Install Parrot Security OS on VirtualBox using ISO

This article will demonstrate how to install Parrot Security OS on VirtualBox using a Windows host, but the process is similar across other hosts. I prefer to install this way as you have more control over the install process than using an OVF which is a pre-configured virtual machine (VM). Article assumes you have already installed VirtualBox.

Download Parrot Security OS

Visit and download Parrot Security ISO. I used the MATE ISO.

Check the hashes to verify that your ISO has not been modified. Open Powershell and navigate to location of downloaded ISO. Run the following command:

certutil -hashfile .\Parrot-security-4.9.1_x64.iso md5

Replace Parrot-security-4.9.1_x64.iso with the name of your specific ISO if you downloaded a different version.

Compare the derived MD5 hash to the MD5 hash provided by Parrot on their site by clicking on “Signed Hashes”

The two hashes match and we can proceed with the installation. If your hash is different, make sure you are checking the correct hash section. If it still doesn’t match, redownload the ISO using a different method. I used the direct download method.

Install Parrot Security OS on VirtualBox

Open VirtualBox and click “New”

Choose a name for your VM and where your machine folder will be located. Parrot OS is a Debian based Linux distribution so you’ll want to select Linux for type and Debian for version. I downloaded the 64 bit variant as indicated on my ISO with the x64 in the file name.

Select Memory size. This will vary depending on your host computer’s hardware configuration. I chose to give this VM 8 GB or 8192 MB (1024*8).

Select “Create a virtual hard disk now” option and click Create.

Select “VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) and click Next.

Select “Dynamically Allocated” so that your VM doesn’t take more than the space it needs but allowing it to grow as needed. Click Next.

Here we will allocate the maximum size our virtual hard disk. Again the amount you can allocate will depend on your hardware configuration. I have allocated 128 GB which will be more than enough for the system.

Click Create.

Start up your Parrot Security VM.

Click the folder icon to add a start up disk.

In the Optical Disk Selector menu, click the Add icon to browse to and select your Parrot OS ISO.

Once you have your ISO added, select it and proceed. You should be back at the Select start-up disk prompt. Click start to begin the installation.

Parrot OS Install Process

Select Install using arrow keys and press Enter.

Choose your preferred language.

Select your location.

Configure your keyboard language/type

Enter a strong password for root. You do not want to leave this empty.

Confirm root password.

Enter a name for your non-administrative user.

Enter username for account.

Enter password for account and confirm/verify on next screen.

Select your time zone.

For simplicity, use guided partitioning method using entire disk although, ideally, you’ll want an encrypted partition but that is beyond the scope of this article.

Select disk to partition. The VirtualBox hard disk should be the only option available.

Select partitioning scheme. For new users, All files in one partition is recommended and what we will use in this tutorial for simplicity.

Finish partitioning and write changes to disk.

You may receive a warning that no swap partition was selected. Since the VM has been allocated 8 GB, this is not needed for performance, but your configuration may be different. If so, go back and create a swap partition. This is not covered in this tutorial.

Write changes to disk by selecting Yes.

The installer should now start installing the system.

Install the GRUB boot loader on the hard disk.

Select your virtual hard disk.

GRUB will install and the installer will finish the installation.

After installation is complete, click continue to finish installation. The installation media (ISO) should be removed automatically by VirtualBox before the start up.

The installer should then finish the installation and reboot, which will then load into the sign in screen.

Enter your password you entered during the installer for the non-administrative user. You have now installed Parrot Security OS on VirtualBox.

Next, you’ll want to install VirtualBox additions that will allow Parrot OS or any guest OS, to perform better and add features to control the VM. You can find instructions on how to install VirtualBox Additions for Parrot Security VM on this blog.

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