Book Image

Instant Getting Started with VMware Fusion

By : Michael Roy
Book Image

Instant Getting Started with VMware Fusion

By: Michael Roy

Overview of this book

Running Windows on your Mac can seem complicated, but this book will make things easy by showing you how to get the most out of VMware Fusion. Having a virtual copy of Windows on your Mac can let you make a secure backup of your files and run Windows applications, which makes your computer more versatile. This book will show you how to start running Windows on your Mac, with practical examples of how to keep your Virtual Machine secure, backed up, and running smoothly. You will learn about the new features of VMware Fusion 6 and where to get help and support for the software when you need it. This book will walk you through what you need to know to safely and securely run Windows on your Mac. It then proceeds to show you how to upgrade to Windows 8, and shows you how you can seamlessly switch between Windows 7 and Windows 8 using snapshots. Next, it covers all that you need to know to safely and securely run Windows on a Mac computer with Intel processors. You will also learn how to manage your Virtual Machine backups and keep your VM safe. The recipes in this book will give you a helpful head start in getting the most out of VMware Fusion 6.
Table of Contents (8 chapters)

Network adapters – what's the difference? (Simple)

One of Fusion's core components to make Windows worth using on a Mac is to provide it with some network connectivity. Considering there's only one wireless card on most Macs, with newer Macs having the option of a USB or Thunderbolt adapter for Ethernet, and with older ones that have built-in Ethernet, that network device needs to be shared with Windows, Fusion can't just take it away from the Mac like a USB device.

So, to solve the problem of absolutely needing the network adapter to only be connected to the Mac, the brilliant minds at VMware developed a virtual network adapter. This adapter is treated in Windows the same way as an NIC or network port on a desktop PC.

One thing VMware loves to give its users is choice; and with the network functionality built into Fusion, we are treated once again to some great choices.

You can share the network connection from the Mac to Windows or you can allow Windows to connect directly to the same network that the Mac does, or neither. Windows can be given a network adapter that can only connect to the Mac itself and nothing else, which is great for folks who are into software development or other sorts of testing where you want a network adapter in the VM, but don't want that VM to be on the physical network. For really restrictive scenarios, you don't even need a network adapter in the VM at all.

Getting ready

When I use my virtual machine, it's usually at my office. We have Wi-Fi, and that's fine for most of my tasks, but sometimes I need to do things on the corporate Intranet.

So, because I don't want all of my traffic to go through the corporate Intranet, I can set things up so that Windows uses it, but then set the interfaces on the Mac so that the Mac goes through the Wi-Fi first. Essentially, I now have Windows on Wi-Fi and Mac on Ethernet connecting to the corporate network. So, Internet Explorer can cruise the company SharePoint repositories and check stuff out with MS Word and MS PowerPoint (my favorites!), while Safari on the Mac side is blissfully cruising about the Internet at large.

So, as described, VMware Fusion provides three different types of network adapters. The adapter is what determines which sort of virtual network shows up in Windows.

The options are:

  • NAT

  • Bridged

  • Custom, which includes Private to my Mac and custom networks created using Fusion Professional

In this recipe, we'll explore the different options and discuss when it's appropriate to use them.

How to do it...

You can always change these settings if something isn't working out with just a few quick clicks.

Option 1 – Internet Sharing/NAT

This is your standard Internet Sharing feature. It creates a virtual router, and that router provides the Windows VM with an IP address. It's exactly the same thing your wireless router at home does with your Mac.

I like to consider it as an Internet splitter as it shares one IP address with many devices. Using this mode, Windows may have issues accessing things that are on the network the Mac is connected to because of Network Address Translation, and if that's the case, you can use the Bridged method, as shown in the following screenshot:

It's best to use NAT/Internet Sharing for general web surfing or Internet connectivity from Windows. If you really need Internet Explorer to browse the Internet, this is how I would do it.

In the following screenshot, using the Mac's Activity Monitor utility, we can see the vmnet-natd process running on the Mac side. This is what gives the Windows VM its "NAT" or "Shared" networking connection.

Option 2 – Bridged Networking

Bridged networking bypasses the NAT feature of Internet Sharing and instead allows you to connect directly through one of the available interfaces. Let's have a look at the following screenshot:

In this screenshot:

  1. You can see that I have a Wi-Fi adapter and a Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter on my Mac (however, my Thunderbolt isn't connected right now, hence the red icon).

  2. When using this mode, you can either specify a specific network adapter, such as my Thunderbolt Ethernet example I described earlier, or you can simply use Autodetect, which will pick the interface that the Mac is using to connect to the Internet.

  3. If you want to make the Mac access one network and Windows another, you must set the Service Order in your Mac system preferences, as shown in the following screenshot:

  4. Set the option you want the Mac to use to be at the top. In my case, it's my VPN, followed by the Wi-Fi adapter that I want to give to the Mac, and the Thunderbolt Ethernet I'll put lower on the list and give it to Windows, as shown in the following screenshot:

  5. Bridged Networking is best suited for corporate environments (but sometimes won't work if the network security is really high, in which case you must use NAT), or if you need to communicate with resources on the same network as the Mac (that is, network printers, scanners, other shared Windows systems, file servers, and so on).

  6. Like I mentioned earlier, I prefer to get the best of both worlds. In my corporate environment, we have a Wi-Fi and an Ethernet setup, and while the Wi-Fi isn't as locked down, it also isn't connected to the corporate services (the ubiquitous "LAN"). The wired/Ethernet connection is on the LAN; however, its access to the Internet is limited for obvious security reasons.

  7. So, as I described earlier, instead I plug a Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter into the Mac. I use Bridge Networking to my Windows VM (which in my case is a different VM provided by the company). I then set the network Service Order to have Wi-Fi at the top, so the Mac uses that first.

  8. This way, my Windows machine is on the corporate LAN and I can access all the internal tools with it. (Hooray for SharePoint!) My Mac is on the Wi-Fi network, which has less restricted access to the Internet, so I can do all the research and communications that I need to using my Mac.

This gives me the best of both worlds, delivered through the power of VMware Fusion's advanced networking capabilities.

Option 3 – Private to my Mac in Custom

Custom networking provides the Host Only mode, as shown in the following screenshot, which prevents the Windows VM from connecting to anything but the Mac it's running on.

Custom networking in VMware Fusion Professional has the ability to define custom networks, whereby you can specify the details of the virtual network that Windows is given.

The best time to use Private to my Mac networking is if you must restrict your VM to only access the Mac itself and nothing else, including the Internet.

How it works...

With the three networking types, VMware Fusion can essentially act as a router or as a switch. A router provides Network Address Translation (NAT), and it can be thought of like a home router that "splits" one Internet connection to multiple computers (via Wi-Fi or Ethernet). Bridged networking turns Fusion into a switch, making it the same as if you had plugged in your Windows computer to the same thing your Mac was plugged into, putting them on the same network layer. Host Only is an isolated network type that is good for testing or when using a virtual machine that needs some networking, but can't be connected to the Internet. This is great if you build websites and want to test them in Windows but don't want to expose that machine to the Internet for security reasons.