8 Ask Ben Anything – Sharing VMs, USB 2.0/3D graphics, Tools for Linux

Can I share one VM between 2 users on Mac OSX?

– Aly

You sure can. However, keep in mind that if one user is logged in to a virtual machine, the other user won’t be able to. You’ll have to use it one at a time. Alternatively, you could clone the VM, and each user could have their own copy.

Can you give us an update on USB 2.0 and 3D graphics?

– doszens of Anonymous readers

We’re still working on both and are still planning on including these in our next version of Parallels Worktation and Parallels Desktop. Beta launch for these products are still slated for around the turn of the year.

Will there be Parallels Tools for Linux? I use PD to test Ubuntu distributions, so mouse & clipboard synchronization would make my life a lot easier.

– Mike

This is something that we’ve recently received a lot of requests for, so we’re in the process of evaluating the best way to make this happen. Its in the works, and I’ll update you with a release timeframe when I get one from Development.

15 Installing Windows on a Mac is now Easier than Installing Windows on a PC!

As of today, its now easier to install Windows on a Mac than it is to install Windows on a PC! That’s due to the inclusion of our new Installation Assistant into today’s build of Parallels Desktop for Mac.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Click the “Install OS” button on the main configuration screen and select “Express Windows Installation”.
  2. Select which version of Windows – XP or Vista – you’d like to install.
  3. Enter your personal information and Windows Product Key and click “Finish”.

That’s it! The Installation Assistant will complete the entire installation process for you – you won’t have to select any configurations, answer and questions, or make decisions about partitions or options. Just sit back, relax, and wait for the Assistant to finish.

The Installation Assistant also automatically installs Parallels Tools, a useful set of add-ons that enable file sharing, cutting/pasting/copyings between OSes, syncs your mouse and system clock, and improves networking, video and sound performance.

This is one of the coolest new features that we’ve included in a while, and its included FREE in every copy of Parallels Desktop for Mac!

The new build also includes a great new “Shared Networking” mode that enables you to get your virtual machine online, regardless of what type of internet connection you’re using. Shared Networking works by hiding your virtual machine IP addresses behind your Mac’s IP, meaning that even connections like DSL or Cable modems that only allow 1 IP to register will work with virtual machines. In short, it means that if your Mac is connected to the internet, so is your virtual machine. No manual configuration required.

If you’re a customer, your copy of Parallels Desktop for Mac will auto-update. If you have auto-update disabled, or if you’re new to Parallels and want to try our free 15-day trial, you can download it here.

If you’re already a user, remember to manually change your networking option to Shared Networking, and be sure to reinstall Parallels Tools!

0 Podcast Interview with Virtual Strategy Magazine

For an in-depth look (or, listen, as the case may be) at the Mac virtualization market, check out my recent podcast interview with Brian Ducharme, Editor in Chief of Virtual Strategy Magazine.

If you’re into virtualization, Virtual Strategy Magazine is a great resource. They do an excellent job of aggregating industry news, and are always among the first to break stories on hot new products and companies. Check out their home page to see what’s going on, or to sign up for their podcast series or RSS feed.

1 Parallels Workstation Replaces VMWare Players in Sentillion’s vThere

Earlier today we announced a major partnership with Sentillion, in which Parallels Workstation will replace VMWare Player as the virtualization engine powering vThere 2.0, an incredibly cool server-less remote-access solution. Check out the flash demo at and you’ll see what I mean.

Sentillion looked to Parallels as a partner for vThere because VMWare Players it simply wasn’t meeting their customers’ needs. Using the Player-powered product was often too complicated for the average user, and the Player’s performance wasn’t as snappy as they would have liked.

With the move to Parallels, those isses are completely eliminated. And, you won’t have to wait long to start using the new, Parallels Workstation-powered vThere solution; it hits the market in just a few weeks!

For more information on the partnership, you can read the official press release, or check out Jeff Burt’s recent eWeek feature, “Sentillion, Parallels Partner on Desktop Virtualization.”

0 Smells Like Victory

At this year’s London MacExpo, Parallels Desktop for Mac was named “Innovation of the Year” by the editorial staff of MacUser Magazine. Thanks to everyone who voiced their support!

0 Parallels Named a Top Channel Vendor by CRN Magazine

Parallels was just named to CRN Magazine’s “Emerging Vendors” list, which showcases the 100 most channel-ready companies in high-technology.

This is great recognition of the amazing work our development team is doing in building such impressive products, and of the hard work our sales team is putting in to grow our worldwide network of distribution and reseller partners.

If you’re interested in joining Parallels as a reseller or distribution partner, either here in the US or internationally, fill out our Partner Registration Form, and one of our partner managers will get in touch with you right away.

6 Ask Ben Anything – Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro compatibility, Tools for Vista, multiple VMs, and the Cardinals in 5

Will Parallels play nice with the new Core 2 Duo MacBook Pros?

– David P.

Absolutely. We released a build a few weeks ago that works seamlessly with the new Mac Pro towers and new Core 2 Duo-powered Macs. The code that makes that work is now a standard part of Pararalells Desktop, so you won’t have any problems installing it on a new MacBook Pro, if you’re lucky enough to have one!

Parallels Tools rocks in Windows XP. But, I notice that only a few tools work when I install the package in Vista. What’s the deal with that?

– Jen F.

Since Vista support is still experimental (and Microsoft keep changing the builds on us) we don’t yet have a full Tools package. When Vista goes live with a final version, we’ll have a complete tools package that works just like it does in XP.

How many virtual machines can you run at one time?

– Paul N.

