Guide: How to run Windows, Linux on Intel-powered MAC?
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How to run Windows, Linux on Intel-powered iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook or MacBook Pro?

Want to run Windows, Linux or any other os and their critical applications like Outlook, Access and Internet Explorer on Intel-powered iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook or MacBook Pro? Is it possible to run Windows on a Mac when you don't want to leave your Mac OS environment? Parallels Desktop for Mac works!

Parallels Desktop for Mac is powerful desktop virtualization solution that empowers IT professionals with the ability to develop, test and deploy in multiple operating systems on a single Intel-based Mac. A sophisticated virtual machine engine supports nearly every standard x86-based operating system, including the entire Windows family, multiple Linux distributions, OS/2, MS-DOS and FreeBSD, each of which can be launched and utilized in completely networked, fully portable, totally independent virtual containers. Since guest operating systems are self-contained and directly access hardware profiles, users never need to proactively partition hard drives allocate system resources, or continually reboot the host operating system.

Parallels Workstation for Windows & Linux - is the most powerful, easiest-to-use, cost-effective desktop virtual PC solution available today. It empowers any user, from experienced professional developers to sales executives to casual home users, with the ability to create completely networked, totally secure independent, maximally stable virtual machines on a single physical machine.

Now let me explain how Parallels Desktop for Mac works:

1. Download Parallels Desktop for Mac, and run it.

2. Create a virtual machine by Clicking Create VM on the main screen. The first option is recommended and will create a blank virtual machine with the default settings. The second option of "custom VM configuration" allows you to select the OS, Memory allocation and create a new virtual hard disk. In my eyes, choosing the second option is very smart as memory allocation and hard disk size/type are the two important factors in performance when it comes to virtual machines.

3. Choose an operating system which you want to run. It's not just for Windows, you can run any variation of Linux on this, or even run out-of-date operating systems like OS/2, Windows 3.1, 95, 98 and others.

4. Memory allocation. Now you can specify how much memory which are allocated for this virtual machine. 512MB is common for computers. You can also allocate it 256MB, or 768MB, or even 1.5GB. But don't give it 32MB, or 64MB, as Windows doesn't like that. In general, the more RAM you assign to your VM, the faster it will be and the slower your host OS (in Mac OS) will, as it has to share with the virtual machine. So if you plan to use Parallels more often, give a lot of RAM in your machine for a smooth experience.

5. Hard Drive selection. The virtual machine needs some form of storage in order for your OS to install on. If you do not want to add a hard disk now, select "Do not add hard disk" option.

6. This is where you can set the size, it can be any number you want, as long as your hard-drive has enough space. There are two types of virtual disks, expanding and plain. I chose plain as the wizard said that it was fast.

7. Here you can specify where you want that virtual hard-disk to be kept. You can put it on a network share, on an external HDD, a USB key, whatever. For best performance, keep it to a hard-drive.

8. Network Selection. There are three types of network to choose. The first allows full access to both the Internet directly and OS X. The second will create an isolated connection between OS X and the guest operating system. The third will turn off network access altogether. I chose the first.

9. You choose which real life network adaptor you want Parallels to be tied to. The connect cable at startup option means that you want Parallels to tell the network card in the virtual machine that a cable is plugged in constantly, or if un-ticked, you can manually set in Parallels when you've plugged in your virtual network cable.

10. Finally, you give it a name (e.g. Windows XP) and the virtual machine is created successfully.


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