windows' partition from within the bootstrapped Windows (i.e. Apple HFS) may not be possible, but I'm not 100% sure though.

      Charles Barkley:

      [i]"I may be wrong, but I doubt it."[/i]

      :)
      D T Schmitz
  • I Agree.... Why not Darwine

    http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/Darwine

    It would be nice to see Apple or someone put more resources behind things like this.
    Or Perhaps a OSX version of commercial products like CrossOver/Cedgra?

    I think it is interesting that "virtualization" has become the hot buzz in the tech tabloids recently.

    Yes it can be more convenient than dual boot.....

    Don't get me wrong it is a great tool for technical professionals & enthusiast who have not yet discovered it. And it is good to see competition and choices both free & reasonably priced.

    But (I could be wrong) it seems to me that the market in general might be better served with tools like Wine/CrossOver or VMPlayer.

    Why (for the General/Casual user) the need to run the extra overhead of a complete extra OS when the primary goal is just to run a couple of apps or games that are not native. Not to forget the advantage of retaining ones software investment a little longer or being able to purchase new software without having to worry if it will run or not...

    Yes probably naive wishful thinking........

    Virtualization is great for those who want or need it...
    Good for Parallels for providing a Mac Host....

    I prefer Linux as a host ... but wonder if running Linux on a MacIntel as host with Parallels and the virtualize OSX or 2k as needed?????? best of all worlds? or Xen as host & run anything/everything else virtually....
    LazLong
  • Dual Boot vs Virtualization

    In most cases virtualization would be the preferred and better
    solution. What a lot of people who have been posting have
    overlooked is the fact that MS has gone and built proprietary stuff
    (DirectX and more?) that will only work when the OS has TOTAL
    control over the system resources. If every OS maker would use
    industry standards (NOT de facto or 'extended' ones) then the
    virtualization folks could give use the abilities we are looking for,
    including games.
    Mr_Dave
  • Dual Boot is Better

    There are several reasons for dual booting, against virtualizing:
    1) Performance. Any time you run native, you run faster. Running one OS on top of another will yield slower performance.
    2) Control. Another responder was right, you always have resource control issues running multiple OSs simultaneously.
    3) Simplicity. It may seem wonderful to have all the apps of both OSs at your fingertips, but generally you end up spend most of your time in one OS and only do the things in the other that absolutely can't be done in your preferred OS. So the majority of your time will be spent in one place.

    There are several very clear app-specific reasons to have a dual-boot machine:
    1) Mac graphics in a Win world. Most Win sys admins hate Macs. They don't play well on Win networks, and that's what runs on the systems of large companies. Having a dual-boot machine will help soothe the beast of some of those admins. Related to that ...
    2) Internet development. Sure, I know there are plenty of Mac internet development programs. But facts are facts, the PC has taken over this arena. It has better DB support and lots of tools that don't exist on the PC at all. Booting native allows for the best development performance. It also allows for better site testing across OS platforms.
    3) Email. I know that most people won't want to dual-boot to get email, I wouldn't want to. But email admin in large companies is a pain with Macs. Their integration with Microsoft Exchange barely works. Furthermore, Mac email client software is, for the most part, a big step downwards, feature-wise.
    4) Network file access. Sure, you can access PC file networks, but it's not a clean experience, certainly not full-featured like how drives and folders and files are available in Windows.
    scid3guy
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