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How to enroll a Mac VM running macOS High Sierra hosted by Parallels Desktop Pro

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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SOLVED Posted: by prbsparx

Did you have to make all these changes prior to 1st boot?

Answered my own question: No - you don't. But you do have to do both the model ID and serial number change.

SOLVED Posted: by howie_isaacks

While you’re building up the VM it’s not necessary to change the serial or model. We just need to do this before we enroll the VM into Jamf Pro.

SOLVED Posted: by jacopo.pulici

followed the guide (added the device id and serial number flags) but the VM still boots up with the host's data (both s/n and Mac model).
Any idea @howie_isaacks ?
Thank you

SOLVED Posted: by howie_isaacks

@jacopo.pulici Can you post a screenshot of what you added into the boot flags?

SOLVED Posted: by scottlep

Does anyone have this working with newer versions of Jamf Pro and macOS, such as JP10.5 and 10.13.6?


SOLVED Posted: by Wagener

Thanks for your thoughts and efforts here, Scott. Fwiw, I've been unable to get a Parallels 13 Pro High Sierra 10.13.6 VM enrolled in MDM, and we're using a v10.6.0 JSS from JamfCloud. This is even when using using serial number, hardware identifier, and MAC address from a real and unenrolled MacBook.

The error from jamf mdm and enrollment invitations is "MDMResponseStatus error 500". Would second being glad to hear if anyone else has had success with this configuration.

Very best!


SOLVED Posted: by trc29

I'm also running into this same issue (the 500 error) and can't find a way around it. I'll keep poking and update if I find anything.

SOLVED Posted: by howie_isaacks

This has worked really well for me since I posted this thread. I'm not sure why this is a problem for some people, but I'm happy to help.

SOLVED Posted: by leslie

Also get MDMResponseStatus:500 when trying to enroll a 10.13.1 Parallels VM in Jamf Pro 10.6

After reviewing some comments here found a couple shell records in mobile devices. Removed those and old computer record based on hardware UUID and was able to get the MDM profile (complete enrollment) installed on the VM.

SOLVED Posted: by howie_isaacks

Again, I'm happy to help anyone who can't get this to work. I recently upgraded to Parallels 14. For some reason, my older VMs that were upgraded last last year stopped checking in and working with the JSS. I deleted them, and created new Mac VMs from scratch. Both of the new VMs worked using my instructions above.

SOLVED Posted: by kburns

This worked for me as well. The first enrollment I attempted (prior to these instructions), created a mobile device with the UUID of the VM instead of a computer record. After I followed these instructions, and deleted the created mobile device, I was able to install the MDM profile/enroll the device.