How to install Ubuntu (Feisty Fawn) in OS X using Parallels – a complete walkthrough

This tutorial will take you every single step of the way through installing Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) using Parallels for OS X. In other words, even your parents should be able to follow along.

NOTE: this tutorial is for people who are using Parallels Version 2.x. An up-to-date version of this tutorial (for Parallels Desktop 6.0 for MacParallels Desktop for Mac) can be found here.

NOTE 2: if you’re looking for help installing Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) in Parallels, see this tutorial.

1. Who this tutorial is for
2. Background
3. Setting up Parallels for Ubuntu
4. Running Ubuntu for the first time
5. Tidying up, adding sound and increasing the screen resolution

Who this tutorial is for

This tutorial is for anyone with an Intel based Mac who is curious about Linux – specifically Ubuntu, and has about an hour to kill (not including the time it takes to download Ubuntu).

The steps and screenshots used for this tutorial are specific to Parallels Build 3188 (if you’re using a more recent version of Parallels, please see this tutorial instead) running on a MacBook Pro w/ OS X (10.4.9). With that said, they will be nearly identical if you have a Mac Pro, Mac Mini, MacBook or any other Intel based Apple Mac.


Ubuntu is a free, open source Linux-based operating system with a clear focus on the user and usability (it should “Just Work”). When you finish your Ubuntu installation your system is immediately usable. On the desktop you have a full set of business productivity applications, internet applications, drawing and graphics applications, and games. For more information on Ubuntu, visit

As you may have noticed, here at Simplehelp we often recommend software, and 90-something percent of the time that software is free. Parallels isn’t free, but it really is worth the cost. It will allow you to run other operating systems (like Ubuntu) on your Mac – without having to worry about any of your OS X settings, documents or files being accidentally deleted. And if you don’t like Ubuntu you can trash it and carry on like it never happened.
One other (major) benefit of using Parallels is that you run the other operating system (in this case Ubuntu) while OS X is running. You don’t need to restart your computer each time you want to switch from OS X to Ubuntu and vice-versa.

Read more about Parallels Desktop Parallels Desktop 6.0 for Machere.

This tutorial would not have been made possible (or at least it would have taken me a lot longer) without the help of Kent Bye.

Before you start – make sure to download Ubuntu from The file you’ll want to download (as of 4/27/07) is ubuntu-7.04-desktop-i386.iso. Also, make sure Parallels Desktop is installed.

Setting up Parallels for Ubuntu

  1. If this is the first time you’re using Parallels, the Wizard will launch automatically. If it’s not the first time you’ve used Parallels, launch the Wizard by selecting New…

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  3. Select Custom as the type of installation mode, and then Next to continue.

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  5. Choose Solaris as the OS Type: and Other Solaris as the OS Version:. No, that’s not a mistake. At the time of this writing, Parallels build 3188 has some issues when it comes to installing Ubuntu 7.04. Selecting Solaris as the OS will help you get around those issues, and in a later step you’ll be changing this setting anyway. Click Next to continue.

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  7. Here you’ll need to select the amount of RAM that will be dedicated to the guest operating system (Ubuntu). If your Mac has 512MB of RAM, you’ll want to select 256MB or a bit less. Below 128MB will make Ubuntu a bit slow. Because I have 2GB in my MacBook Pro, I’ve opted to dedicate 768MB to Ubuntu – and both OS X and Ubuntu run very quickly. After you’ve selected an amount, click Next to continue. NOTE: some users (scroll way down to see comments) have reported problems when opting for more than 512MB of RAM. You may want to set it to 512 or less now – you can always increase it later.

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  9. Select Create a new hard disk image and click Next to continue.

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  11. Now you’ll need to set the size of the “hard drive” that Ubuntu will use. It might be possible to select less than a gigabyte (1024) and still install Ubuntu, but there would be very little room left for anything else. I would suggest 2 or more gigs (2048) at a minimum.

    Review the differences between Expanding and Plain as a disk format. Parallels suggests using Expanding, and since I’ve only noticed a small difference in performance between the two, I would suggest it as well. Either way, don’t stress out over this decision too much – you can convert from one format to the other, using Parallels Image Tool, if you ever need to. Click Next when you’re ready to continue.

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  13. Select Shared Networking and then click Next.

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  15. Give your virtual machine a name – pretty much anything is fine, so go with something descriptive. You may also want to click the More Options link if you want to change the default location for the virtual machine files (generally not necessary). You can also remove the check from the box labeled Create icon on Desktop if you like to keep an un-cluttered desktop. Once again, click Next.

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  17. Click More Options and select ISO image. Then click the Choose… button and navigate to your Ubuntu .iso file (ubuntu-7.04-desktop-i386.iso). Make sure Start Other Solaris installation is checked, and then click Finish.

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Running Ubuntu for the first time

  1. Ubuntu will now boot for the first time. When you’re presented with the boot: prompt, enter in the following: live vga=790 and then hit ENTER (on your keyboard).

