General · unix virtualization · 2021-04-06 · Daniel

I recently decided to upgrade my personal laptop. Until recently, I was using a 2015 MacBook Pro that I bought in 2016 after Apple announced they were bringing the butterfly keyboard to the MBP. My goal for that purchase was for it to last until Apple released a better keyboard -- and it worked. Last month I traded my 2015 MBP for a new 2020 M1-powered MacBook Air, and I could not be happier with this upgrade: The M1 is an amazing CPU, the keyboard is awesome, and the M1 MBA is a phenomenal package.

Because of my love of operating systems (specifically Unix-based ones, obviously), one of the first things I did with this system was to download the technical preview of Parallels Desktop for M1, so that I could run VMs on this new laptop.

So far, I have installed Alpine, Debian, Fedora, Photon OS, Ubuntu, Windows 10, and FreeBSD. Most of those distros/OSes install exactly as you would hope, but a few required some special tweaks.

For Alpine and Photon OS, I found that the Parallels VM must be configured as a Debian VM.

For FreeBSD, I used "Other Linux" as the OS type, and the most important part for FreeBSD is to configure the VM to use only 1 vCPU -- it will not boot with more than 1 vCPU.

So far I am extremely impressed with this M1 unit. With the ability to run such a variety of operating systems in VMs, it will prove even more useful to me.