Boot Runner 2 adds VMs to Mac startup manager screen

Twocanoes Software today released Boot Runner 2 ($10), an OS X Startup Manager replacement for one or more Macs. Version 2 adds support for a virtual machine as if it were a startup disk, a feature the Mac has never had before.

Normally, when a user holds the Option at Mac startup, the user can choose from the Mac's boot partitions, including Boot Camp. Boot Runner 2 adds virtual machines to this list, so that virtual machines running Windows, ChromeOS, or Linux appear as partitions. Boot Runner 2 supports Parallels Desktop, VMware, and VirtualBox partitions.

Boot Runner 2 also gives IT managers control of the Macs' Startup Disk preference, and can remotely start up one or more Macs into a Windows Boot Camp partition, a virtual machine, or an OS X partition. Version 2 enables a manager to schedule a mass startup, which can be useful for maintenance of non-Apple OS on a group of Macs, such as an update of the Windows OS.

Boot Runner's OS selection screen is similar to the standard OS X Startup Manager, but can be customized to add information that can help a user select the right startup disk or virtual machine. This includes the ability to add popover text to each OS icon to provide descriptive information about the startup disk or virtual machine. Graphics can also be added to startup selections.

Boot Runner 2.0 startup control can also be uses with client management tools, including Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) and Apple Managed Preferences (MCX).

Boot Runner 2 is available starting at $10 for a single Mac. Site licenses are available. The upgrade is free to Boot Camp 1.x customers with active support agreements. Boot Runner 2 requires OS X 10.8 or higher and supports OS X 10.10 Yosemite.