Parallels Desktop 4 Linux – Virtualization Walkthrough

By Pratik Shivarkar | Labels: , , , ,

If you are a regular Mac user then you might know what Parallels Desktop is.. Parallels Desktop for Linux is a virtualization software developed by Parallels Inc. Now Parallels Desktop for Linux is ready to join the battleground with VMware Workstation / Player and Virtual Box.
I’m going to find out, is Parallels worth 80$? It’s about 100$ cheaper than VMware Workstation but lot costlier in front of Virtual Box and VMware Player.

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Here are some things that you will find different in Parallels Desktop.
First Impression -
Installation Process of Parallels Desktop is completely based on TUI, All you need to do is to execute the binary file with root privileges “”
sudo ./
Once you execute the installer, A text based installation wizard will appear..There is nothing special in installation. Its as easy as pie.
The GUI and Management -
Parallels Desktop
The GUI is good enough, but the best it does not go with my GTK theme ( well that is not important :P )..
  • At the first look, You will feel something is different, but in short time you will notice, most of the dialogs, wizards are identical to VMware Workstation..
  • Here you have a feature that any other virtualization software don’t have and that is configurable GUI and Toolbars. You can change the feel of your GUI..but this does not make any big difference.
  • You can bring your VM’s from other softwares, using Migration tool.
  • You can start parallels in safe mode.
Virtualization -
Your VM speed and CPU performance is going to be very close your VMware WS / VirtualBox as Parallels is completely dependant on your hardware’s virtualization ability.
Other features -
You can get some additional benefits like.
  • Easy and reliable shared folder support
  • Migration tool to migrate VMs and Create VMs from physical machines.
  • A good Image tool, that allows to convert disk image types. and resize the images.
  • Virtual machine auto-start
Parallel Desktop does not support native Direct 3D support on Linux/Windows host (unlike Mac OS X), but still you can get Direct 3D support using WineD3D, You can follow THIS guide which is applicable to Parallels too, as Parallels GPU give you OpenGL 1.1 support.
The one thing about GPU that impressed me was 256 Video memory, twice as Vmware WS / VirtualBox
Problems occurred -
Parallels Desktop gave me some extra
  • Keyboard function and control keys lockout.
  • Parallels Desktop GUI crashed many times
Keyboard lockout occurred in both Fedora and Ubuntu test, and was the most annoying part of Parallels Desktop.
Parallels GUI keeps crashing time to time ( Tested on Ubuntu, Crash frequency was less on Fedora ). In this care Virtual Machine never crashed, Just GUI that means, If you launch Parallels again you will find VM working fine.
Conclusion -
Despite few bugs, I think Parallels Desktop is worth on its price. Parallels Desktop 4 is new to Linux, and I would like to give it some time to fix the bugs. The Parallel’s Virtual machine works smooth.
But for now I’m staying with Virtual Box 3 and VMware Player.

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