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MacWindows Beat

By John Rizzo

Here are some VMware Fusion tips that I've shared in response to questions by readers.

Tip of the day: Manually load VMware kernel extensions, speed boot time

Monday, January 10, 2011

Q: Richard Lee asked why VMware was showing up in his Mac's Console utility even when he doesn't use it:

Dear MacWindows,

The console log on my MacBook, and also iMac, both Snow Leopard 10.6.4, lists numerous apparent attempts to launch VMware Fusion (I have version 1.1.1) -- which I have not launched, copy below:
1/5/11 8:39:37 PM com.apple.launchd[1] *** launchd[1] has started up. ***
1/5/11 8:39:57 PM com.vmware.launchd.vmware[46] VMware Fusion
72241: Starting VMware Fusion: 1/5/11 8:39:59 PM
1/5/11 8:39:59 PM com.vmware.launchd.vmware[46]
1/5/11 8:39:59 PM com.vmware.launchd.vmware[46]
...

A: What you see in Console are VMware launch daemons loading kernel extensions when the Mac boots up. The preloaded kernel extensions are ready and waiting for when you launch the VMware Fusion application, but are loaded at start up whether you launch Fusion or not. If you don't use VMware all that much, these kernel extensions aren't doing anything except slowing the boot time of the Mac somewhat.

There is a way to use Terminal remove these launch daemons so that they don't load anything at startup, and then use Automator to create a script to launch them manually when you want to use VMware Fusion. You save the script as an application, which you need to open before you launch VMware Fusion. There's a description on how to do this at a blog called Koos Kaspers.nl.

Parallels also uses launch daemons to load kernel extensions when the Mac boots. I have not seen a similar procedure to do this with Parallels. If you have, or have tried this procedure with VMware,

TIP: Simplification of manually loading VMware kernel extensions

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tony Pellegrini told us how to automate the manual loading of VMware kernel extensions. Ordinarily, they load automatically when the Mac starts up, which can slow start up, whether you're using VMware or not. Last week we described how to load them and unload them manually, only when you use VMward. Pellegrini makes this easier:

A follow-up to "Tip of the day: Manually load VMware kernel extensions, speed boot time." I saw this post and found it helpful but wanted to offer you a change I implemented. Instead of creating two separate scripts to start and stop Fusion, I used Automator as described to create just one workflow with the following code in one shell script:

sudo /Library/Application\ Support/VMware\ Fusion/boot.sh --start
open -W /Applications/VMware\ Fusion.app
sudo /Library/Application\ Support/VMware\ Fusion/boot.sh --stop

In this way the service is started, then Fusion is run and Automator waits for it to close. Once Fusion is closed the services are stopped automatically.

If you're tried this


TIP of the Day: fixing VMware caps lock sticking

Monday, January 24, 2011

Q: Gene Deal had a problem with his Caps Lock. We sent him a suggestion, and it worked. Deal asked:

I am running VMware Fusion with Windows XP installed. I have several programs I run within that environment where for reasons unknown to me the Caps Lock key becomes "swapped" and I must lock the caps to get lowercase and unlock for caps. The only way I have found to reset this issue is to log off VMWare and reboot the Mac.

A: "Unswitch" it by sending the virtual machine a software Caps Lock command. Go to the Virtual Machine menu and select Send Key>Caps Lock.

Deal replied:

Your trick worked. That adds some clue as to how this is happening. Apparently some in my work I am sending a key strock which is interpreted as a caps lock. I can now change it back when it occurs.

If you've tried this

Reader verifies VMware tip for unsticking caps lock

Monday, February 13, 2012

Marc Sylvain confirmed our suggestion for fixing VMware Fusion caps lock sticking in a Windows virtual machine:

Thanks for this tip! I finally got fed up with this happening regularly and searched the net for a solution. Yours works brilliantly! Any idea what the keystroke combo is that initiates the freeze? I've not be able to catch myself doing it.

We don't know why the caps lock gets stuck. If you have an idea


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