Vagrant, Parallels and Windows guests

For all of you running a Mac, this is how to create a Windows guest with Vagrant and Packer.


Vagrant supports Parallels 8 and higher, but please be aware that Vagrant only supports the Pro version of Parallels 11.

First install the plugin:

vagrant plugin install vagrant-parallels

Second, get the Parallels virtualization SDK here

Third, get Packer and unzip it in your Vagrant dir.

Fourth, clone packer-windows from Github.

git clone

Now make sure the packer and the packer-windows executables are in the same folder. This makes the command easier because you don’t need to think hard to make sure the paths to all the files and commands are right.

Fifth, download the Windows server iso upfront. I usually download the Windows Server iso first from here so that I don’t have to wait for the download to finish during the packer build process.

Sixth, get this json config file for Parallels. You see that I put the iso from the fifth step on the desktop and reference it in the file.

Seventh, start building and grab coffee

./packer build -var iso_url=~/Desktop/9600.16384.WINBLUE_RTM.130821-1623_X64FRE_SERVER_EVAL_EN-US-IRM_SSS_X64FREE_EN-US_DV5.ISO windows_2012_r2_parallels.json 

And another coffee..

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 07.02.50

Step eight: add the template to vagrant

vagrant box add --name windows_2012_r2

Step nine: create a Vagrant file

Create a folder named lab01 and put a Vagrantfile in it:

Vagrant.require_version ">= 1.6.2"

$root_provision_script = <<'ROOT_PROVISION_SCRIPT'
& $env:windir\system32\tzutil /s "W. Europe Standard Time"


Vagrant.configure("2") do |config|
    config.vm.define "lab01" = "windows_2012_r2"
    config.vm.hostname = "lab01" 
    config.vm.provider :virtualbox do |v, override|
        v.gui = false
        #v.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--memory", 2048]
        #v.customize ["modifyvm", :id, "--cpus", 2]
    end :forwarded_port, guest: 3389, host: 3391, id: "rdp", auto_correct: true :forwarded_port, guest: 22, host: 2223, id: "ssh", auto_correct: true "private_network", ip: ""
    config.vm.provision "shell", inline: $root_provision_script
    #config.vm.provision "shell", path: "sysprep.ps1"


Then issue a ‘vagrant up’ and we’re done.

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