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Understanding Parallels 13 Deployment

Hello! First time poster.

I am having a tough time understanding the basics of Parallels 13 deployment.

In my environment, I have a certain subset of users using Parallels. They are mostly using version 12. If I go to their machine, download/run the standard Parallels 13 installed downloaded directly from the Parallels website, it works fine with no issues. Just plops on top of their Parallels 12 and continues to work. Doesn't even really interrupt their VM it seems. We have a company lisence so it just picks up and works right away.

I can't seem to properly distribute this package via a policy.

I'm sure it has something to do with the way I'm packaging the DMG. I'm not looking to install a VM whatsoever, simply looking to plop version 13 on top of the version that already exists on their machine - OR - if the user doesn't have Parallels at all, just install the program (and again, not VM)

Any tips on the "proper" way to package this program? I've tried simply uploading the DMG without alteration to JAMF admin, and it put it on top of the Mac HD. So then I tried packaging just the App from applications folder and it sorta broke the install. I'm a little confused!

Sorry for the nooby question!

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SOLVED Posted: by jan.rosenfeld

To add to this - I understand that dragging DMG from the internet straight into JAMF Admin will generally install at Root level (Mac HD) - so that's why I then attempted to drag the Parallels Desktop app straight from applications into Composer, then package that (I believe I did a DMG - perhaps I should try it with a PKG?)

When I tried to install on a test machine via self service, Parallels Desktop prompted for a computer restart, and then the app would not launch at all after restarting.

SOLVED Posted: by donmontalvo

You'll need an enterprise license key. You'll also need to pd-deploy.pkg provided by Parallels.

Take a moment to read Chapter 3 in their admin guide.

Don't enterprise license key, no laundry...

SOLVED Posted: by jan.rosenfeld

thanks so much @donmontalvo - this is exactly the info I wasn't understanding. Turns out mass deployment of parallels is more involved than I assumed :)

SOLVED Posted: by JS_WWU

I read through the Parallels Admin guide, and decided for now it is best for us to have Parallels 13 packaged with our key and only available to licensed users. There is no VM in there right now. I decided (maybe right maybe wrong) to break things up and do the VM of Windows separately because I was having trouble automating the AD bind. Also, I was not sure how our network would handle pushing a big image.

SOLVED Posted: by donmontalvo

@JS_WWU we deploy Parallels Desktop 13 separately. VMs are deployed set to automatically update Parallels Tools.

SOLVED Posted: by Bernard.Huang

Hi all,

I still can't get this Parallels Desktop Autodeploy.pkg working.

What I'm doing:
- Downloaded this Parallels Desktop Autodeploy.pkg
- Show package content of Parallels Desktop Autodeploy.pkg
- Updated the License Key and Configuration > deploy.cfg with our volume license. (1 line updated)
- Added ParallelDesktop-13.3.2.dmg to Paralles Desktop DMG directory
- Uploaded this to Casper Admin
- Tried installing, it fails.

Outside of JAMF Pro, I also installing the pkg locally. It fails after about 10 seconds into the install.

So, apart from the license key and the DMG, what other things are minimum requirements? I read the Parallels-Desktop-Business-Edition-Administrators-Guide.pdf, it says other things are optional.

SOLVED Posted: by Bernard.Huang

Did a few more rounds of testing.

The Parallels Desktop Autodeploy.pkg I prepared, it works on a OS X El Capitan Macbook. macOS Sierra or High Sierra does not like it.

What gives? Is there extra security settings on a Sierra or High Sierra that prevents Parallels from installing?

SOLVED Posted: by Bernard.Huang

Turns out for Sierra and High Sierra, Parallels Desktop 13 only works will JAMF Pro 10.6.
We previously had Casper JSS 9.101 running, and that was the cause of the issues.

SOLVED Posted: by Bernard.Huang

Now that the Parallels Desktop 13 installs successfully on El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra, I thought that was it.

Parallels Desktop does show up within Launchpad. It even opens, but when checking "Account & License..." , it request for the user (me) to type in our license number.

So the license key was not used somehow.
The deploy.cfg file, which contains the license key, must be working, otherwise installation fails.
But anyone know why it doesn't show up in the actual application itself?

SOLVED Posted: by Bernard.Huang

Found out what was wrong with my situation... My license key has ran out of usable accounts. So any further installs for new users would be invalid.

So in summary on how to make Parallels Desktop 13 work:
- Upgrade JAMF Pro to latest so it suits the latest macOS
- Download Parallels Desktop Autodeploy.pkg from
- Show Package Content of Parallels Desktop Autodeploy.pkg
- Update the deploy.cfg file with a valid License key (This is the minimum requirement to make it work)
- Download Parallels from
- Paste Parallels installer into Parallels Desktop Autodeploy.pkg
- Upload to Casper Admin

SOLVED Posted: by jan.rosenfeld

been awhile since I looked at this thread but that's good info, @Bernard.Huang ! thanks for the updates

SOLVED Posted: by dpratl

Hi all,

It would be interesting for me how you use Parallels in your company.

I'm planning the rollout for Parallels now for my company - only a bunch of Mac User, but many Windows User.
I tried to configure the Windows VM to do a PXE boot and get the installation from our Windows Softwaredeployment (DSM). This is working for one VM like it should. But if I configure a mass deploy of Parallels I get in troubles.
DSM needs a unique SMBios ID (or MAC address). I know the location in config.pvs to write a script to create those unique entries but I'm not sure if that is the correct way.
Additional problem is even if I create a unique SMBios ID or MAC (how to check if the MAC address is unique in the network?) our DSM hast to know this ID before a windows can get installed.

Maybe i just think to complicated? ;)

How do you solve that?

Thank you for your answers.