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VirtualBox Windows guest on OS X host for PSoC Creator

logoFor a personal project, I use PSoC Creator, a design environment that runs only on Microsoft Windows. As my current development machines is a MacBook, I installed VirtualBox on it, and used a spare Windows 8.1 license. It took me some time to set things up such that I was able to use the full MacBook display resolution for Windows. Here are the steps I followed:

  • use VirtualBox 5.0.16
  • for display settings, check Use Unscaled HiDPI Support
  • this lets Windows use the native MacBook display resolution (2560 x 1600 in my case). As characters and icons are too small with this resolution, increase their size using Windows Control Panel:
    • select Appearance and Personalisation / Adjust screen resolution
    • select Make text and other items larger or smaller

To allow PSoC Creator to program the hardware target using the USB port:

  • install VirtualBox Extension Pack
  • for USB controller settings, select USB 3.0 (xHCI)
  • reboot the virtual machine
  • insert the hardware target, and add a filter for it, using VirtualBox USB / USB Settings... menu

Last point: my MacBook AZERTY keyboard does not map in a fully transparent way to the AZERTY keyboard seen by Windows. I have to use following translations for some keys:

Character to be entered in Windows What to type on MacBook keyboard
- §
_ !
! =
§ +
* `
+ shift + -
= -
{ right-alt + '
} right-alt + -
[ right-alt + (
] right-alt + )
@ right-alt + à
# right-alt + "
\ right-alt + !
| right-alt + 6
~ right-alt + é
` right-alt + è + SP
WINKEY + X (Windows 10 QuickMenu) right-cmd + X

Note for Linux Mint: for some other purpose, I also run Linux VMs in macOS. The same keyboard mapping problem appeared, of course. But with Linux Mint, the solution is really simple: using the Control Center, set Keyboard Model to MacBook / MacBook Pro (Intl).