How to Install and Test Parrot OS in VirtualBox

How to Install and Test Parrot OS in VirtualBox

Parrot OS lays a heavy focus on providing extensive security and penetration testing capabilities to the end-users. Even though most advanced users might only use Kali Linux for their pen testing needs, the reality is that Parrot OS is an equally efficient operating system that is useful as a privacy-focused distro.

Since Parrot OS draws its inspiration from Debian, the Linux distro continues to be easy to install for users. It inherits some intelligent features from its counterparts, including the APT package manager and a full-fledged suite of penetration testing and privacy tools.

To test Parrot OS, you can install the distro on Oracle’s VirtualBox.

Prerequisites to Install Parrot OS

To install Parrot OS on VirtualBox, you need to fulfill some basic criteria. If you don’t have VirtualBox installed on your system, you can download it from the official website.

Download: VirtualBox

You would also need to download the Parrot OS installation image from the distro’s official website.

Download: Parrot OS ISO

Step 1: Creating a Virtual Machine for Parrot OS

To set up the virtual environment, open VirtualBox and click on the New button. In the ensuing pop-up, specify the following details:

  • Name: A suitable name for the virtual environment
  • Machine folder: This would be automatically populated depending on the virtual machine name you specify. If you’d like to change the installation path, click on the drop-down and select Other to navigate to a path of your choice.
  • Type: Select Linux from the drop-down menu
  • Version: Select Debian (64-bit) from the list of options


VirtualBox interface

Set the memory size to 2048MB on the next screen. You can increase the RAM size depending on your system specs, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t allocate more than 50 percent of your host machine’s memory.

In the virtual hard disk screen, leave it at the default value: Create a virtual hard disk now.

Once you click on the Create button, another pop-up will appear, asking you to specify the hard disk file type. Similar to before, leave it at the default option: VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image). Click on Next once done.

In the Storage on physical hard disk screen, select the default option: Dynamically allocated. Click on Next.

selecting virtual hard disk type

On the next screen, you would need to specify the file location and size of the virtual machine. Change the path as per your requirements and set the virtual hard disk size to 20GB. Click on Create to complete the configuration process.

File location and size of virtual machine

Post-configuration, you are all set to fire up the newly created virtual machine by clicking on the virtual machine entry available on the left panel. The virtual machine will run some setup protocols during the first run to get the environment up and running.

Once the environment starts, you need to configure the path of the ISO image by clicking on the folder icon at the bottom right corner. Click on Add to define the image’s path.

selecting ISO image

Related: How to Install VirtualBox on Linux and Create Your First Virtual Machine

Step 2: Installing Parrot OS on the Virtual Machine

As the basic configurations are out of the way now, it’s time to start the installation process. You have to follow the on-screen instructions to keep moving ahead with the installation.

Click on Try/Install to begin Parrot OS installation.

Parrot os installer

The live system will boot and soon you will be on the desktop interface; the rest of the process will begin henceforth.

On the desktop, click on the Install Parrot icon. This will take you on to the main installation interface, from where you can choose your preferred language, location, time zone, keyboard, user details, and much more.

Click on Install Parrot on desktop

On the welcome screen, you will be greeted with the installation instructions. Choose the preferred language from the dropdown menu and click on Next.

The next screen will present you with a world map so that you can choose your location and time zone. Either select the region and zone from the drop-down menus or simply select the location from the map. Press Enter, once done.

Setup time and location for Parrot OS

Select the keyboard layout for your virtual machine setup and click on Next to proceed.

Keyboard layout screen on Parrot OS

On the disk partitioning screen, there will be two options to choose from:

  1. Erase disk
  2. Manual Partitioning

It’s best to start from scratch, so choosing the first option will be beneficial. If you are an advanced user, you can opt for option two. If you select Erase disk, the installer will delete everything from the virtual hard disk.

In the second option, you can manually set the disk space configurations, as per your usage requirements. While the first option will be automatically configured, you would have full setup control, if you go for the latter.

Click on Next, once you have decided on the disk allocation process.

Now, it is time to define the user details. Enter the details as requested on the screen. You would need to define the username, the login name, the machine name, and finally the login password. Click Next to continue.

Enter user details on user screen

Finally, the installer will present a summary of all your choices. If you are satisfied with the final selections, click on Install. In the subsequent prompt, click on Install Now.

Don’t exit the installer by any means till the installation does not complete. Any interruptions would adversely affect the setup and cause problems eventually.

As soon as the installation completes, the installer will ask you to restart the system. Select the Restart Now option and click on Done. The system will now reboot; remove the installation medium (ISO image) and press Enter.

Post-installation, you will be taken to the login screen where you can enter your username and password to log into the system.

This is it; Parrot OS is all ready for use.

Testing Linux Distros on VirtualBox

The installation process for Parrot OS is rather straightforward and you can install it with ease on VirtualBox. You don’t need to go through endless manual steps to get the process completed on your virtual machine.

No matter if you are a first-time user, or an experienced user, rest assured, you will be able to install Parrot OS on VirtualBox without hassles.

If you are interested in penetration testing and digital security, you’d need to choose an operating system that specifically caters to your needs. Kali Linux, Parrot OS, and BackBox are some of the well-known security-focused Linux distros that you should try.

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Kali Linux vs. BackBox vs. Parrot OS: Which One Should You Choose?

Need help deciding which security-focused Linux distro to go for?
Here’s a detailed comparison between Kali Linux, BackBox, and Parrot OS.

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