Installing Parallels Tools on Centos 8

A little while back I tweeted Parallels via their @ParallelsCares twitter account to find out if they could provide support for Parallels Tools with CentOS 8.

RHEL 8 was released 7th May 2019, with Parallels 15 released 13th August 2019, so since CentOS is a free version of RHEL with the commercial, and copyright protected parts removed, I made the presumption that Parallels 15 would support it. However with CentOS 8 taking until 24th September 2019 to be released, all they did was respond to state that they didn’t support it, with a link to their KB article.

I went about looking for a fix, and it turns out it’s fairly easy. It needs two things:

  • Pretending to Parallels that what you’re installing is RHEL 8
  • The EPEL Repo enabled

Here’s the exactly what I did:

  1. Download the CentOS DVD image for the version that you want here
  2. In Parallels, Start the new VM Installation Assistant
  3. Select “Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file”
  4. Select “Choose Manually”, then “Select a file…”, and find the DVD image you’ve just downloaded
  5. It will claim “Unable to detect operating system”, click “Continue”
  6. When the Prompt comes up to select your operating system, select “More Linux” > “Red Hat Enterprise Linux”, then proceed through to creating and booting the VM
  7. Proceed with the install
    1. Ensure the network is enabled under “Network & Host Name”
    2. Ensure the drive is checked in “Installation Destination”
    3. To fix the error in “Installation Source”, select “On the network” > “http://”, and enter the following in the text box: mirror.centos.org/centos/8/BaseOS/x86_64/os
    4. Once it’s downloaded the metadata, under the “Software Selection” select the options you want for your install
    5. Proceed with the install, and make sure you enter a root password
  8. Once rebooted under a terminal, install EPEL using the instructions here. Ensure you run the command to enable the PowerTools repository too.
  9. Start the “Install Parallels Tools” process, ensuring that any existing mounted CD/DVD is unmounted. This is needed to mount the Parallels Tools DVD image.
  10. Run the following commands in a terminal:
    mkdir /media/cdrom
    mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom
    cd /media/cdrom
    ./install
  11. Proceed through the install process for Parallels Tools, and you should be done.

If you want to do this on an existing VM, shutdown the VM, go to Settings > General and change the type (above the VM Name), to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, then boot, and perform steps 9-11 above.