Change serial number of a virtual machine

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How to change the serial number of a virtual machine?

Note: These steps only apply to macOS virtual machines running on Intel-powered Mac computers. Changing a serial of a macOS virtual machine on a Mac with Apple silicon is currently not possible. More information on the current limitations of macOS virtual machines on Mac computers with Apple silicon is available in KB 128867.

Note: this feature is available only in Parallels Desktop Pro and Parallels Desktop Business editions.  

Change a serial number

Changing a serial number using Terminal

Open Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal) and execute the following command:

prlctl set "<vm_name|vm_UUID>" --smbios-serial-number <serial>

where <vm_name|vm_UUID> is your virtual machine's name or its unique identifier (virtual machine's UUID can be found by executing prlctl list -a command in Terminal).


prlctl set "Windows 10" --smbios-serial-number C02XK123456

Changing a serial number using a Boot flag

Go to virtual machine configuration > Hardware > Boot Order > Advanced settings > in Boot flags field paste the flag below alongside with a new serial number next:


Changing a serial number by editing configuration file (more complicated)

  1. Right-click on the virtual machine in Control Center > Show in Finder > right-click on .pvm file with the name of your virtual machine > select Show Package Contents > open config.pvs file with
  2. In a text editor, press CMD + F to show search bar > in search bar type: "SerialNumber" without quotes > it will take you to the exact string we need. Paste the required serial number.


Verifying a serial number

To verify your virtual machine's serial number, perform the steps below.

macOS virtual machine

Open Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal) inside the virtual machine and execute the following command:

 ioreg -l | grep IOPlatformSerialNumber

In macOS a serial number is usually presented by a 12-character combination.

Windows virtual machine

Open Command Prompt: click Windows Start menu, in Search bar type cmd, right-click on the appeared Command Prompt application and click Run as Administrator. Once Command Prompt opens, execute the following command:

wmic bios get serialnumber

In Windows, serial number is usually equal to the UUID of your VM.

Linux virtual machine

Open Terminal on Linux virtual machine > execute the command (with quotes):

dmidecode | grep "Serial Number"

Just as in Windows, a serial number in Linux is usually equal to the UUID of your VM.

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