Using the Macbook Pro Retina as a Sitecore developer machine

I didn’t buy my Macbook Pro Retina to do Sitecore work, so I was concerned the configuration would not be powerful enough. Luckily the 8GB the machine has seems to work well enough. The main bottleneck I find is the terrible Page Editor that takes ages to load without using any CPU. If anything, it seems like using an SSD is the single best thing you can do for Sitecore performance, since I notice little performance difference between Parallels and another Hyper-V machine I have with 8 CPUs and 16GB dedicated RAM also running off an SSD.

 I didn’t want to go Bootcamp, so this is what I did:

  • Install new instance of Windows Server into Parallels (I used Windows Server 2012)
  • Install SQL Server, Sitecore and Visual Studio onto your new virtual machine
  • Allocate as much RAM and CPU as you can. (I have given it 5GB RAM and all 4 CPUs)
  • Open up your port 80 firewall for incoming and outgoing connections.
  • Edit the HOSTS file on your Mac to refer your site names back to the Windows Server IP

With this configuration I am able to use the Mac OS Firefox browser to work with Sitecore directly for working with the Sitecore deskop, Content Editor and Page Editor.

Also for reference I also have Oracle VirtualBox and I did try that. Parallels is just much faster and the integration with the host extremely intuitive.

 Finally I have received a good number of asserts for web site building such as images, movies, PDF’s and Photoshop files. It has to be said that using these on a MacBook Pro Retina is really awesome.

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