Configuring Deployment Options

The autodeploy package contains a special script, which is automatically executed on a target Mac after the package is transferred to it. When executed, the script reads the configuration parameter values from the deploy.cfg file, which you can modify according to your needs.

To modify the parameters, expand the License Key and Configuration folder in the autodeploy package and open the deploy.cfg file in a text editor. The configuration parameters are organized in sections, which are described below.

License

The License section is used to specify the Parallels Desktop Business Edition license key.

VariableDescription

vm_register_mode

Specifies the registration mode for the deployed virtual machines.

Accepted values:

"Private" — The virtual machines will be registered for the active user only. The virtual machines will be placed in the /Users/<username>/Parallels folder.

"Shared" — The virtual machines will be registered for all users of a Mac. The virtual machines will be placed in the /Users/Shared/Parallels folder.

The default destination folder for virtual machines can be modified using the vm_destination_folder variable (see below).

vm_reset_hwid

Specifies whether the virtual machine's SMBIOS ID (hardware ID) will be regenerated. Each Parallels virtual machine is assigned a universally unique SMBIOS ID when created. For your enterprise management software (e.g., Microsoft Intune) to properly account for unique Windows and software activations, unique SMBIOS IDs are required. However, specific scenarios like software development may require keeping SMBIOS IDs unchanged.

Set the value of the vm_reset_hwid variable as follows:

"no" — Keep the original SMBIOS ID.

"yes" [RECOMMENDED]— Regenerate the ID.

vm_deploy_mode

Specifies whether the virtual machine(s) will be copied or moved from the autodeploy package to their destination folder on a Mac (see the explanation below).

Accepted values:

"Copy" — Copy the virtual machine(s).

"Move" — Move the virtual machine(s).

If your autodeploy package contains one or more virtual machines, they need to be copied or moved to their destination folder on a Mac during deployment (see vm_register_mode and vm_destination_folder variables). Moving a virtual machine file is almost instantaneous while copying it will take a considerable time due to the large size of a typical virtual machine. The option you specify here depends on the following:

  • If the deployment tool that you are using copies the entire autodeploy package to a Mac computer before running it, you can use the fast "Move" option. Jamf Pro and Apple Remote Desktop copy packages to a Mac before running them so you can use the "Move" option when using these tools. Note that the package and the destination folder must be located on the same mount point on a Mac for the "Move" operation to be fast; otherwise, it'll be essentially a copy-and-delete operation, hence slow.

  • If you are running the autodeploy package from a network share mounted on a Mac (e.g., manually), then you should use "Copy" because moving a virtual machine from a remote location will be as slow as copying it, plus the virtual machine will be removed from the package if you move it, so the package will become incomplete (you want it to stay intact if you want to install it on other Macs).

vm_destination_folder

Allows you to change the default destination folder for virtual machines. The default folder is determined by the value of the vm_register_mode variable (see above). The vm_destination_folder variable allows you to change the default folder while retaining the selected virtual machine's registration mode parameter value.

<VM_file_name>

The parameter in this section allows you to change the default target location and/or name of a virtual machine when it is copied to a Mac computer.

By default, virtual machines included in the autodeploy package are copied to the default location on a Mac, which is determined by the vm_register_mode variable (or the vm_destination_folder variable if it’s present). If you have multiple virtual machines, you can specify a different destination location and/or name for each of them. To do so, you must include a variable/value pair, as shown in the examples below.

The variable name must be the same as the original virtual machine file name (including the “.pvm” or “.pvmz” extension). The value should contain a name and path where you want the virtual machine to be copied on a Mac.

Please note the following:

  • The path must be relative if vm_register_mode is set to "Shared".

  • The target VM extension must be “.pvm”, even if the original is “.pvmz” (because an archived virtual machine will be automatically unarchived on a Mac during deployment).

Examples:

"Shared VM.pvm"="./Shared VM.pvm"

"Private VM.pvm"="~/Parallels/Private VM.pvm"

”Archived Shared VM.pvmz”="./Shared.pvm”

”Archived Private VM.pvmz"="~/Parallels/Private.pvm”

control_center_banner_url

This and the two variables below are grouped together and allow you to customize Parallels Desktop Control Center by displaying a custom HTML banner at the top of its window. For additional information, see Using custom graphics and links in the Control Center.

