This glossary defines terms and spells out abbreviations used in Parallels Desktop documentation. References to terms defined elsewhere in the glossary appear in italics.
Administrator. A user with administrative privileges.
Activation key. A unique set of symbols that activates the Parallels Desktop application on your Mac and lets you use the Parallels Desktop functionality to its full extent.
Active operating system. The operating system where Parallels Transporter Agent is launched.
Active volume: The volume of the physical source computer that is used as a boot volume for the active operating system.
Bootable hard disk. A disk used by the operating system to boot from, usually a disk that has an operating system installed.
Boot Volume. A hard disk partition from which the operating system boots.
Boot Camp partition. A partition on the hard disk of your Mac that can be used for installing a Windows operating system on it (for Mac host computers only).
Bridged networking. Virtual machine network connection mode that enables the virtual machine to appear as any other computer on the network, with its own IP address and network name.
Coherence. One of the view modes you can use to work with Windows. When Windows is in Coherence, its desktop is hidden and Windows applications appear on the Mac desktop next to your Mac applications, as if they were all part of a single operating system.
Configuration file. A file specifies the virtual machine's hardware configuration, the devices it uses, and other settings. It is created automatically when you create a new virtual machine. See also PVS file.
CPU. Stands for central processing unit. It is an internal part of the computer. See also Processor.
Disks in the old format. Disks of virtual machines that were created in Parallels Desktop 2.5 and earlier.
Disks in the new format. Disks of virtual machines that were created or used in Parallels hardware virtualization products starting from version 3.0.
Expanding format. A virtual hard disk format. An expanding virtual hard disk image file resides on your host computer and is small initially. Its size grows as you add applications and data to the virtual machine.
FireWire connection. A wired connection that enables a high-speed data transmission between computers.
Guest operating system (guest OS). An operating system installed inside your virtual machine.
Host computer: The computer that is used to run virtual machines. In case of Parallels Desktop for Mac, it is your Mac. In case of Parallels Desktop for Windows or Parallels Desktop for Linux, it is the Windows- or Linux-based physical computer where Parallels Desktop is installed. In the Parallels Transporter documentation, this term may define the computer that hosts the result of migration.
Hot key. A user-defined key or combination of keys that provides quick access to applications and commands. See also Shortcut.
HDD file. During the creation, the virtual machine acquires a virtual hard disk file with the
Host-only networking. Virtual machine network connection mode that creates a private network between the host computer and its virtual machines, which makes the virtual machines available from the host computer only.
ISO image. A special file that contains the entire contents of a CD or DVD disc commonly used to install an operating system.
Image file. A single file containing the complete contents and structure of a data storage medium or device, such as a hard disk drive, CD, or DVD.
IP address. A unique address that is assigned to a physical computer or a virtual machine that participates in computer networking.
Linux computer. A physical computer that has a Linux operating system installed.
Merged disk. A split disk whose parts were merged into a single disk.
Migration. The process of transferring data from a physical computer or a third-party virtual machine into a Parallels virtual machine or virtual disk.
OS. Operating system.
Parallels Desktop for Mac. An application that enables you to create, manage, and use virtual machines on your Mac.
Parallels Tools. A set of Parallels utilities that ensures a high level of integration between the primary and the guest operating systems.
Parallels Transporter. An application that uses data of a physical or virtual computer for creating a Parallels virtual clone of this physical or virtual computer. The resulting virtual machines can be used with Parallels Desktop.
Parallels Transporter Agent. An application that collects data on a physical computer and transfers it to Parallels Transporter installed on your Mac.
Picture in Picture. One of the view modes you can use to work with Windows. In Picture in Picture mode, the Windows desktop appears in a window and scales in size as you resize the window. Also, you can set this window to always stay on top of other windows, and you can adjust its transparency level so you can see through it when you're working with other applications.
Plain format. A virtual hard disk format. A plain virtual hard disk image file resides on the host computer and has a fixed size that cannot be changed.
Preboot Execution Environment (PXE). An environment to boot computers using a network interface independently of available data storage devices (like hard disks) or installed operating systems.
Primary operating system (primary OS). Operating system that controls the I/O devices of the computer and that is loaded when the physical computer is turned on. It is the operating system of the physical computer where the Parallels Desktop application is installed.
Processor. The central processing unit, or CPU. It is an internal part of the computer.
PVS file. A virtual machine configuration file that contains information about the virtual machine resources, devices and other settings.
Shared networking. Virtual machine network connection mode that allows the virtual machine to use the host computer network connections. In this mode, the virtual machine is invisible to other computers on the network the host computer belongs to.
Shortcut. A user-defined key or combination of keys that provides quick access to applications and commands. See also Hot key.
Snapshot. A copy of the virtual machine state at a particular point of time. The files related to snapshots are stored in a special subfolder in the virtual machine's folder.
Source computer. The computer from which you are going to migrate data using Parallels Transporter.
Split disk. A split disk is cut into 2 GB pieces, but is stored as a single HDD file. Split disks allow you to transfer the data stored on a split disk piece by piece using a USB drive or other media that have limited space and cannot store a large virtual hard disk image file.
Terminal. In macOS and GNU/Linux operating systems, a utility that enables you to access the command line.
Third-party virtual machine. A virtual machine created in a third-party virtualization product, that can be converted to a Parallels virtual machine with the help of Parallels Transporter.
Virtual hard disk (virtual disk). A file that emulates the virtual machine's hard disk.
Virtual Machine. The computer emulated using Parallels Desktop. A virtual machine has its own virtual hardware and requires an operating system to control its hardware. The installed operating system and its applications are isolated inside the virtual machine and share physical hardware resources of the host computer.
Virtual Machine Configuration. Like any physical computer, a virtual machine has its own configuration which is set during the creation and can be later modified. The virtual machine configuration settings are stored in a PVS file.
Virtual machine files. Files stored in a virtual machine folder. A virtual machine has at least two files: configuration file and virtual hard disk file.
Virtual hard disk file. During the creation, the virtual machine acquires a virtual hard disk file with the
Virtual machine template. A virtual machine that can be cloned to multiple virtual machines that will have the same configuration and data that the virtual machine template had.
VM. See Virtual Machine.
Windows computer. A physical computer that has a Windows operating system installed.