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  3. Watch the pretty line…

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  5. And here you are. Because the .iso file you downloaded is a “Live” image, you can actually play around with Ubuntu right now. You won’t have sound (we’ll fix this later) and you probably won’t be connected to the Internet (again, we’ll fix it later) so lets just get on with the installation. Double-click the Install icon on your Ubuntu desktop.

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  7. Select your language of choice and then click the Forward button.

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  9. Choose your location from the drop-down list, and then click Forward.

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  11. Select your keyboard layout, and you guessed it, click Forward.

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  13. Leave the default options selected (Guided and SCSI1 and then click Forward.

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  15. Nothing to import, so click Forward

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  17. Enter your Name, the name you wish to use to login, a password and whatever you want to call your “Ubuntu computer” in the spaces provided. Once again, click Forward.

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  19. And now finally, click the Install button.

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  21. Go get a cup of coffee or your beverage of choice. This can take a while.
  22. Update: a number of folks have noted that they get ‘stuck’ at this stage, particularly during hardware detection. Yesterday, while installing Ubuntu on a friends MacBook Pro, I encountered the same error – it hangs at “piix Intel 82801BA IDE”. The solution, in my case, was to power off the virtual machine (the red square icon in the right column of Parallels Desktop), and power it back on (the green arrow). The 2nd time I tried to install Ubuntu, it went right through with no problems. I made no changes to any of the configurations (above steps), I simply “tried again” – and it worked.

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  23. When the installation is complete, choose Restart now.

    Don’t be at all surprised if Ubuntu doesn’t actually shut down properly. I’ve actually yet to have it restart on it’s own, it always ‘hangs’ at a blank black screen. If this happens to you, use the Stop Virtual Machine button in the upper-right corner of Parallels. The red square one.

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Tidying up and adding sound

  1. Back at the Parallels configuration window for your Ubuntu machine, click the Configuration “link”.

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  3. Now it’s time to set things straight. Make sure that Options is selected from the Resource list in the left side of the window. On the right side, change your OS Type: from Solaris to Linux and the OS Version: from Other Solaris to Other Linux kernel 2.6.

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  5. Select CD/DVD-ROM 1 from the Resource list, and then change the Emulation from Use image file to Use CD/DVD-ROM.

    Then click the Add… button in the lower left corner.

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  7. Select Sound and then click Next

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  9. Leave the defaults selected, and then click Finish.

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  11. Back at your Ubuntu configuration window, click OK.

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  13. Alright, it’s go time. Start up Ubuntu by click the Start Virtual Machine button (the green arrow in the right column).

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  15. Don’t be at all surprised or alarmed if you see an error message (ACPI: Unable to locate RSDP) flash on your screen. It’s a known issue.

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  17. Again, do not be the least bit surprised if you find yourself staring at a blank, black window. Just wait a few more seconds..

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  19. … and you’ll get to the login window! Enter your user name in the space provided and hit enter (on your keyboard).

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  21. Enter your password and again click enter.

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  23. That’s it – you’re done! Well almost. Select the Internet status icon in the upper-right corner of your Ubuntu desktop, and choose Wired Network. Assuming your Mac is online, Ubuntu will now be connected to the Internet as well. Have fun! If you want to increase Ubuntu’s screen resolution, please see this post.
{ 177 comments… add one }
  • Khurt Williams April 27, 2007, 7:09 pm

    Dude. This is exactly what I was looking for. I have had issues getting Ubuntu installed in Parallels on OS-X 10.4.9.

  • Ross April 27, 2007, 8:37 pm

    Khurt – glad it helped :)

  • Wim Leers April 28, 2007, 10:35 am

    Doesn’t work for me. It stays black forever for me.

  • Ross April 28, 2007, 11:01 am

    Wim –

    At which stage does it stay “black forever”- before you’ve actually installed the OS, when you boot Ubuntu for the first time? Or after a successful install?

  • Richad M April 28, 2007, 11:07 am

    Thank You so much … it was really cool that you took the time to put this up

  • Dave Gallagher April 28, 2007, 11:25 am

    Do you think you could add steps to install Parallel Tools into 7.04 as well?

  • Mac vs PC April 28, 2007, 11:54 am

    Guess you really can run anything on a Mac! Very well laid out.

  • Pratik April 28, 2007, 11:56 am

    I’m getting the same error as Wim. Once I start to install it, the screen stays black. Any ideas? I’m on a MB Core Duo 2GB.

  • Jim Gottlieb April 28, 2007, 12:59 pm

    Worked perfectly! Thanks for putting this tutorial together.

  • Morten Ravn April 28, 2007, 2:12 pm

    Black screens by Pratik and Wim!

