I have been testing Jamf Pro policies using Mac VMs for about 2 years. This has worked really well for me. The only policies that I cannot test using a VM are polices that require the use of a physical Mac, such as deploying FileVault via Self Service. When I bought my first Intel Mac in 2006, I bought Parallels Desktop. Since then, I have upgraded to every new version of Parallels. I have worked with VMware, and I think it’s a great product. If it existed at the time, I just didn’t know about it back in 2006. I thought about moving to VMware a few years ago, but I never had the incentive to do it. When Jamf Pro 10.3 was released, I could no longer enroll a Mac VM running macOS High Sierra. Doing so would either result in a “Profile installation failed” error, or if I used a quick-add package, the installation would fail. We now need a Mac VM that has a valid model ID, and we should have a serial number for the VM. This is why enrollment fails. Jamf Support sent me this article on how to create a VM for Jamf Pro policy testing.
From what I understood from this article, I needed VMware to get this to work. Since I did not want to invest in two new VMware licenses (one for my MacBook Pro, and another for my iMac), I did some searching to find out if it’s possible to change the serial number and model ID of a Parallels Mac VM.
The Parallels knowledge base has this article for changing the serial number:
And this article for changing the model ID:
To make the necessary changes, we need to right-click the VM from the list, and select Configure. Next, we go to Hardware - Boot Order, and then open Advanced Settings. In the Boot flags field, we enter the text strings that define the serial number of the VM, and the model. Close the configuration window when finished. Boot up the VM, and check System Profiler to make sure that the new serial number and model are there.
I took the serial number of the host Mac, and changed one digit to create a new serial number, and I entered that into the text string. I then copied the model ID of the host Mac into the next text string. After making these changes, I booted up the VM, and saw my changes when I launched System Profiler.
I was then able to enroll my macOS High Sierra VMs into Jamf Pro using the enrollment URL after following this process.
I’m not sure how many people here use Parallels instead of VMware, but I hope this helps anyone facing the same dilemma I was. This requires Parallels Desktop Pro or Parallels Desktop Business.
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