Start/Stop VM without having to enter admin password?

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration' started by markedwards, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. markedwards

    markedwards

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    Using Parallels 2.5 (will install 3.0 soon) with Windows XP from a boot camp volume on a Mac Mini.

    Is there a way to set up a VM so that regular (non-admin) users can start and stop it without having to enter an admin password? I don't need those users to have access to the VM settings, but I want to be able to have staff use the software without having to give them an administrator password.

    Thanks!
     
  2. itsdapead

    itsdapead

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    177
    Do you really need to use boot camp? By doing so you are sacrificing several advantages of virtualization software such as suspend, snapshots/undo discs (from 3.0) and - relevant to this case - the security advantages of having the windows "hard disc" as a regular OS X file rather than giving a potentially untrustworthy guest OS direct hardware access to your HD.

    Boot camp support in Parallels is useful if you must have the option of running windows natively on occasion (for games and other demanding software) and don't want to maintain two separate installations. If you don't need that, its just something else to go wrong - its the virtual equivalent of repeatedly moving a HD with windows installed between two very different computers.
     
  3. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

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    Well, it's not that bad in the sense of things that can go wrong... For me it is the part that always works, and that precisely is why we use it.
     
  4. markedwards

    markedwards

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    Yes, I want to run from a boot camp partition, or I wouldn't be doing it. The question is if there is a way to do this without having to enter an administrator password when starting or stopping the VM.
     
  5. smhill

    smhill

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    Most people I know who access to both platforms do need boot camp. Parallels is great to be able to pop in and do browser testing and little tasks, but virtualization is still that, virtualization. Slow and very limited. Games, 3D development, and many other things are just not doable under Parallels. (or any other VM).

    So, while your opinion is interesting and fitting for your case, it is totally unrelated to his question, which I would like an answer to as well.
     
  6. Jongleur

    Jongleur

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    Yes, I too would like a response - I just find it inconvenient to have to supply admin user/password to use BC partition.
     
  7. markedwards

    markedwards

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    I decided to give up and just use it totally virtual. Its seems obvious this isn't hot on the development list, since it is the same in 3.0. Max out your RAM and run in a VM and deal with the performance hit, or maintain two separate installs and reboot when needed.

    No hard feelings, I can deal, but its really hard to use Boot Camp in Parallels when the warning that comes up when someone quits defaults to "yes, please try to corrupt my Windows install".

    Its awesome software nonetheless, worth a few quirks.
     
  8. itsdapead

    itsdapead

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    177
    Sorry - having re-read my post and the relavent point did get glossed over : In a nutshell - use a virtual HD instead of bootcamp == no admin password prompt + other valuable considerations.

    To access Boot Camp partitions, a Parallels VM requires hardware-level access to arbitrary hard drive partitions*, which needs "administrator level" access . The Mac security model is that, if a user-launched program needs admin access it must prompt for a password (being strict about this is one of its claims to better security than windows). In virtual-HD mode, this doesn't occur as the "drives" are regular OS X files.

    Since the original post mentioned "staff" I also assumed that gaining the ability to suspend/resume a VM session without rebooting windows might be a higher priority than the ability to restart with bootcamp for a 3d gaming session.

    (* more specificially - unlike other admin-y things that parallels is allowed to do without a password - this access can be (mis) configured by the user at run-time on a per-VM basis).
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2007
  9. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

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    1,954
    Yea, I don't think there is a way, at one point in the old forums, constant I believe, was going to try and look into what you can open access up to without screwing over your entire system, I don't think that the investigation was ever finished.

    Here is the problem, if you give access to /dev/volumes you run into the issue that now that user has sudo to those volumes without extra authentication. Not good.

    If someone ever figures out a safe way, I'll be first in line.

    But yeah.
     
  10. cyclone

    cyclone

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    I was given the following instructions by Parallels Tech Support:

    1. Move the VM files (.pvs and .hdd) to your Mac shared folder (for example, Macintosh HD > Users > Shared > VM folder).
    2. In the Finder, right-click (Ctrl-click) the folder with the VM and choose Get Info from the pop-up menu.
    3. In the Get Info window expand the Ownership&Permissions group.
    4. Expand the Details group.
    5. Set the access level for Others to Read&Write.
    6. Click the Apply to the enclosed items button.
    7. Now each user of your Mac is able to access the VMs stored in this folder.
    If starting Parallels Desktop on another user account still gives you a
    blank VM list and prompts you to create a new VM, try to launch the VM
    manually by clicking the .pvs file in the Mac shared folder. Generally,
    it should be done only once, but you can also create an alias on your
    Mac OS desktop for future use.

    Please keep in mind that running the same VM by several users
    simultaneously may result in unexpected program behavior and data loss.

    This didn't work for me, which I believe may be because I'm using a Boot Camp partition.

    Bill
     
  11. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

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    1,954
    The issue is that you need to have read/write the partition that is on your Mac... These requires admin, or very scary security settings as far as has ever been found out.
     
  12. perfection

    perfection

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    well... is there still no solution to this issue?! :(

    if there is, can someone help me out? keying in the password so many times gets really annoying :(

    thank you :)
     
  13. Chimgan

    Chimgan

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    As I see it, admin password is used by Parallels to create it's hardware profile on Boot Camp partion during VM start and restore original hw profile on vm shutdown. Is there a way not to swap hw profiles automaticaly, but let user choose it on windows boot (vm or pure boot camp)? Of course if create\restore of hw profiles is the case here.

    I made Boot Camp VM shared for all local users, but give them all admin acount... Not ready for it really :)
     
  14. Xenos

    Xenos Parallels Team

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    1,547
    Hello all,

    When using Boot Camp partition, you will always have to enter administrator password. Authorization is required by Apple software and we can not change this, unfortunately.

    Best regards,
    Xenos
     
  15. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    Messages:
    1,954
    Chimgan, it is not the profile that requires the password, it is the mounting/de-mounting of a partition. This is part of the operating system, as Xenos said, there is not way Parallels can work around this without introducing potential security holes.
     
  16. chinarut

    chinarut

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    31
    for the record, I am evaluating both Parallels and VMWare right now.

    If I am not mistaken, VMWare didn't request admin rights to run my Boot Camp install?

    Is there something special that Parallels is doing that *has* to be done?

    I can't imagine VMWare is overriding any rights! I use a non-Admin (Standard) user on an everyday basis.
     
  17. chinarut

    chinarut

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    31
    my bad - sorry for any confusion - Eru is correct - the password is required for the demounting and mounting of the Boot Camp partition. I was asked in VMWare and have no idea why I don't recall being asked before!

    move along...nothing to see... ;)
     
  18. beastlyman

    beastlyman

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    1
    Scripts?

    I would like Parallels to boot into my boot camp partition also. I have researched this and agree with what has previously been discussed. However, is there a way for me to write a script, so users, instead of clicking on parallels, they click on the script, and it runs, automatically puts in the admin and password, and then automatically launch parallels for them. I would be able to do it on a PC, but I have never scripted on a mac before...
     
  19. John@Parallels

    John@Parallels

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    6,343
    In version 4 we are trying to implement this, but I do not know exact details, in version 3, you still need to enter password, or you can use Apple script and put authentication details in there
     

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