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Parallels 7 Features Automatic Linux Download

Parallels 7 for Mac comes out officially on Sept. 6, with a whole list of additional new features. Aside from the traditional performance improvements, this release brings a few niceties to this already great software product.

Automatic Linux VM Download for Fedora and Ubuntu

Creating a new VM from scratch is very easy now, if you want to use Fedora or Ubuntu Linux. Right from the new VM menu, you are now presented with a dialog that allows you to create a new Linux VM with no additional steps! Happy

New VM Image

New VM Dialog in Parallels 7

I tried selecting Download Fedora, and it sought out the [currently] latest version, Fedora 15, and initiated the download of the installer. It even automated all of the installation steps, leaving only a final password selection screen after the installation was complete! It even installed Parallels Tools without requiring any user interaction! The only small issue was once the virtual Fedora machine had booted up, the screen looked a bit corrupt. Resizing the window triggered a redraw of the screen, and from there everything worked just as expected!

Fedora Download

Fedora 15 Automatic Download Dialog in Parallels 7

Other New Features

Another great new feature is the ability to run Lion as a guest operating system! I tried this on my Late-2009 15” MBP, and it worked great! I was able to simply choose to install Mac OS X Lion from the Recovery partition, and it found the installation media without issue. When I did my clean Lion install, I did not go out of the way to setup a recovery partition (like exists on new machines that come with Lion pre-installed); upon further inspection with Disk Utility, there is not a separate partition with the installation media. Thus, I think Parallels is smart enough to find the installer on the OS drive itself.

Once installation was completed, the VM rebooted, and I was able to install Parallels Tools which provides support for variable screen resolutions and enhanced graphics. After one more reboot, the system was up and running, and after putting it full-screen (through the new support for Lion full-screen mode in Parallels), it performed very well! It was a little slower during the initial on-period, since Spotlight was busily indexing the VM.

Mac in a Mac

Mac OS X inside of Mac OS X under Parallels 7

If anyone has any comments or questions about Parallels 7, please leave them in the comments section below! I’d love to hear from some of you who have tried (both successfully and otherwise) the new Parallels!

Update: Now that it is released, here is a link to the detailed updates list: http://kb.parallels.com/112042

Have a great one!

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