Running Visual Studio (and Resharper) on a Mac | Peter van Ooijen


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Many before me have made this step, finally I took it myself. The excuse to get me a Mac was building iPhone apps with Monotouch. My expectations were great and all were fully met. After battling a couple of blue screens and a lot of Windows updates I decided to pass my Dell to my son’s game addiction and move as much as possible to the Mac. I wanted to mix the (excellent) Mac mail, surf and other tools with the Windows only tool Visual Studio. Using Bootcamp to boot either OSX or Windows on Apple hardware was not good enough. VMware fusion runs any version of Windows (including 64 bit) almost seamless under OSX.

To give both OSX and Windows some air my Macbook has 8 Gb of Ram. 4 gigs is standard. VMware fusion works as promised. Windows runs like a charm; resuming (from sleep mode) is even faster than on a PC.

The only thing which needed some attention was Resharper which highly depends on specific keystrokes. The Mac keyboard is quite different, making all keys work required fiddling some settings in several places. I have an external Mac keyboard with a numeric keypad, a surprising minimalistic approach after all curved desktop hoggers with multi media extensions. It is a nice fast and relaxing typer.

The problem keys


There is no insert key on a Mac keyboard. VMware can map keys, a post on the VMware support forum describes how to map the Ins key, explicitly mentioning R# Smile There is no need to do that for the external keyboard, the 0 on the numeric keypad works just like the <ins>. Type <alt><0> and you have your new class.


In the default VMware key mappings  <ctrl><click> is mapped to a mouse right click. Disable or change that in the VMware preferences


Function keys

The default behavior of Mac Function keys does things like changing the audio volume.  You change that in System Preferences.


This does not always work for all keys. In the key mappings of VMware is the possibility to enable Mac OS keyboard shortcuts.


The Apple-Tab key is nice to have to switch from VS, even in full screen, to Apple mail with one keystroke. The exposé one is not that nice, as it is linked to the F9 and F10 function keys. Trying to set a breakpoint will show you Mac´s desktop…

These key mappings can be changed in System preferences, Exposé and Spaces


Here I just disabled the keys. A four finger swipe works just as good.

Well, that´s all. Now I have my full VS experience with everything Mac just a keystroke away.