    In the installation process, are you sure you don’t accedently press enter when requested? “…For the default live system, press ENTER”

    And not:
    * Instead of hitting “Enter” at the next boot screen, then interrupt the boot startup sequence by hitting “function key (fn) + F4? keys.
    * When you get the “boot:” prompt, then type in “live vga=790? and hit enter in order to start the Ubuntu install process
    [by Kent Bye]

  • Peter Cooper April 28, 2007, 2:17 pm

    Just a note for anyone who cares.. I’ve been a big Parallels fan up till now, but Feisty seems to work a lot better in VMware Fusion (whose beta is free). It’s worth checking out VMware Fusion and giving it a go. I imagine VMware will charge for it in the future (or maybe not?) but if you want the most solid Linux VM experience on OS X it’s the way to go.. it also supports using both of your cores, which Parallels doesn’t.

  • shaved_goat April 28, 2007, 2:32 pm

    Can you add the info for changing to 1280×800 screen resolution?

  • jtmoney April 28, 2007, 3:04 pm

    Mine hangs at Detecting Hardware

    “Loading module piix Intel Corporation 82801BA IDE U…”

  • boxlight April 28, 2007, 3:32 pm

    Thank you very much for this seamless tutorial! You covered each of the issues that I would have got stuck on.

    I’ve been saying for 10 years that Linux needs to work harder on the little usability things. I’ve tried installing fedora and ubuntu on two separate occassions (albeit in Parrallels) and I failed both times.

    This time is worked! Thanks.

    Still, without this tutorial, how would I have know about the “choose Solaris” workaround, or to type “live=790” or how to get the internet connected.

    Thanks again for the hard work, it is greatly appreciated! I hope you will provide a lesson in usability to the Linux world.


  • Matt April 28, 2007, 4:10 pm

    the installation gets to “detecting hardware, please wait” and hangs up there. I’ve left it for a few hours ans its staying there. The bottem of that window says “loading ‘piix’ for ‘intel corporation 82801ba IDE U…”. Any help?

  • Richad M April 28, 2007, 4:40 pm

    i am having the same problem… the detecting hardware thing

  • Noah Gift April 28, 2007, 4:54 pm
  • Chubb April 28, 2007, 4:55 pm

    Am I the only one trying everything possible to have feisty recognize my macbook pro’s 1440×900 resolution?

  • Andrew Kneebone April 28, 2007, 6:03 pm

    I love a good coincidence,

    Last night I tried doing a duel boot with Ubuntu and it wouldn’t work because of partitioning issues.. Having tried Parallels before I was waiting for the next version to fix the problem.

    And then this popped up. Thanks man!

  • nicheplayer April 28, 2007, 8:32 pm

    I got as far as “Detecting hardware, please wait…” on my Macbook, then nothing….

    Says it’s loading module ‘piix’ for Intel blah blah blah….

  • Ross April 28, 2007, 9:15 pm

    To those of you w/ the “Detecting hardware piix for intel corporation 82801ba IDE, please wait” and hangs up there – power off the virtual machine using the red square in the right column of Parallels Desktop. Then start it up again, and try the installation again.

    I installed Ubuntu on a friends MacBook Pro today and had the EXACT same problem (though it didn’t occur on my MBP). The 2nd time I tried the installation, it went right through.

    Hope this helps –

  • Lindsay April 28, 2007, 9:33 pm

    @Chubb and shaved_goat

    I used the instructions from the following website.

    Just run Terminal and use the following command

    sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

    and select the resolutions you want.

  • Matt April 28, 2007, 11:44 pm

    left this installing 10 hours ago at 90%, came back next morning and it was still at 90% attempting to detect the same hardware as before.

  • Svenand April 29, 2007, 3:25 am

    Upgrading from Ubuntu 6.10 to 7.04 is easy. See my

  • Darren April 29, 2007, 4:13 am

    I had the same hanging issue while loading the piix device, and tried the “reinstall” that was offered as a solution by someone on here. No luck…still locking on the same piix device.

  • Mike April 29, 2007, 6:10 am

    I was happy to find this walkthrough, but it’s not working for me, as the install hangs during “detecting hardware… please wait” while “Loading module ‘piix’ for ‘Intel Corp 82801BA IDE U…”

    I have a month-old MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.33GHz, 2GB RAM, running Parallels build 3188. It was stuck at this point overnight, and I made a second install attempt this morning with a fresh VM, ensuring I didn’t miss any steps. The install has been hung at the same point for an hour.

    Will report back if I figure it out…

  • Motorcycle Guy April 29, 2007, 6:40 am

    I’m sorta confused about why you might want to try ubuntu if you have OS X. OS X is like ubuntu with none of the downfalls.

  • tr April 29, 2007, 8:14 am

    Tried installing twice. Hung up at 90%- Detecting Hardware “Loading module ‘piix’ for ‘Intel Corporation 82801BA IDE U…”

    Thanks for the effort of putting this together though. I’ll give VMware Fusion a shot.

