Parallels Server for Mac

Parallels Server for Mac is a server-side desktop virtualization product built for the Mac OS X Server platform and is developed by Parallels, Inc., a developer of desktop virtualization and virtual private server software. This software allows users to run multiple distributions of Linux, Windows and FreeBSD server applications alongside Mac OS X Server on Intel-based Apple hardware.

Parallels Server for Mac
Parallels Server for Mac running Mac OS X Leopard Server in a VM on top of Mac OS X Leopard Server
Developer(s)Parallels, Inc.
Stable release
Build 10311 / 2011-07-14
Operating systemMac OS X Server
PlatformApple–Intel architecture
Available inMultilingual

Parallels Server for Mac was not in development for more than a year[1] before its alpha stage was demoed at MacWorld 2008 [2] and the product was officially released on June 17, 2008.[3] While in beta, Parallels Server for Mac did not allow running Mac OS X Server in a virtual machine; however, Apple eased up on its licensing restrictions before Parallels Server for Mac’s GA release to allow running Mac OS X Leopard Server in a virtual machine as long as that virtual machine is running on Apple hardware.[4]


Similar to Parallels Desktop for Mac, Parallels Server for Mac is a hypervisor-based server virtualization software that allows users to run multiple guest operating systems, each in a virtual machine, alongside a primary or "host" operating system. The product's hypervisor allows each virtual machine to function as a standalone server with its own virtualized hardware, memory and processor. However, unlike the desktop software, Parallels Server for Mac is a hardware-optimized enterprise product designed to handle server workloads such as databases and enterprise email and is aimed at the professional market rather than the consumer market.[5] Parallels Server for Mac allows users to run Intel-powered Apple hardware in a business environment without isolating the Mac servers from the organization’s Windows and Linux systems.

System requirements

  • Intel-powered Mac server or desktop computer running Mac OS X Server Leopard
  • Minimum 2 GB RAM
  • 40.5 MB hard disk space for Parallels Server for Mac
  • Minimum 150 GB for VM files and virtual hard disks
  • Optical drive
  • Ethernet or FireWire network adapter

Key features

Users can run 32- and 64-bit guest operating systems such as Mac OS X Server, Windows, Linux, and Apple UNIX runtime for Xserve and DTK in virtual machines on Apple Xserves and Mac Pros. Parallels Server for Mac comes with Parallels Tools, Parallels Transporter for P2V and V2V migration and Parallels Disk Image tool for modifying the size of virtual disks. Also included are the Parallels Management Console, which allows server administrators to manage the virtual machines both locally and remotely[3] and Parallels Explorer, which allows access to virtual machines without launching the guest operating system.

Additional features include:


Parallels Server for Mac can run only on Intel-based Apple hardware which must be running Mac OS X Leopard Server, not Mac OS X Tiger Server or on PC hardware. Also, at this time, users cannot run Mac OS X versions newer than 10.6 in a virtual environment due to Apple licensing restrictions. Also Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and 10.9 (Mavericks) cannot be virtualized with this software.

See also


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