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Remote control of X from any system! Apps
If you have fast network access, there's now a quick and easy way to have total remote control over your OS X box, including the GUI. A protocol known as VNC (Virtual Network Computing) is the key, and it offers servers and clients for nearly every platform.

There have been a couple of clients for X released (which allow you to connect to other VNC servers), but there hasn't been a server (well, there's one you can run if you install X Windows on X first, but that's a big project in itself!). There is now, however, an OS X VNC server package available which runs native under Aqua, and takes about 30 seconds to get running.

If you look closely at the screenshot (or look at the larger image), you'll see that it's my Aqua desktop being viewed from a Windows98 machine. Over my LAN, this was nearly as fast as working locally on my desktop. To work remotely, though, you'll want a fast internet connection on your X machine.

Getting this working is incredibly simple. Here's how:
  1. Update: is no longer a Mac-related website; the domain expired and it's now run as a porn site! Do not try to visit there!]

  2. Install the program and launch it.

  3. Get a client (viewer) for another machine (or even for your OS X box). You can pick a viewer for common platforms or less common platforms. You could also try searching macosxapps or VersionTracker for VNC clients for OS X.

  4. Launch the viewer and enter the IP number and port of the server. You should now have remote control over your OS X machine!
For more information on the server (including a script to launch it at startup and some speed tips), visit [see Update note above!]. With VNC and SSH, I now have complete remote control over my OS X system, from nearly any platform available -- cool!
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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
security for VNC
Authored by: zedwards on May 03, '01 05:02:21PM

I am surprised how easy it is to get access to my computer remotely. Does anyone know how secure the password that is being sent is via vnc? Is it encrypted in anyway? I would like to leave the server on all the time. Any suggestions?

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VNC via SSH tunnel...
Authored by: robg on May 03, '01 05:25:47PM
There's a thread on MacNN that talks about VNC, and there's an example of how to use SSH to tunnel (securely) to VNC. I can't say that I admit to knowing how it works, but check the thread yourself and see if it makes sense -- I'll probably experiment with it a bit this weekend. -rob.

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installing OSXvnc as a startup service
Authored by: pascalpp on Jun 01, '01 09:12:38PM
wanna set up OSXvnc so that it's always on, even across login sessions? this is truly useful if you're running a webserver on a Mac OS X box and you don't want to leave a login session active just to use VNC. the OSXvnc website has an excellent page explaining the process for setting this up. it's surprisingly simple. -p

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Tight Encoding in OSXvnc
Authored by: professor on May 02, '02 01:23:23AM

Mahmud Haque has added support for Tight Encoding to OSXvnc and has released his modifed version as OSXvnc 0.7.

With a client like Chicken of the which supports Tight Encoding, this makes a huge difference in speed. Really, it's like night and day. Finally, I find VNC usable over the internet (as opposed to on a LAN).

Great stuff!

P.S.: Elsewhere I gave instructions for streamlining the use of VNC over an SSH tunnel. One point I'd like to add to that. If you intend only to access the VNC server via an SSH tunnel, then you can go ahead and firewall access to ports 5900-5910 from the outside. When you connect via an SSH tunnel, you'll be connecting to localhost:5900 on the server machine, which is always allowed. But no one from the outside will be able to connect to your VNC server (unless they can SSH into your machine).

[ Reply to This | # ] is dead
Authored by: joshuacurtiss on Jul 14, '02 08:44:54PM
Am I the only one who's noticed this? doesn't work, and everybody links to it as the place to get the latest binary of the OSX VNC program, and the directions for starting it automatically, and everything.... Where are we supposed to get this stuff now? Can someone hook me up? :-)


[ Reply to This | # ] is dead
Authored by: dump on Nov 06, '02 07:31:31PM

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