  • Jesse April 29, 2007, 9:01 am

    I was getting stuck repeatedly at “detecting hardware… please wait” while “Loading module ‘piix’ for ‘Intel Corp 82801BA IDE U…” and was about to give up. I noticed, however, that whenever it hung at 15% during the install it also seemed to hang later (I had a couple of bad attempts b/c I hadn’t given it enough drive space). I tried again this morning and it didn’t hang up at 15% and then also got through the HW detect, so it seems like you may be able to watch for that and at least save some time by exiting w/o waiting for it to hang at the end.

  • Earl April 29, 2007, 10:27 am

    I was getting the “detecting hardware…please wait…Intel Corp 82801BA…” error. I’ve found a couple of workarounds that worked for me:

    Setting up Parallels for Ubuntu:

    STEP 2 …select “Typical” instead of “Custom” this got me by the hardware detection hangup every time.

    Tidying up and adding sound:

    STEP 2…select for OS Version “Other Linux kernel 2.4” vs. “Other Linux kernel 2.6”. This allowed it to boot past the “ACPI: Unable to locate RSDP” error without hanging at a black screen.

    Like I said, these two changes worked for me and I ran through it a couple of time to make sure it’s repeatable.

    Good Luck!

  • Earl April 29, 2007, 10:31 am

    Additional Info: I should of probably confirmed in my last comment that when you select “typical” instead of “Custom” you still select “Solaris” and “Other Solaris” as the OS and OS Version.

  • Earl April 29, 2007, 12:28 pm

    Additional Info: on Tidying up and adding sound you can use the setting “Other Linux Kernel 2.6”.

    The problem I was experiencing after installing was due to setting the memory to 1gb. This seems to cause a problem. Use a setting less then 1gb.

  • Chad April 29, 2007, 1:49 pm

    i’m also having the piix problem (macbook pro core 2 duo). i followed the directions precisely, including the suggestion of powering on and powering off the virtual machine, but when i power it back on, i don’t get a second chance to install ubuntu. instead, it just hangs at “Boot from hard drive…”. i’ve tried these instructions four times already with no luck.

    including this attempt, i’ve tried to install linux six times in six years (fedora, suse, ubuntu) on three different machines and i’ve only succeeded once. it apparently still has a long way to go to reach the average consumer. i hope that someone finds a reliable workaround for this problem because i’ve heard great things about both ubuntu and parallels.


  • Chad April 29, 2007, 8:02 pm

    regarding the “typical” vs. “custom” workaround to the piix problem. i gave that a try and it worked, thanks a lot for the tip. the interesting thing is that the primary difference between these two methods is that, for me, “typical” automatically allocated 256MB of RAM and 32GB of virtual disk space. so perhaps the problem is just not enough virtual disk space. previously i’ve only gone as high as 7GB.

  • Earl April 29, 2007, 8:13 pm


    Glad the tip worked…I think it’s tied into the amount of memory and virtual disk space. One GB of memory setting causes problems and there may be virtual disk space settings that cause problems as well.

  • Tom April 30, 2007, 4:46 am

    I was having the piix problem as well and found that setting the memory as high as 768MB seems to trigger this. I got the install to work with 384MB and then changed the VM to use 512MB. Setting it to 768MB caused the install not to boot. I only use a 5GB image so you can get away with less than the “typical” 32GB. Hope this helps.

  • Joe April 30, 2007, 5:44 am

    I use a 3GB MacBook Pro (Core 2 Duo). A combination of recommendations from Tom and Earl are spot-on: If I use 512MB (not 768MB), a 5GB image (not 7GB – still using Custom Install vs. Typical), and “Other Linux Kernel 2.4” (not 2.6) the install works like a charm from start to finish.

  • PieterC April 30, 2007, 10:55 am

    Thnx for the guide, you should add the screen resolution trick though.

  • James Carlos April 30, 2007, 3:18 pm

    Nice write-up! Thanks for this.


  • maya April 30, 2007, 5:48 pm

    awesome! i’ve wanted to do this for some time now =)

  • Chris April 30, 2007, 8:00 pm

    Thanks, these procedures worked perfectly on my 20 inch iMac w/ a GB or RAM, NO PROBLEMS. Even “copied” my parallels directory to my external “My Book” USB2 drive and it worked. Again, nicely done – just append those “change video resolution” options and it’s totally complete.


  • AppleEater April 30, 2007, 10:00 pm

    Any chance of running Beryl? either on Parallels or VMWare?

  • Matt May 1, 2007, 12:08 am

    Thnaks for this wonderful tutorial! I got everything running just fine. It would be great if you could move the hint about not setting more than 512MB of RAM initially to the top of your document.

  • Bud+Why+Zer May 1, 2007, 10:39 pm

    I had no problems at all installing and using your instructions on my Macbook 2Ghz with 2GB RAM. This is my first time using linux and I have to say that for the past several hours I have been amazed at the speed of Ubuntu. I also use a Windows desktop, which is pretty quick, but Ubuntu on Parallels on my Macbook is just blazingly fast.

