Linux Virtual Machine

I'm going to run through creating a Linux virtual machine on my Mac using Parallels. If you've read my post about Virtual Machines you'll have a background to this article.

Which Linux?

First, which Linux to use? If you don't already have a preference let me save you the trouble. Use Ubuntu. I'm not a Linux master. But from what I've read if you want a good and popular Linux distribution, people recommend Ubuntu.

If you've never used Linux before or are new to the command line, choose the Desktop edition of Ubuntu. If you're happy to use only the command line, choose Server. (Yeah, I know, you can have the desktop either way). The features you want from Linux are available in both Desktop and Server editions so it's just a case of which interface you're comfortable with. This changes if you were building a Linux server on, say, Amazon Web Service (AWS) to be your production server. Definitely use a Server edition for that.

Older versions of Ubuntu are available. This isn't Microsoft! I would recommend using the latest LTS version. LTS stands for long-term support. This version is intended to be used by major corporate users over maybe a 5-year period. I would recommend you don't grab the very latest (non-LTS) version as I have found some software compatibility issues at times. This is nothing against Linux or the ecosystem. It's just that many software projects in the Linux world are run as open-source projects and people volunteer time on them when they can. Sorting out compatibility issues with a new Linux version can sometimes take a little while.

To sum up: go to Ubuntu and download the latest Desktop LTS version there unless you know what you're about.

Which Virtualisation Software?

If you're not using a Mac or not using Parallels you might like to check back over my Virtual Machines post to find some other options. Most people are on Windows computers and so will want Windows Virtual PC. Sorry, it looks like Virtual PC was for Windows 7. I'll so a bit more research and hopefully get back to this. Apologies.


  1. From Parallels, hit the [+] in the top right corner
  2. Then click Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file. Click Continue.
  3. The app might locate your file for you or else you need to Located Manually. Once located, click Continue.
  4. Yep, yep, yep. You know what to do:
  5. How you name your VMs is a matter of taste. For now I'm tracking which Linux distribution and version I'm using.
  6. And away it goes:
  7. Good:
  8. More good:

  9. Still good:
  10. Done:
Having sat through literally thousands of operating system installations in my professional life, it never ceases to amaze me how fast an OS installation is into a VM. Hey it's even faster if you use a service like Amazon Web Services. If this process isn't done in under 10 minutes you might be asking too much of your computer hardware.

In future posts I'll be using my Linux VM to install Ruby on Rails for use as a development server for iOS and IoT projects. Stay tuned!

That is all.