The URL of a custom HTML page is to be displayed as a banner in the Parallels Desktop Control Center window. To disable the banner, comment out the variable or specify an empty string as a value.

control_center_banner_height

The banner height, in pixels. The recommended value is 350.

To use the current value (if you are updating Parallels Desktop on a Mac), comment out the variable.

control_center_banner_min_width

The banner's minimum width measured in pixels. When resizing the Control Center window, its minimum width will be limited accordingly. The recommended value is 350.

To use the current value (if you are updating Parallels Desktop on a Mac), comment out the variable. To disable the minimum width limitation, comment out the variable or specify 0 (zero) as a value.

vm_set_hv_mode_apple_forcibly_since_macos_11_0

Specify whether the installer should override the hypervisor type of each deployed VM to 'Apple' on macOS 11.0 Big Sur and newer. All macOS versions since macOS Big Sur require a Mac reboot to run a VM with a hypervisor type other than 'Apple'.

To forcibly change the hypervisor type to 'Apple', use the following setting:

vm_set_hv_mode_apple_forcibly_since_macos_11_0="yes"

Software Updates

The Software Updates section is used to configure automatic updates for Parallels Desktop.

Please note that a configuration profile can be used to control upgrades over major versions of Parallels Desktop. But if the updates_url variable is used (see the table below), then the configuration profile option is ignored. The recommended approach is not to use the updates_url variable and instead, use a configuration profile to enable upgrades when the IT feels confident about the new version.

VariableDescription

updates_url

Specifies the update URL. Possible values are:

"Parallels" — Download updates from the Parallels website over the Internet. Updates are downloaded from a special server hosting Parallels Desktop Business Edition updates, which become available on the server at a slightly later date compared to Parallels Desktop Pro edition. This is the default and recommended option. For more info, please see Configuring Parallels Desktop update options.

"None" — Turn off automatic updates.

<URL> — Specifies a custom update URL. You can use this option in one of the following two cases:

1) If you have a local update server, specify a complete URL (in quotes) of the parallels_updates.xml file on your local Web server. For more information, please see Setting up a local update server.

2) If you don't want to wait until Parallels Desktop Business Edition updates become available, you can specify the URL to download updates intended for Parallels Desktop Standard and Pro editions, which are released a bit earlier. For more info, please see Configuring Parallels Desktop Update Options. The URL is as follows (when assigning it to the variable, put it in quotes): https://update.parallels.com/desktop/vNN/parallels/parallels_sbscr_updates.xml

Note: The "vNN" part in the URL above represents the current Parallels Desktop version number. Whichever version you would like to use, substitute the NN with the correct number.

updates_auto_check

Specifies how often Parallels Desktop should check for updates.

Possible values:

"0" — never

"1" — once a day

"2" — once a week

"3" — once a month

updates_auto_download

Specifies the automatic update download options:

"on" — Download updates automatically. This value should be specified when using a local update server.

"off" — Notify the user about updates but don't download them automatically. This option is useful only when updates are downloaded from the Parallels website and the user has full control over the update functionality.

Help & Support

The Help and Support section is used to specify the action for the Help > Support Center menu item in the Parallels Desktop graphical user interface.

VariableDescription

support_url

Specifies a URL of a page that will be displayed when a user selects the Help > Support Center menu option in the Parallels Desktop graphical user interface. To display the default message, specify an empty string (this is the default behavior). To display your own Web page (help desk, wiki, etc.), specify its URL.

See also Customizing the Support Center options.

lic_admin_url

Specifies a URL that will be included in error message dialogs related to licensing operations. The URL should point to a web page or a resource that the user can visit to get help with the problem.

The error message appears when there's a problem activating, renewing, or deactivating a Parallels Desktop license. If you specify a URL using this variable, it will be included in the message dialog in the form "For details click <URL>". If you don't specify a URL (comment out the variable or specify an empty string), the default "Contact your system administrator" message will be displayed.

Technical Data Reports

The Technical Data Reports section is used to specify whether Parallels Desktop issue reports should contain screenshots of the macOS and virtual machine desktops. You can exclude screenshots for security reasons.

VariableDescription

report_allow_screenshots

"yes" — Include screenshots of the macOS and virtual machine desktops in Parallels Desktop problem reports.

"no" — Do not include the screenshots.

