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10.4: How to share Parallels Desktop with multiple users Apps
If you want to share a copy of Parallels running Windows XP with multiple users on one Mac, you sooner or later run into the problem where one user may have left Parallels running, so another user can't start it. There is an easy way to get around this, and although it may sound strange, it works great.

By far the best way I've found to share a Parallels session is to run it in its own user space, and have the Mac users use the free Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) app to connect to it. That way, even if another user was logged into the Windows XP session, another user can still login using the XP switches.

Here is how you set it up:
  1. Create a new OS X user just for Parallels.
  2. Launch Parallels Desktop while logged in as that user. Later, if you want, you can have that user autostart Parallels on login.
  3. Load Windows XP, and set a fixed IP for its network address.
  4. Install the latest version of Microsoft RDC from the above link.
  5. With your Windows XP virtual machine (VM) running, any user can start an RDC session (using the fixed IP address) to the VM. You never have to worry about rights or more than one user trying to start the same VM. You don't have to shut down other users. You just use Windows' user switching tool once you connect using RDC. Just make sure that all the XP users have been added to the system's Remote tab, or they can't login.
This works very well. If you want, you can add the IP address along with a host name to OS X's hosts file, so you can reference the VM by name. But that's another subject. (I originally posted this on the Parallels forum, and they suggested I post it here, so here it is.)
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10.4: How to share Parallels Desktop with multiple users | 6 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: How to share Parallels Desktop with multiple users
Authored by: rguerra on Nov 20, '06 09:32:29AM
Another alternative is to install a VNC server application on the Windows virtual machine. VNC clients exist not only for the mac, but for linux and other os's as well.

Windows:
Tight VNC - http://www.tightvnc.com
Ultra VNC - http://ultravnc.sourceforge.net/

Mac:
Chicken of the VNC - http://sourceforge.net/projects/cotvnc/



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10.4: How to share Parallels Desktop with multiple users
Authored by: luomat on Nov 20, '06 11:01:20AM

You will need one of the other options unless you have the more expensive Windows XP Pro.

Win XP Home does not include RDC <sarcasm>because no one who has a computer from home ever needs someone else to connect to it and fix something for them.</sarcasm> Clearly no one at Microsoft has to provide Family IT.



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Right...
Authored by: avramd on Nov 21, '06 07:01:51AM

because family members of microsoft actually have to pay full price for thier MS products...



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10.4: How to share Parallels Desktop with multiple users
Authored by: derbbre on Nov 20, '06 12:14:49PM

Why not just add a Mac user specifically for Parallels and give everyone the password? Then they can just use fast user switching to get to that user and the VM...



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10.4: How to share Parallels Desktop with multiple users
Authored by: NewPerfection on Nov 20, '06 04:23:52PM

Yeah, but what if I want to run Parallels in my own account without having to switch back and forth?



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Also, you can use Bonjour for windows
Authored by: avramd on Nov 21, '06 06:59:01AM

You can download it from apple. That way you don't need to give it a fixed IP address or set up a name. You just connect to it as <win-pc-name>.local. I do it all the time.



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