(This question was originally posted at Server Fault, but Super User seems a more appropriate place to ask.)
I use a MacBook Pro as my primary machine, but my work targets Linux servers. I'm currently on a project with multiple dependencies, and which is configured for Ubuntu.
Configuring all these dependencies on OSX is a pain. I've been through Macports, Fink and Homebrew. They are all nice, but they don't provide a 100% drop-in replacement for Ubuntu packaging. Rewriting all the deployment scripts just to accommodate one Mac developer seems like a waste of time.
Dual-booting Ubuntu on this Mac doesn't seem like an option yet. The current hardware generation (7,1) is not fully supported.
Using an Ubuntu VM for all my development work seems to be the way to go. I'm using VirtualBox at the moment. Seamless mode is nice, but I wonder if VMware Fusion or Parallels will be nicer.
So here is the question: what's the best VM app for Linux desktop guests on a Mac OS X host? VirtualBox, VMware Fusion, Parallels, or any other? What do you like about it?
Update: Learning some hard lessons:
- VirtualBox disk images are not resizable. VMware Fusion disk images are.
- VirtualBox locks the keyboard until you press the host key (Command). Very annoying.
- VMware Fusion 3.0's Unity is far nicer than VirtualBox's seamless mode. Fusion is also just a $9.99 upgrade until Dec 31, 2010.
- VirtualBox's guest tools installation is far smoother than VMware Fusion's. The latter's was somewhat intimidating. VMware needs to bundle nicer distro-specific installers.
- Shared folders in VMware Fusion mount automatically at
/mnt/hgfsand carry through file ownership, POSIX permissions and symlinks. No such luck with VirtualBox.
My pick: VMware Fusion 3.0.