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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

4 Answers 4

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
You are a genious. –  Ali Apr 25 at 18:19
The same fix worked for me with Ubuntu 14.04 in Parallels 10. Thanks! –  hatch Sep 5 at 14:10
Parallels 9 updated itself and the same problem returned (Ubuntu 14.01). This set of steps worked to fix it again. –  Michael Sep 9 at 21:28

[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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I experienced the blank screen issue with Parallels 9.0, Ubuntu 13.04, Mavricks on a macbook air. This worked for me

  1. Shutdown
  2. In Parallels 9 config for the VM, go to Hardware > Video, and disable 3D acceleration.
  3. Restart and update Parallels tools
  4. Enable 3D acceleration
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What worked for me was this:

  • Switch to console (focus on black screen and press Fn+Ctrl+Alt and whilst holding that press F1)
  • Log in with user parallels (or what ever user your using)
  • Follow this article on installing the tools from command prompt - http://kb.parallels.com/en/113394

Basically, once I found the image and placed it on the CDROM drive I mounted within the os:

sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/<username>/CDROM

Then executed the install program and updated the tool!

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