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Overview of new features in Fusion 4 (2005709)

Purpose

This article provides information about the new features in Fusion 4.0.

Resolution

Installation Requirements

When you install Fusion, the installer performs checks to make sure that the host system has a processor that meets the necessary requirements. For more information, see System requirements for VMware Fusion (2005196)..

OS Support

Fusion 4 has a minimum host operating system version of 10.6.7. Running Fusion 4 is not supported on Mac OS X 10.5.x. An error prevents installation upon the launch of the installer.

These guest operating systems are now supported:

  • Windows 7 SP1
  • Windows 8
  • Mac OS X 10.7
  • Google Chrome OS

Fusion User Interface

Fusion 4 improves on the Virtual Machine Library window by making better use of space and displaying each virtual machine as a thumbnail with its name underneath, all laid out in an easy-to-navigate tiled configuration.

The virtual machine window's controls have been optimized to allow you to easily switch screen modes, access the device tool bar, and manage the settings of your virtual machine.

The Virtual Machine Settings window has been adapted to resemble the System Preferences pane on the Mac for a more familiar and integrated user experience.

Snapshots

The Snapshot User Interface (UI) in Fusion 4 differs significantly from VMware Fusion 3 and earlier.

The Snapshot UI itself has been adapted to closely resemble the Time Machine UI, complete with a magnifying timeline on the left of the window. Snapshots can also now be "Branched", allowing you to make snapshots of snapshots and build from the same base disk or snapshot.

The AutoProtect feature is now a part of the Snapshot UI to prevent this feature from being enabled accidentally.

For more information, see Changes to the snapshot manager in VMware Fusion 4 (2005918).

Hardware Version 8

Fusion 4 supports Hardware Version 6 or later. The updates that arrive with the addition of Hardware Version 8 support include:

  • HD Audio including support for 7.1 surround sound.
  • EFI virtual BIOS for full Mac OS X Server guest support.
  • Updated NIC support to allow in-box drivers to work with a higher degree of success.
  • 16-way SMP to facilitate support for dual Nehalem 8-core processors with hyper-threading enabled. This also allows for further performance improvements as users increase the number of processors to their virtual machines.

For more information, see Virtual machine hardware versions (1003746).

GPU

The WDDM driver for Windows 7 and Vista now includes support for DirectX 9.0EX with Aero and OpenGL 2.1. Windows XP now includes support for DirectX 9.0c and OpenGL 2.1.

Bluetooth Sharing

Fusion 4 implements Bluetooth Sharing, with the goal being seamless access to all Bluetooth devices available on the host, though there may be initial limitations.

For more information, see Sharing Bluetooth devices with a virtual machine (2005315).

Pause Mode

Pause mode allows you to halt the VMX, freeing all CPU cycles to the host while leaving the virtual machine loaded into memory. This feature proves particularly useful to Boot Camp users, adding it as an alternative to a full power off.

For more information, see Working with power options in VMware Fusion (1018242).

Encryption

Fusion 4 incorporates advanced encryption standard (AES 128-bit) technology to allow you to encrypt virtual machine data, such as the virtual machine state including both the disks and memory, as well as the information for the virtual machine configuration. OpenSSL is used when connecting to a virtual machine with the intent of controlling the desktop remotely.

VMDK Utilities

Fusion 4 no longer includes the VMDKmounter utility.

The vdiskmanager utility is now located in /Applications/VMware Fusion/Contents/Library/.

Auto-Resize when growing a virtual disk

Fusion 4 is able to automatically resize the partition of a virtual disk when the virtual disk itself is being grown in size.

App Publishing

Fusion 4 allows guest applications to be launched just like they were host applications. You can pin the applications to the dock, browse to the guest app within the Mac's Applications folder, select the app from the Recent Application menu, find the app in Spotlight, and open it by clicking on a file or URL that is associated with the app. You can manage which apps appear in the Mac's Applications folder by filtering them with a white list (to have them appear) and a black list (to have them excluded).

Note: App Publishing is only available when in Unity mode.

App Bundle

Fusion 4 features a drag and drop install instead of an installer package. In addition, when you upgrade to Fusion 4, you see an option on the install screen that you can click.

See Also

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.

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