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Encrypted Virtual Machines — Command Line Options

APPLIES TO:
  • Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac Standard Edition
  • Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac Standard Edition
A Parallels virtual machine can be encrypted using the Parallels Desktop graphical user interface. You can also use the prlctl command line utility (included with Parallels Desktop) to perform the full set of encryption operations on a virtual machine.

The following encryption command line options are available:

  • Encrypt a virtual machine

prlctl encrypt <ID | NAME>

  • Decrypt a virtual machine

prlctl decrypt <ID | NAME>

  • Change the encryption password

prlctl change-passwd <ID | NAME>

The <ID | NAME> parameter can be either the virtual machine ID or the virtual machine name. When encrypting a virtual machine, you'll be asked to enter a password phrase, which will be used to encrypt the machine. When decrypting a virtual machine, you will be asked to enter the current password. When changing the password, you'll be asked to enter the old password and then the new password.

The encryption password will also be required to perform any other command line operation on an encrypted virtual machine, including starting, stopping, restarting, pausing, suspending, cloning, deleting a virtual machine, etc. For example, to start an encrypted virtual machine, you'll use the following command:
$ prlctl start my_virtual_machine
After executing the command above, you'll be asked to enter the password:

Virtual machine "my_virtual_machine" is encrypted - password required to continue operation
Please enter password:


After typing in the correct password, you'll see the following output:

Starting the VM...
The VM has been successfully started.


If you need to execute a command remotely without having to enter the password on every Mac, you can send the password via standard input (stdin) as shown in the following example:

$ echo mypass | prlctl start my_virtual_machine
Virtual machine 'my_virtual_machine' is encrypted - password required to continue operation
Please enter password:
Starting the VM...
The VM has been successfully started.


If you need to provide two passwords (as with the change-passwd command that changes the password), you can save the passwords to a text file and then use the following syntax:

$ cat /tmp/pass | prlctl change-passwd my_virtual_machine
Virtual machine 'my_virtual_machine' is encrypted - password required to continue operation
Please enter password:
Please enter new password:
The password has been successfully changed.


The /tmp/pass file in the example above should contain the old password on the first line and the new password on the second line:

$ cat /tmp/pass
mypass
newpass



223eaea75536b1878213dd8e38ab608d 1e5db16426987d561060acdf56d947b4 a9c6e0b6a5209e617a7c0dd5eace86cf 97cd84747b25a2e5a06065a21a747a53

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