Accessing Mac virtual hosts from a Parallels VM

November 20th, 2015

Firstly I am assuming that you have a working local website setup and that you are comfortable setting up apache virtual hosts. Setting up a virtual host from a Parallels Windows VM allows you to locally test your website using a different OS and browser.

1. From within Parallels, click the gear icon from the VM or Configure from the menu.
Go to Hardware -> Network 1 -> and set Type = Shared Network.

2. From the Mac you need the Mac’s virtual IP address which you can obtain by running the command “ifconfig vnic0” [without the quote marks] from within Terminal.


My Mac’s virtual IP address is

From the Windows VM, access the hosts file which you can find at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts Add the line [Your virtual IP address] followed by your testing domain. In my case it looks like this and it has a tab between the IP and the domain which I cannot show here:      test.mywebsite

My finished hosts file looks like this and the only change made was the last line:

# Copyright (c) 1993-2009 Microsoft Corp.
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
# For example:
# # source server
# # x client host

# localhost name resolution is handled within DNS itself.
# localhost
# ::1 localhost .psf psf test.mywebsite