Controlling Parallels From the Command Line — Judioo Space’s

1 min readMar 13, 2012

While doing a mundane data crunching task at work I had a eureka moment.

I wanted to work on the task when I got home but did not want to re-create the 1 million odd data files.

So I decided to use a combination of dropbox and Parallels VM’s.

If I created all the data & program files in my dropbox folder at work I could rely on Dropbox to handle the synchronisation between my home and work machine. Then all I’d need to do once I got home is power up the already cloned VM and continue working*.

Perfect plan!

Once home it became apparent that I hadn’t terminated the rather aggressive file creation program in my work’s VM and it was still crunching numbers and creating files. Also vim was cause all sorts of problems with lock files within my dropbox folder.

Having isolated my work’s VM entirely ( no ssh access into the VM ) from the host my only other choice was to stop the VM. From experience I knew that the brute force method (of killing parallels) can leave ones VM in a problematic state so I really wanted to avoid that. Thankfully Parallels comes with a command line tool!

Chapter 3 is all about “prlctl Parameters”

Turns out you can list your VM’s




Expert at Failing to Success, Particular about Music, Hacker & father