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I can install Ubuntu 13.10 in parallels ok and then log in. Problem is Ubuntu does an update and I get black screen / desktop such that I can't see any app windows that I open. I've tried a few of the other suggestions and they don't work for me.

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What other suggestions? Please include what you have already tried and links to any sites you have got solutions from. That will help us a lot. Thanks! –  RPi Awesomeness Jan 13 at 3:39
I tried the solutions offered in this post: askubuntu.com/questions/360732/… –  Whitty Jan 14 at 1:27
RPi Awesomeness - just wondering if you had a chance to consider what might be the way to resolve the issue? I could wait for another release? –  Whitty Jan 21 at 21:35
I haven't looked into it very much, seeing as I don't use Macs. I can pop your question into chat if you want. –  RPi Awesomeness Jan 21 at 21:48
Have you tried not installing the updates? I don't think Parallels can be counted on to stay compatible with the latest versions of the Linux kernel and/or Unity. I find myself making a backup of my VM before any apt-get upgrade until I know for sure that it will work. –  Michael Feb 10 at 16:43
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2 Answers

Same problem here with a MacBook Pro. Here's what worked for me after I updated 13.10 and received a black screen, although the toolbar on the left was showing. It was simple, but I don't know why it worked.

  1. Shut down the Ubuntu VM (13.10)
  2. In Parallels 9 config for the VM, go to Hardware > Video, and disable 3D acceleration.
  3. Restart Ubuntu 13.10. You will now get a completely black screen.
  4. Shut down the Ubuntu VM once more.
  5. Again, in Parallels config for the VM, go to Hardware > Video and reenable 3D acceleration.
  6. Restart, and you're back in business (No black screen and everything properly updated).
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I only wish you had posted this 3 days earlier, when I was last looking at this question and despairing. =) –  Michael Mar 12 at 16:11
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[I just realized the post above me has a MUCH simpler solution, by rechecking the video acceleration in the VM settings. Doh!]

I have a solution. Reinstalling Parallels Tools blindly does the trick.

This just happened to me, with Mavericks, Parallels 9.0.24172, Ubuntu 13.10 and updates installed on 1 Mar 2014. On reboot, I could see the login screen, then after logging in, I could see the Unity "Launcher" or whatever the call the row of icons on the left, but the rest of the screen was black. If I click to start any apps, like Firefox, the icon in the bottom of the Parallels screen indicate that the re is disk activity as the app starts, but the screen remains black.

To fix:

  • From the Parallels Desktop "Virtual Machine" menu, choose "Reinstall Parallels Tools..."
  • You will see the CD-Rom and Hard Disk icons in the bottom of the Parallels window blink green
  • Wait about 10 seconds until the Hard Disk icon settles down
  • Blindly type your password (make sure Parallels has focus in Mavericks)
  • You'll see the Hard Disk icon blinking green some more.
  • After a few minutes (I waited 5, just to be safe), make sure Parallels still has focus, and hit the Return key. Parallels will reboot.
  • Voilá! On reboot and re-login, the desktop is visible

Just before I installed the Ubuntu updates, Parallels Tools had reinstalled itself, due to a new version of the Tools since I last used the VM, but it seems that certain kinds of Linux updates break the video driver. As stated above, always make a Parallels snapshot before running Ubuntu update, just to be safe.

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