How to install and test Parrot OS in VirtualBox

Parrot OS is focused on providing broad security and penetration testing capabilities to end users. While most advanced users can use Kali Linux for pentesting needs, Parrot OS is practically equally effective, useful as a privacy-focused distro.

Since Parrot OS is inspired by Debian, this Linux distribution is very easy to install. It inherits some smart features like APT package manager, same full suite of penetration testing and privacy tools.

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

Prerequisites for installing Parrot OS

To install Parrot OS on VirtualBox, you need to meet some basic criteria. If you do not have VirtualBox installed on your system, you can download it from the official website.

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

How to install Parrot OS in VirtualBox

Step 1: Create a virtual machine for Parrot OS

To set up a virtual environment, open VirtualBox and click the . button New. In the next window, specify the following details:

  • Name: A suitable name for the virtual environment
  • Machine folder: This directory will be auto-populated depending on the virtual machine name you specify. If you want to change the installation path, click the drop-down menu and select Other to navigate to the path of your choice.
  • Type: Choose Linux from the drop-down menu
  • Version: Choose Debian (64-bit) from the list of options
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VirtualBox interface
VirtualBox interface

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

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

When you click the button Create, another pop-up window will appear, asking you to specify the hard drive file type. Same as before, leave it at the default option: VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image). Click next after completion.

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

Select type of virtual hard drive
Select type of virtual hard drive

On the next screen, you will need to specify the file location and size of the virtual machine. Change the path as required and set the virtual hard drive size to 20GB. Click Create to complete the configuration process.

Location and file size of the virtual machine
Location and file size of the virtual machine

Once configured, you are ready to activate the newly created virtual machine by clicking on the available virtual machine item on the left panel. The virtual machine will run some setup protocols on the first run to get the environment up and running.

When the environment starts up, you need to configure the path of the ISO image by clicking on the folder icon in the bottom right corner. Click Add to determine the path of the image.

Click Add
Click Add

Step 2: Install Parrot OS on the virtual machine

The basic configuration is now finished. Now it’s time to start the installation process. You must follow the on-screen instructions to continue with the installation.

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Click Try/Install to start installing Parrot OS.

Parrot OS . Installer
Parrot OS . Installer

The live system will boot and soon you will be on the desktop interface.

On the desktop, click the . icon Install Parrot. This will take you to the main settings interface, from where you can choose your language, location, time zone, keyboard, user details, etc.

Click Install Parrot on the desktop
Click Install Parrot on the desktop

On the welcome screen, you will be greeted with installation instructions. Select your preferred language from the drop-down menu and click Next.

The next screen will show you a world map so you can choose your location and time zone. Select the area from the drop-down menu or simply select the location from the map. Press Enter, upon completion.

Set time and location for Parrot OS
Set time and location for Parrot OS

Select the keyboard layout for the virtual machine setup and click next to continue.

Keyboard layout screen on Parrot OS
Keyboard layout screen on Parrot OS

On the drive partition screen, there will be two options to choose from:

  • Erase disk
  • 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 choose option two. If you choose Erase disk, the installer will delete everything from the virtual hard drive.

In the second option, you can configure the disk space manually, according to your individual needs. While the first option will be automatically configured, you will have full control over the setup, if you use the latter.

Click next after deciding on the disk allocation process.

Now it’s time to define user. Enter the required details on the screen. You will need to specify the user name, login name, machine name and finally the login password. Press next to continue.

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Click Next to continue
Click Next to continue

Finally, the installer will present a summary of all your options. If you’re happy with those choices, click Install. In the next prompt, click Install Now.

Do not exit the installer in any way until the installation is complete. Any interruption will adversely affect the setup and cause problems.

As soon as the installation is complete, the installer will ask you to reboot the system. Select option Restart Now and click Done. Now, the system will reboot; remove the installation media (ISO image) and press Enter.

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

Parrot OS is ready to use.

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