    BTW, the total install time, including a few upgrades that were automatically installed by Ubuntu took only 50 minutes in total.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • Jan Sommer May 3, 2007, 7:37 pm

    This is just great.. the live vga=790 made it work, otherwise it didn’t boot. Thanks!

  • Phoebe Bright May 4, 2007, 3:10 am

    Had black screen problems also when trying to start machine after successfull installation. Followed instructions from one of the commenters above and all seems well.

    Here is what I did:

    MacBook Pro OSX 10.4.8
    Installed with latest versions of parallel and ubuntu as at 3rd May 2007

    Having gone to the trouble of partitioning the disk and reinstalling the system and copying files I discovered this site and parallels.

    First time through got all the way to the end and then a persistant black screen, so tried this recommendation:

    Setting up Parallels for Ubuntu:

    STEP 2 �select �Typical� instead of �Custom� this got me by the hardware detection hangup every time.

    Tidying up and adding sound:

    STEP 2�select for OS Version �Other Linux kernel 2.4″ vs. �Other Linux kernel 2.6″. This allowed it to boot past the �ACPI: Unable to locate RSDP� error without hanging at a black screen.

    First time in I forgot to do Step 2, but did get as far as entering a user id and password before the black screen. Stopped and started virtual machine and black screen immediately again.

    Then shut down parallels and restarted, did step 2 (select second Other Linux k, couldn’t see the rest of it) and clicked start arrow again. Got to log in again and all is well.

  • Frank Hellwig May 4, 2007, 6:55 am

    Frequently, Ubuntu installations hang when they try to reach out to the network during the install. When the live version is started, the network is not necessarily configured (do a ping

    One solution is to bring up a terminal window and stop and start networking (a restart will not always work).

    sudo /etc/init.d/networking stop
    sudo /etc/init.d/networking start

  • Frank Hellwig May 4, 2007, 7:05 am

    crap – that wasn’t it.

  • brendan May 6, 2007, 5:41 pm

    thank you for this walkthrough! it has proven extremely useful, and i really appreciate the time and effort you put into a genuinely useful walk-through

  • Arun Kumar May 6, 2007, 8:30 pm

    Excellent instructions, particularly the reassurance about the black screens and other intermediate glitches. Thanks to you, I was able to test Kerika on Linux.

  • David Van Couvering May 7, 2007, 8:26 am

    A number of folks here at Sun tried this and failed, hanging at the “detecting hardware” problem. The way they got past this was to reduce memory allocation to 512MB, and then it works like a champ!

    I instead went to VirtualBox, which I am quite hapy with.


  • Francesco May 7, 2007, 2:33 pm

    Great tutorial!

    The virtual HDD (point 6 above) however must be set to more than 2 GB (2048 MB). With 2 GB, I would briefly get a warning during the installation process in Ubuntu indicating that I was running short on HDD space, and then the installation process would quit without messages. I reset the size of the virtual HDD to 3GB (3072 MB) and it worked smoothly.

  • Rod May 10, 2007, 6:01 pm

    Superb – excellent tutorial thanks. Worked first time, luck me :)

    I’m now totally stuck with getting Parallels-Ubuntu USB working (parallels sees the devices but not ubuntu) – a new tutorial idea? As a knock on effect, I hunted but couldn’t find a way to move files between parallels-ubuntu and osx – tested ideas?

  • MirrorMask May 10, 2007, 9:46 pm

    I’ve installaed Ubuntu on my MacBookPro with parallels. After installation, I’ve tried to lunch Desktop Effects.
    Now screen in blank and nothing appears.

    Does exist a way to turn off Desktop Effects by command (without GUI)? Please, help me….

  • Svenand May 13, 2007, 3:15 am

    Here are some tips for file sharing between Ubuntu and Mac OS X.

  • Mieru May 13, 2007, 2:08 pm

    I have had a problem with some special character like @ or € because it didn’t type tehm. The solution was to enable the “Third level choosers key”; here is how:
    go to System->Preferences->Keyboard->Leyout Options
    open the third level chooser and check the “press the right Alt key to choose the 3° level”.
    I have tested only with the italian layout but it must works with all the layouts and the symbols that you type pressing the Alt key on Mac Os x.
    I hope it could be usefull.

  • Obsidian6 May 15, 2007, 10:30 pm

    This tutorial was a wonderfully problem-free walkthrough. I was having so much trouble getting linux to run on my MBP, I was beginning to think I was just dumb. But I know now that there were a couple slight errors in my setup process, but it works! First try, I’m very excited :)


  • Ray Kiddy May 17, 2007, 12:18 pm

    I found it interesting that before I bought Parallels, installing a Ubuntu 6.10 VM was easy and worked perfectly. Then I bought the product and tried to install Ubuntu 7.04 and it has been nothing but a bother. That’ll learn me.

    Your instructions were great. Any hints on getting shared networking to work. I use Airport on my MacBook Pro. Again, with 6.10 it just worked. With 7.04, it just does not.

