Installing Linux on Macbook Pro (Parallels)

My existing personal laptop (Dell Inspiron 6400 – 2 GB RAM and 120 GB HDD) has become 9 years old recently,

I have installed 3 Linux distros on separate partitions:

  1. Mint Cinnamon Rafaela
  2. Elementary OS Freya
  3. OpenSUSE Tumbleweed (Rolling release)

Most of my usage is personal – Paying household bills, viewing photos, watching movies, browsing etc. Of course, recently  I started to learn and blog on Linux.

While looking at linux articles and reviews on internet, I realised that my laptop is somewhat outdated for modern day Linux Desktop Environments – KDE, Cinnamon. The startup time for each of these distros was anywhere between 1:30 minutes to 2 minutes (eOS was fastest and SUSE was slowest). Windows 7 was extremely slow. Also, the laptop was heavy to carry around easily. I found a reason to buy a new laptop.

Couple of Laptops I liked and shortlisted were – Dell Inspiron 3148 (2 in 1), Lenovo Yoga 3. However my brother-in-law influenced me to buy Macbook Pro 2014. It was a difficult decision as the laptop was expensive (more than double the price of Dell and Lenovo 2 in 1s with similar configration). However the primary reason for selecting Macbook was it is robust with sleek aluminium unibody design, light weight (1.58 kgs), stable Mac OS X El Captain. I felt, I need not change laptop for many years to come.

Now that a purchase is made, I was wondering if Linux can be installed on the same. I made a search on internet and realised quickly that although it is possible to install Linux on Mac but, it is not a perfect match (some known issues would remain with display, audio, network connection etc if installed directly).

There are primarily 2 websites that I went through (that gave some details on how to create partition and install along size Mac OS X):


These sites also listed the know issues and some sites even warned that they are not responsible if something goes wrong post Linux Installation.

Also, I came to know that Linux can be installed as a Virtual Machine on Mac. There are multiple VM softwares – Parallels, Fusion are commercial. VirtualBox (Oracle) is free

Parallels Desktop Standard Edition license costs about $79.99 ( I have got a license for free with Macbook Pro purchase.

Installing Windows Or Linux on Mac through Parallels is supposed to be easier and convenient option for 2 reasons:

  1. Linux is installed as a VM and does not require restarting / rebooting of system
  2. No need of Partitioning. If you opt to uninstall / remove Linux, the virtual memory hard disk space allocated for Linux is reclaimed easily

By following the below link instructions, I installed Mint Cinnamon Rafaela 17.2 and OpenSUSE leap 42.1 through parallels:

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 9.02.52 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 9.03.35 PM



3 thoughts on “Installing Linux on Macbook Pro (Parallels)

  1. Hello, sir, I am curious about what ther version of parallels desktop is. Coz I have PD 10 an tried to install OpenSuSE 42.1. But I always failed at installing parallels tools.


    1. Vow OpenSUSE ! I love it. Recently I tried installing parallel tools for OpenSUSE Tumbleweed rolling version but couldn’t do that. Parallels version is 10.
      I never had problem with Ubuntu based OS – Linux Mint or Elementary OS on installing parallel tools. For that matter Fedora, Mageia installed without problem.
      I will give a try installing 42.1 sometimes and see if I can get a work around.


    2. I tried to check if there is a solution on the net and found below link:

      One of the solutions says. Please note I haven’t tried it yet, :

      1) Manually install the required items mentioned in the fail message. Note that I had to install the exact version of the kernel-default-devel requested (4-1-21), and not the latest (tricky).
      zypper in ‘kernel-default-devel=4.1.12-1’

      2) perhaps not necessary, but execute the “install” file from the Parallels Tools mounted iso … as root in a terminal shell, not the gui version.
      su to root
      cd to /run/media//Parallels Tools/ (this is where my mount was located)
      execute install file


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