I'm about to go on the road again and I've been getting my laptop updated to make sure I can function without internet access. For me that means that I need a linux environment. I've been using Parallels for this because it was the only option when I first got my macbook, and I'm not terribly impressed with its ability to run linux virtual machines.

First I have to say that my preferred usage for vms is to disable as much graphical UI as possible and login using the terminal; I want to avoid any excess resource usage because I'm on a laptop and I want better battery life.

Here's my gripe list:

Outside of these issues, it's not bad though. I'm rather disappointed about the level of Linux support from Parallels--I had all the same problems a year ago and nothing seems to have changed. It's clear that their priority is in making the Windows VM experience nice and integrated, and that's their perogative.

I've also tried VMWare Fusion, both the current stable and the beta versions; here's my gripe list:
I like vmware (I've been using it for many years), but it's not a happy camper on my laptop; I've uninstalled it.

I've also tried VitualBox, and it's pretty good, but not perfect; gripes:
Some positives for VirtualBox:
I'm sticking with Parallels for the time being; I think that VirtualBox might become my favourite once they've beefed up the networking support on OSX.

I'll leave you with a couple of performance tips that should apply to any virtualization software:

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