    I tried changing the settings in System Preferences. Manually setting the IP addresses for Parallels NAT and Host-Guest (which should be the same? different?) got them to green, but still no Internet connectivity for the VM…..

  • Bryan May 17, 2007, 7:38 pm

    I am a complete beginner. I tried using desktop effects and now my desktop freezes every time gnome launches. I was wondering if there was anyway to change the settings or reset gnome to default from the terminal. If someone could give step by step instructions I would be really grateful. I don’t want to reinstall.

  • Oskar Syahbana May 17, 2007, 10:36 pm

    I just did it! Now the Macbook is a robust development system which has OSX (duh!), Vista, XP, and Linux to boot. Thanks alot for this guide

  • Elie May 18, 2007, 6:26 am

    awesome, works like a charm!

  • Mike May 21, 2007, 2:13 pm

    ok so i tried installing ubuntu 7.04 i followed everything step by step, but i just get stuck at the “piix Intel 82801BA IDE” part i stopped it and tried installing again but still doesn’t work like it said on top. Anyone have a solution?

  • Mike May 21, 2007, 3:46 pm

    also when i press stop and start again it just hangs at the start up screen saying boot from hard drive …

  • Brandon May 22, 2007, 3:47 pm

    Everything worked great, but now I can’t get Ubuntu to recognize my CD drive. I just get an error:

    “special device /dev/scd0 does not exist”

    Any ideas?

    BTW, thanks for this great tutorial.

  • Clay Sandefur May 22, 2007, 11:23 pm

    Thank you so much for this guide. Im sure i wil be using it when i get my macbook in the near future. But i did have one question, If i want to install Fedora 6 can i still follow these exact steps (even selecting solaris in the beggining) to get it to work?

    Thx so much im glad someone has time to help all of us out =]


  • hauk May 23, 2007, 7:41 am

    Thanks for an excellent HOWTO. Unfortunately I never got past the “piix Intel 82801BA IDE” part and got stuck there. So I had to give up installing Ubuntu 7.04 using parallels build 3188 on my imac 24.

    For those in the same situation, use VMWare Fusion instead and scrap parallels. Installing Ubuntu 7.04 on vmware went like a dream with no problems nor any workarounds necessary.

  • Gareth May 23, 2007, 8:24 am

    Hey – whomever did this – thank you so much.

  • Brian May 24, 2007, 7:08 am

    Perfectly executed tutorial (this comment from someone who writes many of them). Thanks for posting this up!

  • Luis May 28, 2007, 7:26 am

    thanks, this helped me alot!

  • Viremia May 29, 2007, 8:14 am

    Couldn’t have been easier…thanks to your guide. No problems (other than those you walked us through).


  • Dan K June 1, 2007, 1:20 am

    I couldn’t get past the detecting hardware stall…
    I found a posting that said to keep the allocated RAM to less than 512 MB. I did this an had a smooth install on a Macbook Pro. Great instructions otherwise!!

  • Michael June 1, 2007, 5:36 am

    I keep getting the hqanging at “piix Intel 82801BA IDE”. I did what you said and clicked the red square icon in the right column of Parallels Desktop, and power it back on (the green arrow). When I press the GREEN button it loads and sticks on the BIOS menu and seems it cant find the CD even if its connected. I have tried this 6 times with no luck.

  • Michael June 1, 2007, 6:14 am

    Never mind.. Putting the memory @ 500MB worked! Thanks!!!

    Will this install also work with Ubuntu-Studio 7?

  • Einar June 2, 2007, 2:30 am

    Can I “link” Macintosh HD to the Parallel?

  • Einar June 2, 2007, 4:35 am


    I found it interesting that before I bought Parallels, installing a Ubuntu 6.10 VM was easy and worked perfectly. Then I bought the product and tried to install Ubuntu 7.04 and it has been nothing but a bother. That’ll learn me.

    Your instructions were great. Any hints on getting shared networking to work. I use Airport on my MacBook Pro. Again, with 6.10 it just worked. With 7.04, it just does not.

    I tried changing the settings in System Preferences. Manually setting the IP addresses for Parallels NAT and Host-Guest (which should be the same? different?) got them to green, but still no Internet connectivity for the VM…..

    Comment by Ray Kiddy — May 17, 2007 @ 12:18 pm

    This describes my problem exactly.

    I trying to set up ubundu ore Kubundu so I can test the LinuxMCE before I start building machines around it in my home.

    There comes another problem, I can not connect the ISO (to become CD/DVD) images for the LinuxMCE ore the openSUSE 10.2 (i386).

  • glenn June 6, 2007, 3:21 am

    when starting ubuntu for the first time i get the error message ” Your CPU does not support long mode. Use 32bit distribution” I am using teh same setup as the author..any ideas what i can do

  • Ross McKillop June 6, 2007, 6:48 am

    Glenn –

    It sounds like you might have downloaded the 64bit version of Ubuntu – what’s the exact name of the file you downloaded?

