Monday, February 4, 2013

VMWare Fusion users please note

Hi Everyone,

We have been getting an increasing number of users wanting to install and run Altium Designer on MAC computers.

This is supported in the sense that these machines are Intel based and will run Windows XP Pro or Windows 7 on them. I wanted to point out some issues relating to VMWare for running Windows virtually within the MAC OS.

Just to be really clear - this is NOT officially supported. We do not test our software on VMWare. And, from Fusion V5.0 the graphics in PCB do not display properly - the workaround to this is to disable DirectX because the bug is in VMWare 5.0's DirectX translation.

BTW - we also don't recommend a virtual machine approach right now because it's excessively slow so:

1) Users who run on a MAC can dual-boot Windows 7 / MAC OS using Boot Camp, Grub or EFI. Install AD in the native Windows installation - this will work correctly and we can support Altium Designer in this setup (and, some members of our development team actually work on macs with dual boot setup just like this).

2) This is also not officially supported, but you can use Parallels instead. Parallels does not seem to have the problem with DirectX, but it's slower than VMWare (or so I'm told).

On that last note - another user had responded to a thread I found on the VMWare support forums, and stated that VMWare DID release a bug fix for this: VMWare Fusion 5.0.3 - in the release notes, states that a DirectX display bug was fixed that was previously affecting Solidworks, AutoCAD 123D and Altium Designer.


  1. In newer versions of VMWare Fusion (7.x, 8.x ), Direct X *must* be enabled to see the PCB file at all.

    1. How is the performance on newer versions? Do we still need to reboot?