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Run Windows software on macOS

There are two available option: The user can install Windows in Boot Camp, a native feature of the Apple macOS operating system, or they can use a virtualization program, such as Parallels, VMWare Fusion or Oracle VirtualBox

Boot Camp

Boot Camp is a utility for Macs that allows users to install and run Windows within a separate bootable partition. Running Windows in Boot Camp is a native feature of the macOS operating system, therefore this is the most financially affordable option since there is no additional software to be purchased. However, users may not prefer this option since they are not able to run both macOS and Windows at the same time and a reboot is required to gain access to the Mac software. The Windows partition is configured during the Boot Camp install; this is an important step for optimal performance. Users should carefully consider how much CPU, Memory and hard disk will be available to the Windows OS, this is of course based upon how many cores and memory is available in the MacBook.

Install Windows 10 on your Mac with Boot Camp Assistant

Parallels with Boot Camp

Users must purchase the Parallels software to use this virtualization option otherwise start with a 14-day trial version.

If Windows has already been installed on a Mac using Boot Camp, users can use Parallels to run the Boot Camp partition as a virtual machine within macOS. The advantage is that users can run both Windows and Mac applications without rebooting. This is a suitable option for users whom have newer Macs with more powerful hardware resources in terms of CPU, Memory and an Nvidia graphics card like a GeForce GT 750M. This is not a recommended option for users whom have older Macs with less than 4GB of RAM since Parallels puts more demand on the Mac’s processors and memory as both operating systems are running at the same time.

In order to gain access to the Windows OS, users work within a Parallels VM. Configuring this VM is critical for optimal performance. By default the VM is configured with 2vCPU, 1 GB of RAM and 512 MB of graphics memory. The minimum hardware configuration for running multi-thread applications in Parallels is:

  • 4 virtual CPU
  • 6 GB of RAM
  • 1GB of graphics memory
  • Disable vertical synchronization
  • You can start with a 30-day trial version. After that you have to purchase a license.

Download a 14-days trial of Parallels Desktop for Mac

VMWare Fusion

Users must purchase the Parallels software to use this virtualization option otherwise start with a 30-day trial version.

VMWare Fusion Pro also provides Mac users with virtualization technology to run Windows as a virtual machine within macOS. Similar to Parallels, this is a suitable option for users whom have newer Macs with more powerful hardware resources in terms of CPU, Memory and an Nvidia graphics card like a GeForce GT 750M. VMware Fusion tools is required to be installed within the VM for 3D acceleration. By default, a VMWare Fusion VM is configured with only 1vCPU, 4GB of RAM, and 512 MB of graphics memory. The minimum hardware configuration for running multi-threaded application in VMWare Fusion is:

  • 4 virtual CPU,
  • 6 GB of RAM
  • 2 GB of graphics memory

Download trial VMware Fusion or Fusion Pro

Oracle VirtualBox

VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. and runs on Windows, Linux and Macintosh.

You might need also to install Extension Pack to access USB devises etc. Be aware of aim of use and carefully read Terms of Use on paragraph 3.

Download VirtualBox and ExtensionPack

Download Windows 10

You are able to download Windows 10 Education from Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching that KTH provids.

Download Windows 10 Education

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Last changed: Oct 12, 2020