  • Pedro June 7, 2007, 5:28 am

    Regarding the “piix Intel 82801BA IDE” issue, it seems that 500MB is the magic number for the macbook. It works for me too.


  • Don Park June 7, 2007, 10:34 am

    thank you for this tutorial! for weeks ive been trying to get feisty to boot under parallels. the cdrom boot screen shows but then it goes black and never returns. by using the Solaris setting it still went black (no progress bar) but eventually booted into X windows. yea!

  • R-51 June 7, 2007, 8:25 pm

    Great tutorial.

    As a note, this also works for Xubuntu (bit faster response time on a Macbook because the window manager is faster).

    I disabled network in the lower toolbar of Parallels and it seemed to work better when getting to the install desktop screen (though maybe it would have worked with network if I would have left it alone for longer and just waited for it to boot).

    Critical pieces for Xubunutu:
    (1) The solaris trick (see text of article).
    (2) Waiting along time when the progress bar seemed to stop at about 10% when going side to side.

  • Luigi Montanez June 10, 2007, 7:05 am

    For those with the new (Santa Rosa) MacBook Pros:

    You won’t need to do the Solaris workaround (just select Linux and Ubuntu), BUT you still do need to specify 500MB for the memory.

    The sound is detected automatically too.

  • Ken T June 11, 2007, 5:32 am

    A question, but first my thanks – great tute. My problem is that my system hangs at Step 11 (after loading 50-ish%). I turned off the VM in order to restart it, but now it won’t restart properly, hanging on “boot from hard drive…” even though I’ve got the ISO selected to boot from. Repeated turning VM off/on makes no diff.

    Any advice? Many thanks,

  • Ken T June 11, 2007, 3:15 pm

    Problem solved – please ignore my above post – seems I got fooled by the issue of transparent progress bars (should’ve read the above posts first!). I did have to set up a new VM and start from scratch, though. The first one was completely non-responsive after an abortive attempt. Thanks all. K

  • Ken B. June 12, 2007, 10:37 pm

    MacPro 2.66, Parallels3.0 Build 4128
    I also got the ‘piix Intel 82801BA IDE’ hang and stopping and restarting did not seem to work but trashing the Parallels created files, starting from scratch again but setting memory to 500 MB as Pedro in comment 122 said, let the complete install finish. I did not seem to get a chance to put live vga=790 anywhere, the screen went garbled for awhile, then finally the proper Ubuntu desktop displayed. The subsequent install completed, and restart without the iso available completed nicely. That’s as far as I’ve gotten, Ubuntu is waiting for me to enter a username, oh yeah, now I remember what I told it during the install, yep, I’m in!. Thx, great instructions.
    Ken B.

  • Chirag June 14, 2007, 11:10 pm

    i would like to know how to install ubuntu parallel with windows XP?
    i want to know how can i keep windows XP n ubuntu together in my hdd. it means that whenever i want to use windows i can windows or else i can use ubuntu?

    please do help me.i would like to have an answer.i would be glad that to know to pictorial presentation like for Mac.

    would be waiting for your reply.

  • Ricard Oliv June 19, 2007, 3:43 am

    Thanks a lot mate, I have tryed from other websites, but with screen shots its much easier.
    I wanted to boot with ubuntu instead of macosx but its still to hard to make it.

  • Ash Haque June 30, 2007, 1:52 pm

    I got stuck at the “piix Intel 82801BA IDE” stage as well but when I restarted parallels (red square then green arrow), it keeps hangung up on the boot from hard drive… screen

    Any ideas

  • Jeff Phillips July 1, 2007, 11:28 am

    The problem with the install hangup at “piix Intel 82801BA IDE” has to do with RAM/Memory that has been assigned to the virtual machine. This tutorial suggests using 768 MB. If you set it instead to 512MB the install should work properly.

    This has something to do with the memory use restrictions for paralles/Ubuntu. For more details visit:
    Search the page for post #16, “Success! The problem was somethign to do with RAM allocation…”

  • Amu July 16, 2007, 11:07 pm

    Nice tutorial. Thanks for sharing

  • erpo July 18, 2007, 7:02 pm

    Hey great tutorial. Was able to quickly setup Ubuntu through parallels.

    However I’m running into a problem: I can’t seem to get desktop effects to work. Everytime I attempt to use them (or run Beryl) the system hangs on a white/blank screen. I believe it has to do with video drivers, but having said that, I have visited another website which said something about accessing ‘restricted drivers manager’, but when I go there, it says my hardware does not require restricted drivers. I’m lost. :(

    I have a 2ghz MB w/ 1gb ram (512 allocated to Ubuntu).

  • bruckwine July 19, 2007, 12:58 pm

    Perfect man, thanks! Was doing this the Parallels way with plenty headaches! That Solaris trick was key – now I can try this out and see if I want to put it on my home PC! Now to figure out how to set the correct time lol!

