A Beginner's Guide to VMware Fusion

VMware Communities: A Beginner's Guide to VMware Fusion (12 July 2009)
(re-posted from: http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-1110)

For non-boot Camp virtual machines, Fusion puts virtual machines (VMs) in "/Users/yourusername/Documents/Virtual Machines/" by default. Boot Camp virtual machines are located in "/Users/yourusername/Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/Virtual Machines/". You can also see the location of a virtual machine in the Virtual Machine Library by hovering the mouse over the listing - the location should pop up in a tooltip.

Another simple way to locate your VM while open is to Control-Click on the VM windows icon. This will bring up a pop-up box showing all of the enclosing folders to your virtual machine. Clicking on its proximal containing folder will open it in a new Finder window.

VMs are packaged up in bundles a.k.a. packages, which is OS X's way of showing things that really belong together. Other examples of bundles include most applications and installers. Fusion bundles have the extension ".vmwarevm" (OS X may hide this by default). You can examine the contents of a bundle by going to the bundle in the Finder, ctrl-clicking it, and choosing "Show Package Contents"

By default, bundles contain the files that describe a virtual machine. These files include:
  • A virtual disk file (*.vmdk)
    • This can be a single large file or many 2GB chunks, depending on how you set up your disk. If you have a snapshot, there will also be more of these.
  • A configuration file (*.vmx)
    • This is a plaintext file describing the virtual machine, such as which files it uses, how much RAM it gets, and various settings. Since it's a plaintext file, you can use your favorite text editor to modify it, but be sure that the virtual machine and Fusion is not running when you do this. Note that editing the .vmx file is not supported and can cause problems if you don't know what you're doing.
  • A BIOS file (*.nvram)
    • This contains information such as the virtual machine's boot order
  • Log file(s) (vmware.log)
    • This is a plaintext file that contains information on the most recent run of the virtual machine, and corresponds to the vmware-vmx process. The next-most-recent is called vmware-0.log, then vmware-1.log, and finally vmware-2.log. If you ever have a problem with Fusion, you may be asked to provide this file.

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