Advanced Mac users interested in information security (InfoSec) can easily test ParrotSec Linux in live boot mode using a virtual machine.
In this particular review we will show you how to quickly get ParrotSec to run in live mode in the free Parallels Desktop Lite app, but if you want to try this with VirtualBox, VMware or Parallels, you can just make it so easy too .
For some quick background; ParrotSec, or Parrot Security OS, is an increasingly popular infosec / security-centric Linux distribution based on Debian, and comes complete with a number of security features and forensic tools. With a complete suite of tools for penetration testing, security research, digital reconciliation, vulnerability assessment, encryption, software development, web browsing anonymity and privacy, ParrotSec can provide a simple set-up in the world of tools and resources used by information security personnel.
This is obviously aimed at highly advanced users, but because of how virtual machines work, any technologically savvy Mac user can test the ParrotSec operating system in an independent virtual machine without affecting the underlying Mac operating system. You can only throw ISO into the Parallels Desktop Lite and it supports playing with, and you can just close the Parallels Desktop Lite virtual machine and delete the ParrotSec ISO file and it will be completely removed from the computer. No need to partition any drives, format disks, dual boot etc.
How to run ParrotSec Live on Mac with Parallels Desktop Lite
Parallels Desktop Lite is free to download, as is ParrotSec. Getting Living Mode to Start Up in Parallels is Simply, Here's All You Need To Do:
- Get Parallels Desktop Lite Free from Mac App Store
- Get ParrotSec Free from parrotsec.org, for tutorials here, Use it Free Home Edition 64bit ISO, which is 1.8 GB. You can download security-centered build or others build if you want
- Run Parallels Desktop Lite and under "Create New" select the option "Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file"
- Parallels Desktop Lite should find it fresh downloaded ParrotSec ISO file (labeled Debian GNU / Linux Parrot – * .iso), then select it and then click Continue to start
- On the Parrot start menu, select "Live Mode" to boot into the ParrotSec desktop experience (or select another boot mode if desired)
- In a few minutes you will be on the ParrotSec desktop in a live boot mode, where you can explore and play with some of the tools available, so is the ParrotSec live username "live" and the live password is "toor"
- When done, turn off Parallel's virtual machine or exit the app f or to leave ParrotSec  Remember this is a virtual machine, so the performance will not be close to what you expect if you run the system software on the actual hardware. But for the curious, it should still be fun to explore and experiment with.
If you were playing around with ParrotSec and decided that you have nothing for it, just delete the ISO file you downloaded and it will. You can also remove Parallels Desktop Lite if you like, but it's a convenient app to have around to virtualize various Linux and MacOS releases.
You can also use VirtualBox (free), VMware (paid) or Parallels (paid)), but for our purposes here we use Parallels Desktop Lite because it's extremely easy. Parallels Lite is also cool because the free version also lets you run MacOS Mojave in Parallels Desktop Lite, or MacOS High Sierra and Sierra in Parallels Desktop Lite, as well as various other Linux distributions. You have to pay to use Windows with Parallels, but if you are committed to virtualizing Windows and want to use free software, you can get preconfigured Windows 10 with virtual Microsoft Edge computers or just install Windows 10 in VirtualBox, no matter what works for your needs.
This is obvious to the Mac (although you can probably use the same ParrotSec ISO on any other computer as a virtual machine), but if you are an iOS user and you feel left out, you can always ssh in in a computer running ParrotSec, or if you are adventurous, try to build your own environment with something like iSH Linux shell on the iPad or iPhone. It is far beyond the scope of this specific article though.
If the theme of virtual machines interests you, you may be able to read and explore our other virtual machine items that cover the virtualization of Mac OS, Windows, Linux, Android and more. And yet if the subject of technical security fascinates you, you can browse security related articles where you'll find some interesting security tips and information for Mac and iOS.