Life with Paralells Desktop

I am using Parallels Desktop for the Mac since i got my first Intel MacBook a while ago. It is nice to be able to run some Windows app once in a while.

On my development station I really need it though. I need to develop .NET applications, and while i write most of it under OS-X using Mono and Visual SlickEdit, i still need to verify and debug it once in a while. Here is it where Parallels really helps.

I have a 2nd Harddisk in the MacPro, and on it there are 4 virtual machine images. 3 Windows XP setups, one Ubuntu 6.06. One XP setup is for applications, very basic, just the stuff i need to run once in a while, like connecting a PocketPC or other weird USB devices.

Then I have another one, which has VS 2003 installed. I use Tourtoise SVN to sync to the code repository, debug and verify that the build files all work with this target platform.

The last image is VS 2005. I never believe in successfully running VS 2005 and 2003 developement environments on the same system, so this is a perfect setup, compared to having several physical machines around.

And the performance is just fine. I reserved 2 GB of memory for Parallels, so when I startup one VM, that is the memory that get´s used up. I can run 3 VMs at once using this without noticing any real slowdown anywhere (the system has 7GB RAM total, so i could probably set 4GB aside for Parallels, but normally this is just overkill, as i run only 2 VMs at once on average).

The good thing is that i can backup the VMs easily by copying the 40GB to an external drive, and I don´t have to worry about some Windows application screwing up the installation. If i want to take that VM with me on the laptop, i just copy it over. This is soo much better than a real Windows installation.

The only real disadvantage this setup has is PatchDay!!! When this comes i need to update 3 VMs instead of one, which makes me wish that i had a software update server for Windows as well….

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Published in: on October 11, 2006 at 8:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

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