Craig Francis

Parallels Setup

I run a lovely little MacBook which helps me test websites I'm developing in Internet Explorer.

The typical setup of Parallels allows this kind of testing, however I have a few additional requirements:

So, the initial installation:

  1. Run the Parallels Installer - at the time of writing I am using version 6.0.12094.
  2. Start the 'Parallels Desktop' application.
  3. Create the Windows virtual machine.
  4. When Windows is finally running, shut it down.

While still in Parallels, goto 'Parallels Desktop > Preferences > Advanced > Network - Change settings', and when you select "Shared networking" tab, setup the DHCP server with the following setup:

  1. Start address:
  2. End address:
  3. Subnet mask:

Then update the configuration of the virtual machine, so the Network Adapter it is enabled, connected, and using "Shared networking".

Next we need to show the virtual network connections - see (download).

Now in your Macs 'System Preferences', under the 'Network' preference pane, look for the 'Parallels Shared' interface.

  1. The interface should be configured "Manually" (not via DHCP), you should not need to change this, so you might need to restart your machine. It seems that Parallels will replace the interfaces configuration on start-up, so we should be using that.
  2. So now the interface should be using:

    • IP Address:
    • Subnet Mask:
    • Router: Blank
    • DNS Servers: Blank

    It appears that the address comes from the configuration you did earlier, by setting the DHCP server to start using the IP addresses - where is the next in the sequence.

  3. If your using the BIND setup, you should go into Advanced > DNS, and add the server '' - so when you are physically offline, the local DNS server will still work.

Now start the virtual machine and check it all works as expected... it should be using DHCP, and be using something like the following:

Give the Mac another restart, to ensure everything starts up correctly.

The virtual machine should now be setup and ready to go, but I would suggest that before you install any more software you should make some copies of this virtual machine, and on each one install:

As a nice little feature of this setup, you can now configure QuickSilver to index the Parallels folder, so you can quick launch the virtual machines by using the 'pvm' files.

You might also want to look at setting up the Flash Plugin Switcher on the XP-IE6 box, to help you test different installations of the Flash player... although this application only allows switching in version 8 and later for Firefox/Netscape/Opera, the ActiveX versions for IE seem to have locking problems... version 2 - 7 seem to be fine in both set-ups.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, I don't include comments due to the admin time required, but if you email me, I will reply and make appropriate updates. Also, if you would like to take a copy of this article, please read the terms this article is released under. This article was originally written Saturday 16th June 2007 and was updated on Monday 8th August 2011.