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Get the most out of VMware Fusion 5 with a custom setup

What can you expect when upgrading to VMware Fusion 5? Hint: Up-to-date OS support and speed. And you might want to deploy Fusion on multiple Macs.

What difference will I see if I upgrade to VMware Fusion 5?

If you need to run Windows applications on a Mac, VMware Fusion is one virtualization option to consider. VMware Fusion 5, the latest product iteration, is designed to better run Windows and Mac programs together without compatibility roadblocks.

Become a VMware Fusion pro

Tweak Fusion configuration and hot-key combos

Go advanced with disk defrag, backup snapshots

Consult your community in VMware Fusion forums

Which is better: Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion?

VMware counts more than 70 new features for users upgrading to Fusion 5 from older versions like Fusion 4. The main differences are OS X Mountain Lion and Windows 8 virtual machine (VM) support, better performance and an improved user interface. Fusion 5 runs Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESXi hypervisors as a VM, which works great. And Ubuntu Unity mode support is excellent.

VMware Fusion 5 is much faster than previous versions, according to IT Knowledge Exchange (ITKE) blogger Raj Perumal, who writes The Musings of an IT Consultant. Perumal says suspending and resuming VMs is noticeably faster on his MacBook Air with v.5.

VMware Fusion users curious about v.5 can test it out with a free 30-day trial license from VMware.

How do you transfer VMware Fusion from one computer to another?

I would do a clean install. Download the latest version of VMware Fusion to reinstall the application on your new computer, enter your license code, then copy VMs over. While there might be a way to just copy the Fusion application to the new computer along with the VMs, I have not tried it and can envision problems with that approach.

Many IT pros run VMware Fusion on multiple Macs, and face issues with VM portability. Expert SearchVMware contributor Mike Nelson runs VMware Fusion on his MacBook Pro and iMac, and he ports VMs between the two computers frequently. He stores VMs on a portable USB drive, which allows him to move the VMs and their snapshots without losing information. The drawback to this approach can be speed.

Is there a way to change mouse settings in Fusion without going into Preferences?

VMware Fusion 5 mouse settings

Figure 1. Here are VMware Fusion 5's mouse settings.

ITKE member Brent Sheets switches frequently between the Mac OS X interface and Windows in VMware Fusion. Each time, he goes into Preferences and changes the right button on the mouse to the appropriate setting: Primary or Secondary. In the Mac platform, he doesn't want the right button set to Secondary.

Try setting the OS X mouse to your preferred shortcuts. Then, create a VM keyboard and mouse profile for the Windows VM. This will change the settings in this Fusion screen when you are in the VM (see Figure 1). You can also investigate a command-line interface (CLI) option, but I have not readily found a CLI specific to this issue.

Have your own answer? Share it with Brent Sheets on the ITKE.

Have a question for our experts? Post it to ITKE or email the editor directly at

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