Using Rosetta to Run x86-64 Linux Software on Apple Silicon Macs

Starting from Parallels Desktop 19, users of Pro and Business editions can run x86-64 binaries in Linux virtual machines on Mac computers powered by Apple Silicon. One of the most obvious benefits of this is the ability to run x86 Docker containers in Linux virtual machines.

Note: This functionality is powered by Apple's Rosetta code translation layer that allows running x86-64 code on Apple Silicon processors. It requires macOS Ventura 13 or newer as the host operating system. Known limitations include a lack of support for Snap Packages, potential cross-architecture dependency issues, and incomplete support for Red Hat/RHEL-based distributions.

Quick Setup

To speed up the process, Parallels offers a ready-to-download, preconfigured Ubuntu 22.04.02 virtual machine with Rosetta set up, dependencies updated, and Docker ready to go.

To install it, open Control Center in Parallels Desktop > create a new virtual machine from the list of Free Systems and select Download Ubuntu with x86_64 emulation > click Continue to create and start the virtual machine.

You can now start using Docker in the Terminal immediately to create x86-64 containers, as the Docker command-line interface (CLI) is pre-installed in the appliance, or try installing software, provided it conforms to the limitations.

Note: For manual setup instructions and various troubleshooting scenarios, please refer to our KB article.

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