Installing Parrot Security ISO on VirtualBox

Parrot OS Installation in VirtualBox
Parrot OS Installation in VirtualBox

Parrot OS, the flagship product of Parrot Security is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian and designed with Security and Privacy in mind. Parrot OS aims to give a security focused operating system and was released on 10th April 2013. It includes a full portable laboratory for all kinds of cyber security operations, from pen testing to digital forensics and reverse engineering, but it also includes everything needed to develop your own software or keep your data secure.

After Kali Linux, it is the second most popular Linux distribution for ethical hacking and penetration testing. Parrot OS has many security features including, but not limited to:

  • Anonymous browsing – That provides anonymity with a built-in tool Anon surf. This makes the whole communication to pass over TOR, I2P or other anonymizing networks;
  • Forensic – Built- in counter forensic tools used as countermeasures to forensic analysis;
  • Security Assessment – Supports tools to conduct vulnerability assessment, penetration testing and research new exploits;
  • Development – Full development stack with the best editors, languages and technologies available out of the box;
  • Privacy – Secure and hardened system ready to securely surf the web and privately communicate with, plus many useful zero-knowledge services; 
  • Support – A vast community of experts who want to know you and help you in your cyber security journey; and 
  • Lightweight – The system has proven to be extremely lightweight and run surprisingly fast even on very old hardware or with very limited resources.

Stepwise approach to install Parrot OS

Step 01: Download Parrot OS ISO file

Head over to the Oracle VirtualBox Official Website (https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads) and download the newest version of VirtualBox.

Installing VirtualBox on Windows is as easy as installing any other application. Choose the default installation options and you should be fine.

As at the time this post was written, VirtualBox was at version 6.1.x. Yours might be different, but it’s okay.

Step 02: Download Parrot OS ISO file

Now, go to the Parrot OS Security Edition download page (https://parrotsec.org/download/) and download the Parrot security (Mate interface) 32-bit or 64-bit .ISO file.

Please note: We are going to show this in Windows, you can download MAC or Linux installer and follow EXACTLY the same steps to install and run VirtualBox in your machine.

Download Parrot OS ISO file
Download Parrot OS ISO file

You will find three options, and you can select Parrot Security Mate ISO or Parrot Security KDE ISO and download it for the installation on VirtualBox.

Step 03: Create Parrot OS guest on VirtualBox

Launch VirtualBox and click “New” under the Tools menu.

Create Parrot OS guest on VirtualBox
Create Parrot OS guest on VirtualBox

Click “Expert Mode” below the pop-up window.

Virtual Machine Expert Mode
Virtual Machine Expert Mode

Configure the guest OS with the below details:

  • Name: Give the virtual machine any name. We’ll name this one Parrot OS 4.6.
  • Machine Folder: simply leave this as it is.
  • Type: Linux
  • Version: Other Linux (64-bit)
  • Memory size: Default memory and recommended size will say 512 even though RAM: minimum 256Mb – 2048Mb is suggested for Parrot Security (64-bit) version. We’ll set this to 2048MB for smooth working.
  • Hard disk: Select Create a virtual hard disk now. 
Configure the guest OS
Configure the guest OS

Choose the setting best for your machine and click next, and Click “Create” to continue.

On the next screen, leave File location as it is, adjust File size to at least 15GB, select “VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image)” as your Hard disk file type, and Storage on physical hard disk set to “Dynamically allocated”.

On the “File size” section below, it will come up as 8.00 GB as default size. Choose which fits your needs.

Virtual Machine File size
Virtual Machine File size

Click “Create” to save.

So far, we’ve done the followings, checklist for you to remind:

  • Created a New Virtual Machine
  • Created Virtual Hard disk
  • Fiddled with disk properties, type and size.

Step 04: Modify VirtualBox settings and Loading Parrot Security ISO

With the newly created guest OS selected, click “Settings“.

Modify VirtualBox settings
Modify VirtualBox settings

On the pop-up window, click “Storage” > “Empty” and click the disk icon and “Choose Virtual Optical Disc File” as shown in the image below.

Choose Virtual Optical Disc File
Choose Virtual Optical Disc File

Now, click on Add and locate where your downloaded Parrot OS .ISO file is on your computer and select it.

Click on “Choose” to proceed.

Optical Disc Selector
Optical Disc Selector

Click on “Ok” to continue.

