Connecting Parallels VMs to your Mac localhost file for testing

I’m currently building a site using a local server on my iMac at work and I needed an accurate way to test it on IE. I’m running Windows 8 on a Parallels (v.8) Virtual Machine and wanted to get it to display the test site I’m developing locally via MAMP. There’s a few sites that talked about doing this but some were complicated and none dealt with my exact situation (OSX.8 / Parallels 8 / Windows8), so I needed to stitch together my own solution. Here’s what I figured out:

  • In Parallels preferences, go to Advanced and click the Change Settings button next to Network. Check ‘Show in System Preferences.’
  • In your Mac’s System Preferences, go to the Network section and click on the Parallels connection. Copy the IP address.

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 11.53.40 AM

  • In Windows 8, go to the Start screen and start typing ‘Notepad.’ An option for the Notepad app will appear. Right-click on it and at the bottom of the screen click on ‘Run as Administrator.’
  • Click File > Open and navigate to Local Disk (C:) > Windows > System 32 > Drivers > etc
  • Down next to the Filename box, click the dropdown that says ‘text documents (*.txt)’ and select ‘All Files.’
  • Open the ‘Hosts’ file.
  • At the bottom, add the IP you copied from Mac System Prefs, a tab, and a name for your machine. I used ‘iMac’ for mine. (e.g. ‘10.211.55.2 imac‘ with no quotes)
  • Save and close the file.
  • Start Internet Explorer and navigate to your localhost this way:
    • If your original file path to my MAMP install on your Mac browsers is: http://localhost:8888/staging/index.php (Files are located in Applications > MAMP > htdocs > staging)
    • Your file path for IE on Parallels is: http://imac:8888/staging/index.php