For both Parallels Workstation and Parallels Desktop, the short answer is “as many as your machine can handle”. On a solid mid-level PC or Mac with 1GB of RAM, you should be able to run 2-3 virtual machine comfortably. Of course, the more RAM and faster processor you have, the more VMs you can run simultaneously. I’ve run 4 at once (XP, Vista, Fedora 5, OS/2) on my 1.83GHz, 2GB RAM MacBookPro, and I’ve seen as many as 9 run full-speed simultaneously on a maxed-out Mac Pro (quad processor 3 Ghz Xeon, 16GB of RAM).

Who ya got in the World Series?

– eabfhh (via IM)

Based on the way the Tigers are swinging the bats and the David Eckstein’s late-inning heroics last night, I’ve got the Cards wrapping it up in game 5 tonight at home. I’m still pulling for the Tigers though, I’m a big fan of Jim Leyland’s old-school managing style and Fernando Rodney’s terrifying 100+ MPH fastball.

2 Parallels Desktop for Mac – Jolly Good, Muy Bueno

Two new great awards to share with you:

1) Parallels Desktop for Mac was just named a “Producto recomendado” and received 5/5 stars from MacWorld Espana.

2) The editos of MacUser Magazine, the UK’s leading Mac magazine, have nominated Parallels Desktop for Mac as a finalist for “Innovation of the Year”. We’re in an elite class with some very heavy hitters – Adobe PrintEngine, Google Earth, and Micromat Protege.

Show your support for Parallels by emailing the MacUser staff and letting them know that we deserve to win!

2 “Ask Ben Anything” is moving…

…to a new house!

As I’m in the midst of packing up all of my worldly belongings and moving, I won’t be able to put together my usual “Ask Ben Anything” column this Friday. The column will be back next Friday.

7 “Ask Ben Anything” – All about OSes

If I want the option of running Windows XP under both Parallels or Boot
Camp. What are the Windows license implications? Must I purchase two
copies of Windows XP? (It seems that since it is on the same hardware
and not running concurrently, that a single license for Windows should
be sufficient, at least in the legal sense). Will Microsoft allow the
same copy of Windows to be registered for both Parallels and Boot Camp?

– Clinton W.

The best answer I can give is “maybe”. There are a lot of versions of Windows out there, and the EULA (End User License Agreement) can be slightly different in each. In most cases, the EULA states that Windows XP can be installed on one machine, which can be interpreted in two ways:

  1. You need need two licensed copies of Windows to use both Parallels and Boot Camp at the same time.
  2. Since Parallels and Boot Camp reside on the same machine, you’re good to go.

I have heard that many of our users have had success with interpretation #2 by calling Microsoft and explaining that they’re planning on using the same copy twice on one machine, and that Microsoft has said OK. Your results may vary.

This issue with multi-machine licensig becomes much more concrete when it comes to Vista. Microsoft just announced that VistaVista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium in a virtual machine, via the rather direct statement “You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system,”. You can, however, install Vista Ultimate and Vista Business, in any virtual machine. For the entire Vista license agreement, check out the EULA section of Greg Kezier of TechWeb also wrote a good article on the new EULA changes, which you can read here.

The bottom line when installing XP or any Windows OS is make sure that you’ve ready your copy’s EULA, and that you abide by it, or else its entirely possible you get a nastygram from Microsoft Legal telling you that you’re operating your machine illegally, and that you owe them some money.

Hi Ben-

The FAQ suggests downloading a trial version and trying it out, when my favorite OS is not listed in the supported Guest OS’s list. But I’m too busy and lazy to try that, so I’ll ask you instead: what about various versions of Mac OS X itself as a Guest OS for ‘Parallels Desktop for Mac’? Can you do that?

Hmmm, would this allow you to test the Mac OS X-compatibility of new development versions of ‘Parallels Desktop for Mac’ itself, using a stable version of Parallels running different Mac OS X versions each running the new version inside, each runnning various other OSes? The mind reels….

Chris K.

While this is technically possible, running OS X in a virtual machine is a clear violation of Apple’s OS X EULA, which states in Section 2, subsection A: “This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time. This License does not allow the Apple Software to exist on more than one computer at a time,and you may not make the Apple Software available over a network where it could be used by multiple computers at the same time. ”

So, in order for us to make this happen, we need Apple to give us the green light, which they have so far been reluctant to do. If you want to see this happen (I know I do), let Apple know by filling out their feedback form on

As for running a virtual machine via Parallels Workstation in a Windows virtual machine running in Parallels on a Mac (wrap your head around that one), this IS possible…just don’t expect amazing performance, since you’re effectively working in a virtual machine running in a virtual machine running on real hardware.

Thanks for the question…I feel dizzy now…

Hi Ben,

Any idea when Parallels for Win/Linux is going to support a 64-bit host OS? The FAQ says you need a 32-bit host OS in 2.1 but it says 64-bit host support is in the plans. The 2.2 release notes mention support for AMD virtualization technologies but no mention of 64-bit host support. I currently dual-boot between Windows XP-Pro 64 and SuSE-64 on an AMD FX-2 chip. I’d like to move to virtualization and run Vista-64, RedHat, etc. as well.

Ramin F.

Full 64-bit support for both primary and guest operating systems is planned for the next version of both Parallels Workstation and Parallels Desktop. These new, improved versions should drop in beta sometime around the turn of the year. We know that there are a lot of people running 64-bit chips in PCs, and that Macs will be moving to all 64-bit soon, so we’re working as hard as we can to make our stuff able to take full advantage of the new chips!

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