Customer Experience

The Customer Experience section allows you to specify whether the Macs should participate in the Parallels Customer Experience Program (CEP). The Parallels Customer Experience Program is a feedback solution that allows Parallels Desktop to automatically collect usage statistics and system information that will help Parallels develop new features and updates for future releases. For more information, please see https://www.parallels.com/pcep/.

NOTE: Starting from Parallels Desktop 18, the CEP Participation option in the deployment package and in Parallels Desktop user interface is ignored. The setting for all users is managed by the license administrator in the Parallels My Account portal (https://my.parallels.com).

VariableDescription

cep_participation

"off" — participation in the program is turned off.

"on" — participation in the program is turned on.

See also Participating in the Customer Experience program.

Security

The Security section allows you to enable or disable the password requirement for a number of Parallels Desktop operations.

VariableDescription

The following set of parameters allows you to set a custom password and then specify whether this password is required to perform a corresponding action in Parallels Desktop. For more information about this feature, please see Restricting user actions in Parallels Desktop with a password.

current_password

The current password (if one is already set in target Parallels Desktop installations).

Use this key if you want to disable or change the current password, or if you want to enable/disable any of the protected actions when the password is already set.

For the following cases, both the “current_password” and the “new_password” (see below) keys must be uncommented and set accordingly:

1. To disable the password completely, the “current_password” key must contain the current password and the “new_password” key must be set to "" (empty string).

2. To change the password, the “current_password” key must contain the current password, and the “new_password” key must contain the new password.

3. To enable/disable any of the actions without changing the password, both the “current_password” and the “new_password” keys must contain the current password.

new_password

Custom password. If no password is currently set, use this key to specify the password. If a password is currently set, see the description above.

password_to_edit_prefs

"on" — require the password to open the Parallels Desktop Preferences dialog.

"off" — the password is not required.

password_to_create_vm

"on" — require the password to create a new virtual machine.

"off" — the password is not required.

password_to_add_vm

"on" — require the password to add an existing virtual machine.

"off" — the password is not required.

password_to_remove_vm

"on" — require the password to remove a virtual machine.

"off" — the password is not required.

password_to_clone_vm

"on" — require the password to clone a virtual machine or converting it to a template.

"off" — the password is not required.

The following set of parameters allows you to specify whether a local Mac administrator password is required to perform a corresponding action in Parallels Desktop. Please note that the parameters described above provide a higher level of security since they allow you to use a custom password.

admin_password_to_edit_prefs

Note: Supported since Parallels Desktop 15.

"on" — require a local Mac administrator password to modify Parallels Desktop preferences.

"off" — a password is not required.

admin_password_to_create_vm

"on" — require a local Mac administrator password to create a virtual machine.

"off" — a password is not required.

admin_password_to_add_vm

"on" — require a local Mac administrator password to add an existing virtual machine.

"off" — a password is not required.

admin_password_to_remove_vm

"on" — require a local Mac administrator password to remove a virtual machine from Parallels Desktop.

"off" — a password is not required.

admin_password_to_clone_vm

"on" — require a local Mac administrator password to clone a virtual machine.

"off" — a password is not required.

Hostname parameters. Warning: Enabling this option will make it very hard to discern what Macs are activated with the license when managing the deployment from Parallels My Account. Proceed at your own risk.

hide_license_request_params

Hide hostname in activation/heartbeat requests.

"on" — hide.

"off" — don't hide.

User Experience

The User Experience section allows you specify options related to user experience.

VariableDescription

enable_single_application_mode

Specifies whether to enable Single Application Mode. For more information, please see Single application mode.

Possible values:

"yes" — enable Single Application Mode.

If the parameter is commented out, Parallels Desktop will be deployed using the "standard" mode.

When using the Single Application Mode, it is recommended to prepare Windows guest operating system to have auto login enabled.

NOTE: Please note that you cannot redeploy Parallels Desktop with this option set to "no" or commented out to disable Single Application Mode. For that, you need to completely remove Parallels Desktop from your users' Mac computers and then redeploy Parallels Desktop with this option commented out.

show_developers_menu

Specifies whether to show or hide developer tools in the Parallels Desktop GUI. For more information, please see Hiding Developer Tools in the Parallels Desktop GUI.

Possible values:

"no" — hide developer tools.

"yes" — show developer tools.

Please note that this setting will be applied to every virtual machine included in the autodeploy package. You can also configure each virtual machine to hide (or show) developer tools before deployment, but with this option, you can apply the setting automatically during deployment.

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