Available article translations:

How do I install Parallels Tools in Ubuntu Virtual Machine?

  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Home Edition
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition
  • Parallels Desktop Lite


When I try to install Parallels Tools in my virtual machine running Ubuntu, I get an error message that Parallels Tools needs the kernel source.


The following packages are necessary in order to install Parallels Tools in a VM running Ubuntu: linux-headers and build-essential.

You need to install those packages before attemptin the Parallels Tools installation.


Install the packages linux-headers and build-essential by typing the following command in Ubuntu Terminal:

# sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential

After the packages are installed, try to install Parallels Tools again following the steps below:

  1. Start the virtual machine.
  2. Make sure your virtual machine's CD/DVD drive is pointed to a Default empty drive

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  3. When the operating system boots up, click Actions (Virtual Machine in Parallels Desktop 9 and earlier) and choose Install Parallels Tools.

    The prl-tools-lin.iso image file will be mounted to the virtual machine's CD/DVD drive. You can connect and mount the Parallels Tools ISO image file manually. Right click the CD/DVD drive icon in the virtual machine's window status bar and choose Connect Image. In the Finder window, go to the hard disk folder (normally named "Macintosh HD"), select /Library/Parallels/Tools/ folder (for Parallels Desktop 7) or /Applications/Parallels (for Parallels Desktop 8 and later), select the prl-tools-lin.iso file, and click Open to connect it to the virtual machine.

  4. Start a terminal in your Ubuntu virtual machine.

    Change the directory to the CD/DVD drive directory:

    for Ubuntu 12.04:

    cd /media/Parallels\ Tools/

    for Ubuntu 13.04 and above:

    cd /media/$USER/Parallels\ Tools/

    Once you get into the CD/DVD drive directory, enter the following command to launch the Parallels Tools installation:

    sudo ./install
  5. Follow the Parallels Tools Installer instructions to complete the installation.
  6. When the installation of Parallels Tools is complete, restart your virtual machine.

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