Because this is so fun, I strongly recommend giving your virtual machine a very descriptive and straightforward name.
They start to look a lot alike after a while and this will save you some serious frustration. Now you need to set the amount of RAM. VirtualBox automatically lets you know the recommended minimum amount for the OS you selected, but you can increase or decrease this if you want to. No matter what, your best bet is to stay in the green section. Now you need to create a virtual hard drive. You do need a virtual hard drive to install your operating system and any other programs.
Make sure that it has at least enough space to install the operating system. Remember that any programs you want to install will also take up space on your virtual hard drive! A dynamically allocated file will grow in size as you store data. It starts small, but it will grow.
A fixed-size file , on the other hand, will immediately occupy the size you specify. Even though it initially occupies more space, this type of file incurs less overhead. Now your installation will begin! That will help you avoid getting frustrated. It can take a couple of seconds or minutes to really get up and running. Take a couple of breaths if it seems a little slow or glitchy at first. Once your new Windows machine is running, go ahead and click anywhere in the window to wake it up.
It will ask you for your username and password.
You can find those any time in the official installation documentation. When you first boot up your machine, the window is pretty small. You can look at the bottom right corner of the window to see the command you need to swich from your virtual machine to your regular OS. After setting up my VM, I needed to quickly grab some files and programs that I had downloaded on my Mac. This may not be the best way to move your information from your Mac to your Windows machine and vice versa , but I found that uploading my files into OneDrive was the easiest and fastest workaround for grabbing what I needed from my Mac.
It was installed and ready to go on the Windows machine. Signing up for OneDrive is fast and free. That allows you to return to that state at any time. This is incredibly useful for testing software or other configurations. You have a couple of different options when you close your virtual machine.
Each affects the machine a little differently. You can choose:.
You are now the proud owner of a free Windows machine that you can run any time right inside of your Mac! You can pretty much do anything from here. Start playing! As always, if you do anything amazing with this information, let everyone know about it in the comments below or reach out any time on LinkedIn annebonnerdata. Thanks for reading!
If you want to reach out or find more cool articles, please come and join me at Content Simplicity! Sign in. Get started. Anne Bonner Follow. Towards Data Science Sharing concepts, ideas, and codes. All of the products we tested are mature and stable, and aside from the natural differences between Boot Camp and the rest native hardware support vs. Virtualization always incurs processing overhead, and it will never be as fast as native, non-virtualized instances — which brings us to the first option, Boot Camp. A Mac running Windows via Boot Camp will perform at pretty much the same speed as a dedicated Windows machine with equivalent hardware specs — in fact, Macs have often made great higher-end Windows machines, and compatibility is usually not an issue as long as Apple supports the version of Windows you need; see below.
A big drawback with Boot Camp, however, is that every switch between Windows and macOS requires a complete reboot, which gets frustrating if you have to do it a lot.
There can also be compatibility issues when accessing files on NTFS-formatted Windows drives from the Mac side — though third-party drivers are available, such as those from Paragon Software Group , that bridge that gap. Even an individual machine can be difficult to set up with Boot Camp, and of course a large, heterogeneous enterprise deployment will be more so. Adding stand-alone, unmanaged copies of Windows to your environment via Boot Camp may not be advisable from a security or manageability perspective.
Expert users and IT staff should have no problem, but those used to fairly seamless and simple Mac installations may find it far from intuitive. The current version of Boot Camp 6. If the combination of hardware and operating system you want is not officially supported, there is almost always a fairly simple workaround. For instance, while Boot Camp 6. Furthermore, a number of the virtualization solutions either include or can be integrated with tools to help with the creation, migration and deployment of standardized VMs, greatly simplifying large-scale implementation and support.
That said, using Boot Camp to run Windows on Macs provides unmatched bare-metal performance and has the additional advantage of being free not including the cost of the Windows licenses. So for both speed and cost, Boot Camp is the baseline. CodeWeavers released the first version of CrossOver Mac in early , providing a Windows compatibility layer based on the Wine open-source project.
Basically, CrossOver Mac is a commercial version of Wine with a variety of enhancements and end-user support. In short, you can run some Windows apps with CrossOver Mac without having to have a copy of Windows installed.
The catch and you knew there had to be one is that CrossOver Mac does not support all Windows programs, and those it does support are not always supported perfectly. CodeWeavers shoots for supporting as many of the most popular Windows programs as possible, and it currently supports nearly 15, It maintains an online inventory of programs that have been tested and either do or do not work or work with bugs or workarounds , with a five-star system for ranking compatibility. But of course there are a lot more than 15, Windows programs. For those programs that do work, however, performance can be very reasonable, especially on faster machines.
This means that if you have a relatively small and defined set of Windows programs that you need to run on Macs, CrossOver Mac might be a good fit, but researching the compatibility database and doing thorough hands-on testing prior to implementation are essential. CodeWeavers conveniently provides a day free trial to allow time for testing before deciding whether to commit to a purchase. Once running, the Windows app appears on the Mac desktop without the surrounding interface or overhead of the full Windows operating system.
The standard one-year subscription is periodically substantially discounted, so watching for discounts or negotiating for volume licensing can provide cost savings. The next version, CrossOver Mac 17, is due to be released this autumn and will be built on Wine 2.
VirtualBox is the odd duck in this list, in a way. And it has some of the pros and cons of each. VirtualBox can do almost anything the commercial products can do, and the price for the core package is right.