  • bruckwine July 19, 2007, 1:08 pm

    P.S. I too get the white screen when trying desktop effects – have to do a restart it :(

  • Jim July 21, 2007, 12:26 am

    Good walk through but do you have one for build 4128 i still get a crc error and the kernal scrams???

  • Jim August 7, 2007, 5:54 am

    I followed this guide. While good, I was still pulling my hair out for two days. What finally did it was to set everything to “Linux”, “Ubuntu”, and install the Parallels tools. (Getting to a terminal was tricky though as the screen was hosed in graphics mode, but if you do this from the start you should be OK.)

    One of the key things is that it doesn’t seem to work with RAM>512. The Parallels tools install also set the video RAM to the lowest setting, 4mb–not sure if that matters but I’m leaving it. Also, don’t after installing the Parallels tools, it grays out the resolution settings in the host config screen–just leave it that way, you no longer need it

    The result now is the Ubuntu desktop dynamically resizes with it’s host window–very cool! It didn’t do that before. Switching to full screen also makes it completely full screen. Hope this helps! I hope you read this comment first, rather than last out of desperation!

  • flame August 22, 2007, 1:22 am

    these instructions are perfect. thank you so much.

  • Michiel (holland) August 30, 2007, 2:38 am

    RE: I’m getting the same error as Wim. Once I start to install it, the screen stays black. Any ideas? I’m on a MB Core Duo 2GB.

    Comment by Pratik — April 28, 2007 @ 11:56 am

    Hi there, i had the same thing…
    The only thing i had to do was changing the resolution to highest in the list (in the install menu)..
    Good luck with it ;)..

  • Karim September 7, 2007, 3:08 pm

    Most excellent, job well done!
    It’s by far the best tutorial I have found for this particular task.

  • ubntu7 September 16, 2007, 7:03 pm

    làm cách nào giải quyết những trục chặc khi cai đặt ubuntu, để tránh đánh mất giữ liệu

  • Raoul Duke September 18, 2007, 3:34 pm

    you rule, this helped me a lot – thank you!

  • Natalie Montague October 10, 2007, 6:16 pm

    I have Ubuntu 6.06.1 burned onto a disk and a MacBook. How do I boot Ubuntu off of the disk if I just want to try it out before I set it up as a parallel?

  • Rich Schumaker October 19, 2007, 6:31 pm

    Has anyone had trouble with display not starting. Mine install tried 6 times and then shut down. Tried it twice with two different downloads.

  • theycallmeguy October 28, 2007, 9:14 pm

    right on… Follow the instructions exactly and it worked. Thanks for the post.

  • akulavolk October 29, 2007, 6:13 pm

    Parallels seems to have a problem with clean installs of Ubuntu 7.10 that causes it to barf when switching display settings (like what Rich describes above). I was having the same problem, but followed “Sidney’s” directions at the bottom of this page…

    …and it seemed to work o.k. for me.

  • Martyn Gilbert November 16, 2007, 9:05 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I was having problems getting Ubuntu 7.10 to work with Parallels 3.0 on Leopard. I could not get round the “Intel 82801” hang. I did as your tutorial suggested.. Switched to Solaris, reduced the memory to 512M… and away we go!

    Slight variances I had… When you instruct to restart Ubuntu.. mine actually does and so I then have to shut it down again to do the changes you mention. Also, the Parallels settings start out with the CDROM image on virtual IDE 0:0. Therefore I had to switch that to IDE0:1 so it could see the boot ‘hard’ disc.

    Thank you (and the other contributors) so much.

  • Naoko November 30, 2007, 9:48 pm

    Wow…. Thank you so much. Yes, this is exactly what I needed.

  • Kevin December 16, 2007, 3:09 am

    So I successfully got it installed following the instructions and reducing the memory to 512 MB, but I really need more than 512 and increasing it to 768 or 1 GB after install causes the boot to just hang. Has anyone found a solution for this?

  • raed June 19, 2008, 7:54 am

    thank u for this post

    already i try it

  • Gravity August 23, 2008, 10:32 am

    awesome walk through… my friend really needed this. thnx.

  • Darius January 14, 2009, 9:45 pm

    Great tutorial. Easy step by step process sing osx 10.5.
    The only issue I have is with parallels, constantly having to control alt out of the Ubuntu screen to reposition its placement. Don’t know how to establish a full screen, regular mode without having to shift.

  • over January 16, 2009, 5:27 am

    Teşekkurler. 10x

  • marantis July 21, 2009, 1:35 pm

    ubuntu 9.x and parallels 3.x doesn’t work! have a look at …

    this parallels bug ist now more than 3 month old without any solution!

  • soqna November 29, 2010, 4:13 am

    thank u

    i will try it soon

  • Michael Dunn August 29, 2012, 10:32 am

    Hey Jeff Phillips, what are you doing now? You left CRBC around 2006…

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