Looking to put Parallels on Mac Pro w Linux distro

Discussion in 'Linux Guest OS Discussion' started by art_director, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. art_director


    I just got a new Mac Pro and would like to run Parallels with a Linux distro. A couple questions I have:

    1. Can I install Parallels on an existing OS X install or must I reformat and install?

    2. What is the preferred formatting for a hard drive for use with Parallels?

    3. What is the most appropriate Linux distor for use with a Mac Pro?

    Thank you to any and all for answers / suggestions.

  2. nomadichermit


    Parallels is just an application. You shouldn't have to format or do anything special to your OS X install.

    As far as which Linux version, that's the great thing about VM. You can play with many OSs without much effort. Personally, I like Kubuntu.
  3. art_director


    Thx so much for the reply.

    What is it about Kbuntu that you like so much?
  4. art_director


    Another question.

    I was thinking of setting up my machine as follows:

    Drive 1 -- OS X

    Drive 2 -- Linux

    Drive 3 -- Windows

    Drive 4 -- Storage

    Would this work with Parallels? Any issues I should know about?

  5. surfous


    You don't have to give a whole drive to any of your VMs. The VM's "drive" is a file that contains the disk image mounted by the VM. They can all live on the same hard drive and can grow as necessary. I'm pretty sure that Parallels doesn't care where you create these, nor if you move them later, though you may need to reconfigure the vm to point to the drive image file's new location before you can restart it.

    As for which Linux, I like Ubuntu. It's very user friendly and it's a quick trip from starting the install to having a usable system. Kubuntu and Ubuntu are the same under the covers, and are released by the same folks. The different is in the "Desktop" that is presented to the user. I like the Gnome desktop, so I use Ubuntu. People who prefer the K Desktop Environment (KDE) use Kubuntu. I would recommend starting with Ubuntu - it's generally simpler if you're not familiar with the different desktops. Often, advanced users like the many configurable options of KDE. Whichever you choose, you're not locked in as you can install either, and then turn it into the other by installing the proper desktop package (ubuntu-desktop or kubuntu desktop). You can find a lot of community support and advice for all the types of Ubuntu (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu) at http://www.ubuntuforums.org/

    Whichever one you choose, you'll want the latest version, 7.04, also known as Feisty Fawn.
  6. itsdapead


    Your setup would make sense if you were setting up a multi-boot system ("bootcamp" in Mac terms) that let you run OS X, Windows or Linux "natively" on the Mac hardware. You can do that without Parallels** - but it means re-booting to change operating system, dedicating a disk partition (but not necessarily an entire disk) to each OS, and making sure that there's at least one partition in a format that all the operating systems understand and can use for shared data.

    The whole point of Parallels is to avoid that!

    Parallels installs like any other OSX application, and the "disks" for your virtual machines are just regular data files on the OSX disk that you can create, destoy and juggle around to your heart's content. If you move one to a different disc or directory then you'll have to make sure Parallels can find it, but the guest OS won't know any different.

    As another poster pointed out, even if you create a 10GB "virtual" disk it starts out small and only grows as you use it.

    Data sharing is handled using the network file sharing features of each operating system to access shared folders on the Mac or other virtual machines.

    You *can* set parallels to boot from a "real" disk partition - or use a real partition for data - if you want to bounce between parallels and "bootcamp" witjout maintaining two separate windows installations, but this loses some of the flexibility of parallels with virtual disks and involves some rather hairy kludges to keep Windows software activation happy, so don't go down that route unless you have to.

    ** If you *do* want to multi-boot on a Mac Pro without Parallels, then you can do it this way: download BootCamp from Apple, install the bootcamp assistant and let it create a windows driver disk, but *don't* partition your disc or start the windows installer. Shut down the Mac, yank the disk drive out and replace it with a blank hard drive, then reboot with the Windows CD in the drive*** and install windows as if you had a regular PC. When done, re-instate the original hard drive and, if you hold down "option" while booting you'll get the option of Windows or OS X. This gives you more flexibility over partitioning (e.g. I like a "NTFS C" partition for the OS, a "NTFS D" partition for data and a small FAT32 partition that OSX and Linux can read&write to. I assume that you can rinse and repeat to install Linux on its own disc, or as a partition on the windows disk, but I haven't tried that yet - but most of the "issues" with Linux seem to involve having it share a disc with OSX.

    *** and curse the lack of an accessible CD eject button!
  7. siow-limc


    I were you, I would consider VM Fusion seriously avoid making a huge mistake. Don't blindly believe the ads of PD4 or PD5.

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