Install & Run Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine Using VMWare in Mac OS X
There’s no doubting that the tech world is abuzz about Windows 8, Microsofts upcoming iOS and Mac OS X competitor. If your curiosity is peaked by all the talk, you can easily install Windows 8 and have it running on top of Mac OS X thanks to virtualization. The best part about this particular solution? It’s all free, so read on.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- Download Windows 8 Developer Preview – free download (64-bit version recommended)
- Download VMWare Fusion 4 – free 30 day trial or $49 to buy
Note: Don’t want to use VMWare? Here’s how to install Windows 8 in VirtualBox, which will run in Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
The Windows 8 iso is about 4GB GB but transfer very quickly from Microsofts servers, and getting the VMWare Fusion trial is just a matter of confirming your email address.
Assuming you have now downloaded the Windows 8 Developer Preview ISO file and then installed VMWare 4, you’ll probably want to quit most of your other apps so that you can free up as much RAM and CPU as possible.
How to Install Windows 8 in VMWare
This has been confirmed to work in both Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.
- Move the Windows 8 ISO file to your Mac OS X desktop
- Launch VMWare and click on “New”
- Drag and drop the Windows 8 ISO into the “New Virtual Machine Assistant”
- Ensure that “Use operating system installation disc or image:” is selected and the Win8DP ISO is chosen, then click “Continue”
- Select “Windows 7” as the Operating System and give the Windows 8 VM at least 2GB of RAM for best performance (64 bit version)
- Boot the VM by pressing the giant play button (>)
- Proceed to install Windows 8 Developer Preview by following the few onscreen instructions
Installation is surprisingly quick, you’ll be up and running in about 20 minutes from start to finish. When installation is complete, you’ll be greeted by a brief customization and setup screen and then quickly launched into Metro. You’ll also have access to the ugly Ribbon Windows Explorer UI:
From my brief usage, it seems like Windows 8 would be best with a touchscreen, and I wasn’t too thrilled with using a mouse in the Metro interface, but nonetheless it’s worth checking out yourself if you’re curious about this stuff or just like keeping on top of the latest tech trends. Enjoy!
BTW, VMWare Fusion 4 costs $49, but if you have no interest in buying it the 30 day trial works just fine to check out and play with Windows 8 to see what the hype is all about.