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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server Network
Apple has recently released their Remote Desktop Client 2.1 as a free download. You can install this without buying Apple Remote Desktop 2.1, as the client is bundled free in all copies of Panther. The surprise here is that the client includes a VNC server -- which features support for dual displays!

Installing the update, open the Sharing System Preferences panel. On the Services tab, first enable Apple Remote Desktop, and then click the Access Privileges button. On the next screen, activate the VNC area and enter a password:
After setting this up, you can now remotely control your Mac with any free VNC viewer (e.g. Chicken of the VNC), running on Mac OS X or any other OS. Of course, you can't use all the other cool Apple Remote Desktop control features on the above screen, but being able to use a free VNC server is a nice touch!

[robg adds: I tested this one on my PowerBook, connecting to my desktop machine. The dual-screen support works very nicely indeed, though there's a lot of scrolling required on a 12" PowerBook screen. But it's great being able to actually see both screens now. The Apple VNC server is definitely slower than OSXvnc, which is what I normally use. But the support for two screens is a worthwhile tradeoff for those occasions when I need to see both monitors remotely. This hint was submitted in two different forms by two anonymous users; the above writeup is a combination of their input and my experiences :).]
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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server | 31 comments | Create New Account
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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: i621148 on Oct 15, '04 12:07:39PM

you can also access any vnc server by typing
ipaddress:580x into any java enabled web browser
where x is the display where vnc is running and ipaddress is your vnc computers location.



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: jmdevaney on Oct 15, '04 12:17:57PM

Hmmm, all I get when I connect to http://10.0.1.20:5900 is:
RFB 003.889
in a browser window both in Safari & Mozilla on windows...

Any Ideas?

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Jdevaney



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: extra88 on Oct 15, '04 12:51:06PM
Hmmm, all I get when I connect to http://10.0.1.20:5900 is: RFB 003.889M

Wrong port. Port 5900 is for VNC clients to connect to. When you do it throgh the web and want the Java client invoked, you connect to port 5800 (unless the port has been changed by the installer of the service.

It doesn't really matter in this case since the Java client is *not* included with ever VNC server. It seems Apple does not include the Java client with its VNC server.



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: jmdevaney on Oct 15, '04 12:33:28PM

This does not seem to work on the Apple VNC Server, port 5800 just gets connection refused... Am I missing something? I know this works with OSXvnc..

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Jdevaney



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Port 5800 feature not implemented
Authored by: lullabud on Oct 15, '04 12:50:35PM
The port 5800 trick actually connects to a web server that dishes up a Java applet VNC client. This works on the official version of VNC, and some others like TightVNC, but it doesn't appear to work with either the Apple Remote Desktop or OsxVNC. At least, I just tried with both and couldn't connect.

Port 590x is for when you're using a Client Application to connect to the server. Port 5800 is for when you're connecting through a web browser.

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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: seven5 on Oct 15, '04 01:39:34PM

does this REQUIRE 2.1? cuase i haven't upgraded to 2.1 yet. I am trying to connect to my mac with tightvnc and it says incompatible version.



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DOES NOT SUPPORT ARD 1.2
Authored by: rsnyder on Oct 15, '04 04:25:08PM

No it does not support ARD 1.2. I just learned the hard way. I put this package on one of my dual machines and now ARD1.2 sees it as unavailable. ARGGHHHHH!

The real kicker is that I ordered and recieved 1.2 the same week that 2.0 came out. My Apple rep even double checked and there was no upgrade path other than buying it over again at the education price of $299. I, too had been holding out on that expense.

ARRRGGGGHHHH! (And before anyone points it out, I am sure this was noted in the documentation)



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: TrentC on Oct 15, '04 03:04:25PM

Did anyone try actually installing the linked package? It appears to be an update to the Remote Desktop Client, not the client itself.

I am running Panther; I installed it and cannot find a Remote Desktop client anywhere on my Mac. Am I missing something?



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: jmdevaney on Oct 15, '04 03:46:53PM

The remote desktop client setup is in control panel, sharing, Apple remote desktop....

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Jdevaney



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Apple Apple Remote Desktop not part of 10.2 or earlier
Authored by: rsnyder on Oct 15, '04 06:23:49PM

The issue is that the ARD client became part of the operating system with Panther. For systems running 10.2 or earlier, you need to install the client, which comes on the ARD admin CD, when you purchase it.

So unless you can get access to an ARD installer CD, you won't be able to use this update.



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: jmdevaney on Oct 15, '04 03:45:15PM

The only client I could get to connect was Chicken of the VNC, a few others I tried errored on connect.

