I was on the road for a few days now, but now I’m back and took the time to look deeper into my caret issue with VMware Fusion and Lion. I received comments to my last post that led me to some VMware forum posts where somebody brought up the topic of Keyboard drivers for remote desktops that need to be installed on the windows VM. While Henrik pointed me to a post that was talking about french keyboards and such I just started digging deeper. Most of the times, the solution to such problems was to install the Bootcamp drivers for the Apple Wireless keyboard.
Before I do so, I thought, I first try if this could be my problem as well. And it turns out this seems not to be the case. Why do I think so? Because I don’t use an Apple wireless keyboard. It just doesn’t work for me. I use a Logitech K750 wireless solar keyboard, which is a really nice keyboard that somehow fits better with my typing habits. I especially hate the small cursor buttons, the missing of the numeric keys and the location of the fn button on the Apple Wireless. But that’s another story.
For my windows on a VM problem I dug out the Apple Wireless and connected it. And it turns out that the caret key (^) works under both Mac OS X and Windows in VMware fusion. The Logitech doesn’t. In OS X, pressing the ^ button works as expected, but under VMware/XP I get an “<”. So I tried a few more things: pressing “<” on the Logitech twice brings up the Caret twice and pressing “<” and the space bar brings up the caret once, pressing “<” with together with shift brings up “°” in VMware. So it seems the Logitech simply swaps the “<” and “^” keys under VMware Fusion (or maybe VMware swaps them). I also tested the same things in a Win 7 VM and had the same problem.
Please note that this applies to the German version of the K750, I have no idea if the US or any other version is any better.
The funny thing here is that I didn’t install anything on OS X to make the Logitech work. It simply connected and worked out of the box. So I guess the Bootcamp drivers for the Apple Wireless won’t help much in Fusion / Win XP, because the Wireless is working alright already. So now I seem to have a problem. The short term solution is probably to work with the Wireless under Windows or even better try connecting a real PC USB keyboard (which should solve additional problems like multi selection with Ctrl under Windows) directly to the VM. Not exactly what I’d expect from a VM.
I’ll see whether I can find anything on the topic anywhere on the net. Maybe somebody has already solved the problem…