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    Parallels Desktop Alternatives

    Parallels Desktop is described as 'gives Mac users the ability to run Windows, Linux or any other operating system and their critical applications at the same time as macOS. Parallels Desktop is optimized for Intel and Apple M1 chip' and is a very popular Virtualization Tool in the Network & Admin category. There are more than 25 alternatives to Parallels Desktop for a variety of platforms, including Linux, Windows, Mac, BSD and Android. The best alternative is VirtualBox, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like Parallels Desktop are Wine (Free, Open Source), QEMU (Free, Open Source), Proton (Free, Open Source) and VMware Workstation Pro (Paid).

    This page was last updated May 13, 2022
    • FreemiumProprietary
    • Mac
    Parallels Desktop gives Mac users the ability to run Windows, Linux or any other operating system and their critical...
    Learn more about Parallels Desktop

    1. VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use.
      VirtualBox vs Parallels Desktop opinions
      Most users think VirtualBox is a great alternative to Parallels Desktop.
      JohnFastman Unlike Parallels, Virtualbox is free, open source and runs natively on Windows, Mac and Linux. What's not to like?
      Positive comment over 5 years ago

      ChristianFerretti free, lighter, even if less simple to use
      Positive comment about 1 year ago

      rivolta8959 I like it because it's FOSS, however, it's really glitchy. It has a lot of display issues with my guest OSs (screen flickering, black screen).
      Comment 3 days ago

      • FreeOpen Source
      • Mac
      • Linux
      • Android
      • Android Tablet
      • BSD
      Wine is a free, open source application for running Windows software on operating systems that are normally not supported. With Wine, you can install and run these applications just like you would in Windows.
      Almost everyone thinks Wine is a great alternative to Parallels Desktop.

    2. QEMU (short for "Quick EMUlator") is a free and open-source hosted hypervisor that performs hardware virtualization.
    3. Proton is a tool for use with the Steam client which allows games which are exclusive to Windows to run on Linux kernel and macOS operating systems.
    4. VMware Workstation Pro Lets You Run Multiple Operating Systems as Virtual Machines (including Windows VMs) on a Single Windows or Linux PC.
      Most users think VMware Workstation Pro is a great alternative to Parallels Desktop.

    5. VMware Workstation Player builds on the industry leading foundation of Workstation Pro, and delivers a streamlined user interface for creating and running operating systems and applications in a virtual machine.
    6. The virt-manager application is a desktop user interface for managing virtual machines through libvirt. It primarily targets KVM VMs, but also manages Xen and LXC (linux containers).
    7. A simple GNOME application to access virtual systems. It is based on a design from Jon McCann and Jakub Steiner.
      • Mac
      • Linux
      • Android
      • Chrome OS
      CrossOver allows you to install many popular Windows applications and games on your Intel OS X Mac or Linux computer.
    8. Portable-VirtualBox is a free and open source software tool that lets you run any operating system from a usb stick without separate installation. It unpacks and adjusts the paths and configuration of VirtualBox so it will run portably.


      It has not been updated since 2017 and does not work with any version of Virtualbox beyond v5.1.22.

    Showing 10 of 46 alternatives