Sunday, October 9, 2011

VMWare Fusion, Unity, and VS.NET 2010


I've finally gotten around to it!

Windows 7 VM is installed, up and running in "Unity View" and VS.NET 2010 running as an application. I was asked how this worked on a Mac (on twitter) so I thought I would blog the steps needed.  There is more than one way to do this of course, but I chose to do it with VMWare.  Another way would be to use "Bootcamp" to do your own bootable Windows 7 partition, but what fun would that be?  You could also use Parallels, which I hear is also pretty decent.  Or, if you are really daring, you could just go MonoDevelop and not even utilize the Microsoft IDE... (note to self: future topic for another post)

1. For the steps below, you need VMWare Fusion. I am using version 4.0.  
2. You also need a valid Windows 7 and Visual Studio .NET 2010 license key.

General steps:

1. Create a new VM, using the Windows 7 64 bit choice. Go with the default 60GB option. To use Unity, make sure you pick the scary "sharing" option, not the isolated one. It sounds dangerous because it is.  This means that your shared mac documents could potentially get infected by windows virii and malware.  (See step 3 below to help protect).  A sacrifice for a seamless experience, but it's worth it for me. 
2. Install using an ISO image (click "continue without disk" on first screen). I used Windows 7 64 bit ultimate. 
3. After installing Windows 7 and after several VM reboots, you will then have the opportunity to install other apps like usual. Before proceeding (the average windows machine is infected in 10 minutes if not firewalled) I recommend:
 a) Installing Microsoft Security Essentials. Free download for Microsoft, and one of the best anti-virus scanners out there.
 b) Installing all the Windows Updates that it recommends.
 c) If you ever install Adobe products, make sure you religiously update these as well. Apart from "promiscuous browsing", most virii originate from these products and lack of a patched machine.
4. After completing all of step 3, obtain Visual Studio 2010.  I utilized the "web installer" from MSDN.
5. Run the web installer. I went with the default options, which includes installing C++, F#, and SQL Server Express.  Some may not want these features to conserve on space.
6. After the install, you are pretty much ready to go!  Open the VMWare menu and select the "View", and check "Unity".  This will enable whatever applications you are running to be viewed in a window that is very "Mac like".  It will also minimize the application in your task bar.
7. It's not a bad idea to close your shiny new VM and make a copy of the file.  This will allow you to revert back if you happen to hose your Win 7. If it gets infected by a virus, you can easily delete it and revert back to your fresh copy.


The windowed view- everything appears to be a normal Mac application.

The taskbar. You can see the VS.NET 2010 "infinity" icon parked right next to the VMWare one (red and blue boxes)
Other tips / thoughts:
You can make your "home" directory for your source code point to your shared files.  That means all the source code will co-exist on your Mac. In the event that you have to re-install your VM you will still have your source. I am also using Timemachine and that means it will automatically be backed up by default.

Have fun!!!

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