OpenBSD Journal

Official support for OpenBSD in Parallels Workstation

Contributed by jason on from the new-ways-to-play-with-openbsd dept.

Parallels Workstation, a commercial virtual machine offering for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X (and competitor to VMware), has announced full support for OpenBSD. The new feature is touted in Workstation 2.2 for Windows and Linux users, and Parallels Desktop for Mac (build 1470) users. Although the company officially supports OpenBSD 3.8, many users have installed more up-to-date versions of OpenBSD as a guest operating system for some time now.

Editor's Note:
I have personally used OpenBSD as a guest within Parallels Workstation on my MacBook Pro for the last six months. It's a great way to create test environments for running multiple servers. I've had up to six OpenBSD guest systems operating simultaneously, versions 3.8 through 4.0 (and -current).

(Comments are closed)


  1. By Anonymous Coward (200.158.26.139) on

    Is there a 'vmware-tools'-like interface for parallels ?

    1. By Anonymous Coward (200.158.26.139) on

      > Is there a 'vmware-tools'-like interface for parallels ?

      Hmm, now I see

  2. By Anonymous Coward (213.41.176.184) on

    /me thinks this should read build 1970 of parallels desktop 2.2 for Mac OS X.

    1. By jason (151.196.11.192) on

      > /me thinks this should read build 1970 of parallels desktop 2.2 for Mac OS X.

      Nope. My registered copy of Parallels Desktop for Mac is actually 2.1, but the version number is not referenced in any marketing or support documentation. Everything I've seen refers to that product simply by the title; conversely, the Windows/Linux product is always referred to by version number. Search their website for yourself, you'll see what I mean. All updates for the Mac product have been by build number, presumably still in the 2.1 tree.

      1. By Matthieu Herrb (213.41.176.184) on

        > > /me thinks this should read build 1970 of parallels desktop 2.2 for Mac OS X.
        >
        > Nope. My registered copy of Parallels Desktop for Mac is actually 2.1, but the version number is not referenced in any marketing or support documentation. Everything I've seen refers to that product simply by the title; conversely, the Windows/Linux product is always referred to by version number. Search their website for yourself, you'll see what I mean. All updates for the Mac product have been by build number, presumably still in the 2.1 tree.

        Ok. So the news is fake. There's nothing new in how parallels supports OpenBSD. I just tried the build 1970 on Mac which I tought was the one adding official OpenBSD support. OpenBSD as a guest OS still as minor problems:

        - the VM creation wizard only knows about FreeBSD (and Windows, Solaris, Linux)
        - apm (halt -p) still doesn't work
        - there are still apic warnings at startup:
        WARNING: can't reserve area for I/O APIC.
        WARNING: can't reserve area for Local APIC.
        WARNING: can't reserve area for BIOS PROM.

        Other points are not OpenBSD specific, but are a pain with an OpenBSD guest OS too:

        - they still don't provide documentation on their emulated VGA card to write an X.Org accelerated driver,
        - their clock still cannot be told to use UTC time.

        In summary: OpenBSD runs as a guest OS under Parallels Desktop quite well but there are a few glitches, and nothing has changed with the recent builds.

        1. By Otto Moerbeek (87.210.142.234) otto@drijf.net on http://www.drijf.net

          I agree. I wonder why Parallels choose to mention OpenBSD in their release notes, to quote:

          "Full support for OpenBSD 3.8 as a guest operating system"

          Yes, OpenBSD runs, but there are a few problems.

          If they are really want to support OpenBSD, they should open up docs and work with developers to solve the glitches.

        2. By Pierre Riteau (82.67.133.98) on

          > Ok. So the news is fake.

          Maybe they wrote that in the release notes because in one of the builds I tried several weeks ago (don't remember exactly when), running OpenBSD was broken and I had to roll back to the previous build.

  3. By Renaud Allard (85.201.63.39) on

    Now, wake me up when parallels or vmware server actually run with OpenBSD as the host system. (no, the ooold port of vmware workstation doesn't count)

    1. By Anonymous Coward (70.20.171.128) on

      > Now, wake me up when parallels or vmware server actually run with OpenBSD as the host system. (no, the ooold port of vmware workstation doesn't count)

      That would be very nice.

    2. By jsg (210.15.216.215) on

      > Now, wake me up when parallels or vmware server actually run with OpenBSD as the host system. (no, the ooold port of vmware workstation doesn't count)

      Wake me up when any of them does not require a closed binary kernel module to work. I believe they don't even document the interface used so that people have a chance of writing their own. Anything running in the protected kernel address space we can't see is scary. Interfaces should be documented. I can deal with device hardware running firmware code I don't have access to, I can deal with userland progams I don't have code for (though normaly don't as they tend to be so inflexible). We need to be able to see at least the kernel side of the interface, how else can we tell what is happening? How big a hole has been opened? Is it likely to corrupt your filesystem, let other userspace programs crash the machine, let hosted operating systems who break out of the sandbox crash the machine? No one knows, it is horrific.

    3. By Anonymous Coward (83.5.200.43) on

      yeah, running a secure os on top of something less stable/secure is a bit like building a house from the roof down, you can be pretty sure it will all crash down on your head at some point...

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