Storage Setting Ok
Storage Setting Ok

Step 05: Install Parrot Security OS on VirtualBox

You are now ready to install Parrot OS on your VirtualBox. From VirtualBox Main Screen, click on Start or double click to launch the Parrot OS virtual machine.

VirtualBox Manager Parrot OS Start
VirtualBox Manager Parrot OS Start

From VirtualBox Main Screen, it will boot Parrot Security, click in the Virtual Machine and arrow down to “Install” hit Enter.

Parrot OS Install Screen
Parrot OS Install Screen

Select “Install with GTK GUI“ and hit Enter

Graphical Install - Install with GTK GUI
Graphical Install – Install with GTK GUI

In the next couple of screens it’s just a matter of user preference. System language <> Location <> Keyboard language. We have selected the options based on our preferences. You are welcome to select your choice here.

Select a Language - System language set to English
Select a Language – System language set to English
Select your location - Location set to India
Select your location – Location set to India
Configure the Keyboard - Keyboard language set to American English
Configure the Keyboard – Keyboard language set to American English

Enter Root password (anything you choose) and click Continue. This password is like the Administrator password on Windows machines, so ensure you don’t forget it. 

Set password for the ROOT account
Set password for the ROOT account

Choose Standard User (Non-Root), Parrot Security requires the distro to be run with a standard user for it’s supreme functionality. You can enter any name here. We’ve put the hostname as “fsociety”, click Continue.

Set a full name for standard user
Set a full name for standard user
Set a username for standard user
Set a username for standard user

Set the password for your standard user and click Continue.

Set the password for standard user
Set the password for standard user

Partition Disks. We could go ahead to partition our virtual hard disk and have a separate partition for /home, /opt, etc. As this is all Virtualized, you can choose anything you want to. We are using the entire disk without partitioning will work well for our purposes, which by the way is recommended for new users. Select “Guided – use entire disk” and Click Continue.

Partition Disks
Partition Disks

You should have only 1 disk in this screen, highlight it and click Continue.

Partition Disks - Use virtual disk space
Partition Disks – Use virtual disk space

Highlight “All files in one partition” and click Continue.

Partition Disks - Install all files in one partition
Partition Disks – Install all files in one partition

Highlight “Finish partitioning and write changes to disk” and click Continue.

Partition Disks - Finish partitioning and write changes to disk
Finish partitioning and write changes to disk

Configure swap space? Say “No” to skip configuring swap space and click Continue. We will not be needing that on our virtual machine. 

Partition Disks - Select NO to skip configuring swap space
Partition Disks – Select NO to skip configuring swap space

Select “Yes” on this next screen to write all changes to disks and click Continue.

Partition Disks - Select “YES” to confirm all disk partitioning changes
Partition Disks – Select “YES” to confirm all disk partitioning changes

Your installation will start now. On our laptop device which got a 7200 RPM Hard disk, it took about 15 minutes to install.

Installation of the system
Installation of the system

Install GRUB boot loader? Select “Yes” to install the grub boot loader on the next screen. Press Continue when ready. 

Installing GRUB boot loader
Installing GRUB boot loader

Choose the only hard disk available and click Continue.

Install GRUB on the VBOX hard disk
Install GRUB on the VBOX hard disk

Finishing the installation… This will take a little more time to finish so be patient.

Finishing the installation
Finishing the installation

Once the installation has finished, press Continue and the system will finish installing and it will reboot.

Installation finished
Installation finished

You just installed Parrot Security operating system. Log in using the username and password you set for the Standard User you created during the installation, and Enjoy! 

Parrot OS Login Screen
Parrot OS Login Screen

Step 06: Install VirtualBox Guest Additions

By default, it appears that Parrot OS virtual appliance (.OVA or .ISO) doesn’t come with VirtualBox Guest Additions installed. Once you have booted up Parrot OS run the below-given commands to install the VirtualBox Guest Utilities.

To update the system, open a terminal and run the below command:

$ sudo apt-get update

Now, run the below command to install VirtualBox guest additions:

$ sudo apt-get install -y virtualbox-guest-utils virtualbox-guest-x11

Finally, reboot the system:

$ reboot

When the system comes back on you should be able to maximize the VM window and use Parrot in full screen mode.

Parrot OS Desktop After Installation
Parrot OS Desktop After Installation

You may also like...

Leave a Reply