I’ve shown here how Parallels Desktop can be a real life safer for a Mac Newbie like me. In fact, Parallels Desktop is a great virtualization tool for Mac, as it allows you to use other operating systems pretty much as if they were native operating systems.
Since my work’s main tasks are to collaborate in writing reports or research papers and programming/developing multi-agent systems, I need to be in sync with my colleagues that use other operating systems. And with today’s tools available for Mac, the integration between Mac OS X and Windows is quite peaceful. One of those tools is Parallels Desktop.
Microsoft Windows on Parallels Desktop
Even though I use Microsoft Office for Mac, I still have to make sure that no compatibility issues occur when I exchange Office documents with my colleagues. And for that reason, I decided to install Microsoft Windows and Office on Parallels Desktop.
Installing Microsoft Windows on Parallels is so simple, I don’t even have to explain the process. Just insert the Windows Instalation Disc (must be bootable, otherwise it won’t work), choose Microsoft Windows from the drop-down box of Operating Systems, insert the Windows Key and the installation will take place automatically. It’s far more simple than the normal installation of Windows on a PC.
And then all you have to do is just use Windows in the same way as if it was running on a PC. Parallels even allows you to share some folders with Mac OS X, which makes transferring files between operating systems run seamlessly.
So far, I haven’t felt the need to use Windows (except for the reasons I already stated) since Microsoft Office for Mac seems to be totally compatible with Office documents. But I need to have it, just in case…
Linux Ubuntu on Parallels Desktop
As I’ve stated on this blog’s profile presentation, during my Under graduation course, I was a Linux geek. At that time, I used Linux Red Hat and I really loved it as it was highly costumizable and very flexible when it came to my programming needs.
Nowadays, I don’t really need to have Linux installed on my machine but I still feel the nostalgic necessity of having a truly geek operating system available, if I ever need it. And since I need to test the behavior of my software in different operating systems, this way I can easily test 3 different operating systems in just one machine.
But this time, I decided to choose a different Linux and see what all the fuss is about with Ubuntu and its recent Gutsy Gibbon version.
Installing Ubuntu on Parallels is not, however, an easy task and it’s due to the X Server running on Ubuntu installation process. But following a tip from my colleague Carlos Serrão (in Portuguese), I was able to install Ubuntu on Parallels by using these instructions.
Once past the complicated installation process, you encounter quite a surprising Linux operating system, with a look and feel quite similar to Windows but much more intuitive and good-looking.
Ubuntu comes equipped with several useful tools and programs that makes the use of this operating system quite smooth and friendly. Even Firefox comes natively installed
I still have some problems with my MacBook Pro keyboard on Ubuntu as I’m unable to write some characters such ‘@’ and use some key functions such as “Home” and “End”. But I guess if I search the preferences on the administration pane, I guess I’ll find the necessary options.
If you need to run other operating systems on you Mac, then use Parallels Desktop. I haven’t tried other virtualization tools, but then again, why shoud I? This one has quite a good performance and the simplicity of use is amazing.
And I’m running all these virtual operating systems on my beautiful Lacie hard disk portable drive (now ornamented with one of the Apple logo stickers that came with the MacBook Pro…sorry I couldn’t resist ).