The 2.1 Client is actually the server, Remote desktop admin is the viewer portion, the client is what installs and allows RD Admin or VNC clients to connect. Hope this helps.

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Jdevaney



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: johnblommers on Oct 15, '04 06:25:26PM

Hooooold on.

So I'm running ARD 1.2 client and management program and they were working just fine. So I installed the new and free 2.1 desktop client and it totally hosed my management program. It either hangs up on launch or complains it's not installed properly. Well, re-installing both the ARD 1.2 client and agent fixes nothing.

I have not found a way to undo this horrible damage as there is no way to de-install packages in a supported manner in this new OS of Steve's. I did try the OSXGNU Tool called OSXPM but it is not able to remove most of these ARD packages due to incompatibility.

Time for an archive and install ...

- John



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: Jaharmi on Oct 18, '04 04:06:47PM

There wasn't really a good built-in way to uninstall software (particularly system-level software, as this is) in the old pre-Steve OS. So while your complaint is noted, it's not like Mac OS X is any different than past Mac OSes in this regard.



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: legacyb4 on Oct 15, '04 09:06:36PM

So it sounds like if you are using both admin and client versions 1.2, upgrading the client to 2.1 is a no no unless you also upgrade the admin side of things?



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: johnblommers on Oct 17, '04 03:58:03PM

Right, mixing management version ARD 1.2 and client ARD 2.1 on the same machine destroys the management function. IT's a nono all right.

Since Apple to this day does not provide a de-installer, I'm looking at an archive and replace. I miss my Mac OS 9 extensions manager.

This is a downside to macosxints, in that each hint is not fully tested. The individual needs to be involved in the testing and be ready to participate in that testing, whatever the results might be. "Don't test a hint on a production system" goes without saying.

This hint has been most useful - because of the value of the comments submitted by the readership.



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Fast User Switching - ARD wins!
Authored by: Schwie on Oct 16, '04 11:24:35AM

I've been using osxvnc ever since Panther came out, and its been outstanding, except for one problem. OSXVNC does not handle Fast User Switching built in to Panther. This is a documented bug in osxvnc and has not been addressed yet.

With ARD 2.1, yes you sacrafice some performance, but when multiple users are logged in on the same machine, ARD will allow you to interact with the current logged in user and switch to another user (with a disconnect in the middle).

OSXVNC will show the screen of the current logged in user, but if OSXVNC was started on a user who's profile is in the background (due to Fast User Switching), your vnc viewer will lock up -- BUMMER. If the current logged in user is the one who started the OSXVNC service, then OSXVNC will continue to work as intended.

Still, ARD is the winner for me, because it handles both scenarios. ARD is my new vnc server of choice. Way to go Apple!



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Fast User Switching - ARD wins!
Authored by: WAW401 on Oct 17, '04 01:38:17PM

I've had success w/ OSXvnc by setting "-restartonuserswitch Y" in the startup script. I forget if the OSXvnc GUI lets you set that, but it is an option in /Library/StartupItems/OSXvnc/OSXvnc.

As you mentioned, there is a disconnect in the middle.



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: scarabic on Oct 17, '04 02:37:14PM

Anyone recommend a Windows VNC viewer that will connect? RealVNC has struck out...



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: jmdevaney on Oct 17, '04 10:09:22PM

TightVNC seems to do the job

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Jdevaney



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View ARD Mac from Windows
Authored by: dkla2000 on Jan 26, '05 11:00:11PM

> Anyone recommend a Windows VNC viewer that will
> connect? RealVNC has struck out...

I have this same problem. I can't seem to connect to a Mac running ARD Client (i.e., the VNC Server) at all. Just garbage on the screen for only about 20-30 pixels and then nothing. I have tried many VNC Viewers on Windows to no avail.

Any suggestions (beyond just installing OSXVNC on my Mac)?

Thanks.



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: dave1212 on Oct 18, '04 12:47:45AM

This is really sweet, but only seems to work with Chicken of the VNC, not any of the others.

Unfortunate, but usable for now. My dual monitors (not matching, mind you, one 19-inch and one 15-inch) can now be accessed properly, this is great.

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______
http://www.68kmla.ca/



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: MarvinJ920 on Oct 18, '04 10:49:51AM

I recently updated my 10.2 machine the ARD Client 2.1, and the machine can no longer run headless. When you attempt to view or control the machine using ARD Admin 2.1 the window expands to the correct size but continually looses connection. All other ARD functions work properly. Once a monitor is plugged in from startup of the machine, everything including view & control work properly.

Has anyone else had this issue?
Is it possible to control an ARD 2.0 Client with ARD 2.1 Admin Software?

