macOS Hosting Preview

macOS hosting is in preview. This means it does not include some of the features of Windows hosting, and may have bugs or occasional crashes. While macOS hosting is a preview release, you may need to use it in combination with another remote desktop application just in case something goes wrong.

Compared to Windows, Parsec hosting for macOS has the following features:

Feature Windows macOS
Multi-monitor streaming
Virtual monitors
Access to logon screen
Compatible with Parsec Relay Server
Automatic app crash recovery
Programmatic silent installation
Privacy mode
Connect using Chromium based browsers (parsec.app)
Pen support
Link sharing
Team computers Only available via GUI, not CLI
H.265 streaming
Adjustable resolution Only adjustable from macOS settings
4:4:4 color mode
Audio streaming Parsec Audio Capture Driver required to stream audio
Gamepad support

The macOS hosting preview also currently runs at the retina scale resolution in order to prioritize a high performance connection. This means if you have a 4K or 5K display, running in Retina mode, it will instead stream at the "looks like" resolution, such as 1920x1080 or 2560x1440.

 

Hosting requirements

We require the following:

  • macOS Catalina 10.15 or newer

To receive the best experience we recommend the following:

  • 2019 Mac hardware or later, including Apple M1
  • Wired network connection

If you have pre-2019 hardware, Parsec hosting may not work, or you may not receive an ideal experience. Unfortunately the 2013 Mac Pro (regardless of what year purchased) do not contain modern enough AMD GPUs to offer high performance video encoding, thus do not currently work and may not be updated to work. Versions of macOS prior to Catalina may eventually be supported, but we are prioritizing Catalina or newer. 

 

Parsec Audio Capture Driver

Installing this driver and the most recent version of the Parsec installer for macOS are required to stream audio to Parsec. You then must also select "Parsec Audio Capture" as your audio output device, as well as give Parsec microphone capture permission. Due to how our audio driver works, we need to capture a virtual microphone that is a loopback device directly connected to the output of the Parsec Audio Capture output device. When using the Parsec Audio Capture output device, you will NOT get local audio output on macOS host, to the system speakers for example.

In order to install or uninstall this driver, you must download and run the files linked above.

sound_settings.png

Permissions

Due to Apple's permission policies on macOS, you will need to manually enable several permissions in the Parsec settings' Host tab in order for Parsec to capture the screen, capture audio (microphone loopback) and accessibility permissions in order to inject your keyboard and mouse inputs. Before enabling hosting, you must enable accessibility and screen capture permissions. These cannot be automated.

parsec_permissions.png

You can view and modify these permissions in macOS by visiting System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Privacy.

 

Prevent your macOS host from sleeping

We recommend the following power settings in order to keep the macOS host from sleeping.

battery_window.png

Your feedback

Currently, we are only looking for feedback related to bugs and crashes on 2019 or newer macOS hosts running Catalina or newer. We define a bug as something that Parsec claims the hosting preview can do, that is not working on your system. We define a crash as something that causes the Parsec application to unexpectedly quit. 

 

Example of a bug report

When attempting to use the paid second screen feature on an M1 host, the second screen is black. I have retried this many times and each time the screen is black. My M1 MacBook Pro is plugged into a USB-C display, and this is the display that is causing the black screen. My M1 MacBook Pro is running 11.5.2.

 

Example of a crash report

I have noticed when I copy a large text block to the macOS host, the client shows a red network warning and the macOS host disappears from the computers list. When I connect to this host using another remote desktop product to check on its state, I notice the Parsec app is no longer running. There is also an Apple crash log which I have added to this message. I have tried copying and pasting a large text block several times and each time it behaves the same.

 

Example of a bad bug report

Receiving an Error 15000 when attempting to connect to a Mac Pro 2013.

Why this is a bad report: This configuration is not supported, thus it is not a bug that it doesn't work.

 

Example of another bad bug report

I noticed that when I plug in my MIDI keyboard into my client device, it doesn't appear on my macOS host and I can't use it.

Why this is a bad report: This is a feature request, as Parsec does not support passing MIDI devices to the host. Refer to the list of supported features in the table above.

 

Where to send bug and crash reports

If you are a Parsec for Teams customer, please deliver feedback to your Parsec account rep. 

If you are a Parsec Warp or Parsec free user, please write the feedback on the Discord server linked in the help section of the app.