I’ve not had a lot of luck in the past with updating my VMware Fusion installs. Since version 5.x and upwards through to 6.x I’ve always had some annoying bugs or issues crop up when updating Fusion on my work machine. Whether these be relating to functionality I am used to changing, or bugs that interfere with my use of the software, there has always been something that goes wrong when I update.
So here is some general advice for when a new update for Fusion appears (this is what I now do before updating to the latest and so-called greatest version!)
- Wait. Don’t update as soon as the new release is out. I generally wait about a month now. Generally this should be enough time for the Fusion team to correct initial problems with releases and give them time to submit a follow up patch to fix issues.
- Keep tabs on the VMware communities forums for Fusion – users will often post issues with new releases here – judging on how much activity appears after a new release, you can generally tell whether its been a bad release or not.
- Read the release notes in detail. Does the new release really give you any benefit? Have they patched vulnerabilities, or just simply added more features? What existing issues have been fixed? Make your decision to update based on the release notes. Sometimes a new release might not add any value for the way you use the product, and may add 10 new features. You can almost be sure that at least one of those new features is bound to introduce some sort of bug. (This is the nature of new features being added to any software in general, not just Fusion!)
I have been struggling along with various VM performance issues over the last couple of months using VMware Fusion 5.x, as well as the latest 6.0.3. I just didn’t get the time to dedicate to find a fix for the performance degradation I was seeing until just recently.
I have the following specifications on my Macbook Pro Retina which I use for development purposes:
I have a Windows 7 Professional VM running in VMware Fusion, with a spec that I had tried all kinds of different configurations on – mainly 2 vCPUs, and 4GB RAM though. This VM is running on the built-in 256GB SSD.
Nothing seemed to fix the performance issues I was seeing, which was that by at least half way though a typical work day of using Visual Studio and a few tabs of Chrome/IE/Firefox, the VM would slow down to an absolute crawl. I knew it was the VM though, as everything in OSX Mavericks, the host OS was perfectly normal. Most of the time just restarting the Windows VM itself would not help though – I would have to reboot the whole macbook.
The other week I decided enough was enough, and spent a bit of time googling and looking around the VMware Communities forums for a fix. Here is the combination of settings that seems to have resolved my issues now.
- Settled on a VM spec of 3 x vCPUs (helpful for Visual Studio), and 4GB RAM.
- Disabled app nap for VMware Fusion (Applications -> Right-click, Get Info on VMware Fusion, and tick the box that says “Prevent App Nap”.
- Added 3 x new entries into my VM’s configuration file (.vmx file). To edit the .vmx file you’ll need to right-click your VM and select “Show Content”. This will allow you to browse the file content of the VM, and you’ll need to locate your VM’s .vmx file. Right-click this file and open it in your text editor of choice. I added the following lines to the bottom of the file:
MemTrimRate = "0"
sched.mem.pshare.enable = "FALSE"
prefvmx.useRecommendedLockedMemSize = "TRUE"
Don’t forget to disable App Nap for Fusion.
Disable app nap for Fusion
This is a very quick post today, but relates to an issue I had after upgrading my VMware Fusion install from 5.x to 6.0.2.
I am running a Windows 8 SP1 guest VM for development purposes on my mac, and right after upgrading and booting my Windows VM noticed this. The issue is that all the Windows UI elements – icons, text, etc look humongous on my 1920×1200 LCD monitor. The macbook’s LCD itself looked OK though. You can’t really see it that well in the screenshot below, but trust me, the section below with a few icons was about a quarter of my screen.
I knew this was a new setting that had somehow been toggled in Fusion since the upgrade, so I had a quick look around and found it. To disable this feature, go to your Virtual Machine Settings -> Display, and untick “Automatically adjust user interface size in Windows”.
Fusion will prompt you to logout of your current user session in the Windows VM. After logging back in again, things should be back to normal.
Hope that saves someone 15 minutes of looking for the cause in the future!
This is more of a quick tip than the usual full blog posts I do, but a useful one none the less (at least for me). By default when you plug an NTFS (Windows) volume into an Apple Mac, you are able to read the volume, but not write to it. There are ways to forcefully allow NTFS writes, but for those who do not wish to mess with system settings and are using VMware Fusion, this may come in handy.
- Make sure your Windows VM is powered on and booted, then your plug external USB drive with the NTFS formatted volume into Mac
- When prompted, choose to connect the drive to your Windows VM
- Make sure you have a folder from your Mac shared to your Windows VM (e.g. Documents) through Fusion
- Place any files you would like to write to your NTFS volume in your shared folder on your Mac (e.g. Documents folder)
- Using your Windows VM, open explorer, navigate to the shared folder presented to Windows via Fusion, find the files you want to copy, and then copy/paste them to your NTFS volume that has been passed through and mounted on your Windows VM
- As Windows is doing the writing it will of course allow writes to the NTFS volume which has been passed through from the Mac