---
-- Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, You could miss it! --



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Problems with older Macs running headless
Authored by: colinng on Feb 18, '05 02:06:04PM

Not related to VNC, but to anyone running a G3/G4 PowerMac headless.

I've been having problems with 10.3.4 thru 10.3.8 on a G4 tower (533MHz) running headless. Machine will lock up after < 1 minute of remote control using any of ARD, VNC, or Timbuktu 7. It locks up on its own without remote control in < 1 hour.

I found that connecting a monitor during bootup solves the problem. The fix does not survive a soft restart though. You can remove the monitor after the Login Window appears.

I've ordered a gHead adapter from www.griffintechnology.com and I'll post with results when it arrives. The adapter because fools older ATI video cards into thinking there is a display, and it has a passthrough for a display as well.

Just thought I'd let you know so you don't hunt down the wrong issue.



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: SJSW on Nov 01, '05 01:07:23PM

Tried it on my G5 with dual displays - controlling from Chicken of the VNC on an iBook - and just get connection refused all the time, tried different ports, etc. but no luck - anyone have any pointers?

Cheers

SJ



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Install and use Apple's free dual-screen VNC server
Authored by: SJSW on Nov 01, '05 01:17:24PM

Restarted the sharing server and it works superbly - I withdraw my previous comment above :)



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Security?
Authored by: osxpounder on Oct 21, '04 05:29:48PM

Until this release, I would wait to start the VNC server until I had used SSH to connect to the Mac, then start OSXVNC from the command line. When finished with VNC, I'd quit the server before logging out of the SSH connection.

What are your feelings about the security of leaving this ARD VNC server up when you're not using it? I'm no security expert, but the precautions I take seem reasonable. Trouble is, I use two monitors and would really like to see both over a VNC connection.

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osxpounder



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Security?
Authored by: osxpounder on Oct 21, '04 05:58:10PM

I tried editing com.apple.sharing.firewall.plist, which has a clearly labeled entry for the ports used by ARD. I tried changing the default port 5900 to a non-standard one, and saved the file. I reloaded the file to ensure that my change was saved. Nevertheless, VNC is still being served on port 5900, and not on my specified port. I confirmed this by connecting via a VNC client from another machine. It worked for their port #, but not mine. After trying, I looked again -- yep, the port I specified is still in the .plist file.

And, btw, I did have the firewall open on that port.

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osxpounder



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Security?
Authored by: osxpounder on Oct 24, '04 01:52:28AM

OK, I'm carrying on this conversation by myself, but someday, someone will care to know this: the AppleVNC server, found in:

/System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/AppleVNCServer.bundle/Contents/MacOS/

... only takes an 8-character password. More characters are a waste; it only looks at the first 8.

Also, I can't find a way to get AppleVNCServer to tell me if it has any command line switches. /? and /help did nothing.

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--
osxpounder



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re: Security?
Authored by: nicksay on Oct 24, '04 04:51:23AM

in reply to editing the com.apple.sharing.firewall.plist file...

As far as I can tell, that is a file that is generated/updated by the Sharing Preference Pane when you make changes. Then, I think, the Pane calls the "firewalltool" program, located in "/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/NetworkConfig.framework/Versions/A/Resources/". This tool, I think, flushes the ipfw rules, adds a default restrictive set of rules, then adds "allow" rules for each port listed in the com.apple.sharing.firewall.plist file.

I deduced this from the "NetworkExtensions" StartupItem, located in "/System/Library/StartupItems/NetworkExtensions/".

So, to summarize, changing the port in that plist file will only change the firewall entry, not the VPN server.



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How to make it secure
Authored by: mace on Dec 25, '04 01:57:54PM

The secure way to do this is to forward VNC through SSH.

I don't know exactly how the VNC protocol works, but I'll bet that it transmits everything in the clear, including your login password. Any observer could catch things you type or things that the screen shows.

How do you do this? You run the VNC server continuously, but block VNC at the firewall. Then, to use VNC, you add the option -L 5900:remote.ip.address:5900 to the ssh command. You can also use ~C during an established SSH connection to create the tunnel. Then, you tell the client to connect to localhost instead of the remote computer's IP address.

This way, only someone who can log in via SSH can use the VNC server, and all of the traffic is encrypted.

Also, I think OSXVnc has an option to only accept connections that have been forwarded through SSH.



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VNC Client Compatibility
Authored by: jonathanberger on May 05, '08 12:50:27AM

Reply to this thread with notes about which VNC clients can be used to connect to the server enabled by this hint.

I have been unable to get the Leopard built-in Screen Sharing application to work with this hint, but Chicken of the VNC is able to work.



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