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Another VNC viewer alternative Apps
I thought I'd share what I feel to be the best VNC viewer for the Mac. It's not mentioned in many reviews, but I've been happily using the Windows version for many years. The viewer is VNCViewer from RealVNC, from the Enterprise Edition of their product. The server that runs on the Mac does require a paid license key, however the viewer is free!

The viewer has lots of goodies, such as file transfers (via copy/paste), desktop scaling, and of course, encryption when paired with the RealVNC Enterprise Server. It also has a 'listener' mode, so you can accept incoming viewing requests from the machines you support to traverse firewalls, etc.

[robg adds: To get the viewer, you'll need to download the ">Enterprise Edition demo, then run the installer. Inside the installer, you can do a custom install that installs only the viewer. This worked reasonably well for me on machines running Vine Server, though some features didn't work. I also had occasional issues getting mouse clicks to be recognized -- I suspect that I'd get better results with the RealVNC server, but haven't had a chance to test it yet.]
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Another VNC viewer alternative
Authored by: g16l on Oct 11, '07 08:03:10AM

The viewer is available separately on their download page.

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Another VNC viewer alternative
Authored by: cdfmrl on Oct 11, '07 11:29:42AM

If you're talking about the "Free Edition", it seems that it isn't available for OS X.

If the viewer available works in Listener mode (and hence with something like UltraVNC's SingleClick) I'm going to be very happy!

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Another VNC viewer alternative
Authored by: werikblack on Oct 11, '07 08:12:00AM
The viewer is not free for general use. It's free to download, but you are only licensed to use it if you use it with one of the RealVNC products. Just because it's not serialized or time-limited doesn't mean that you're not violating the license. From the viewer license agreement:

The Software is to be used in conjunction with at least one licensed copy of VNC Server Enterprise Edition or of any other RealVNC Server product explicitly stated to qualify for use with the Software ("the Server").

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Another VNC viewer alternative
Authored by: robogobo on Oct 12, '07 03:39:07AM

are you serious? you read that stuff?

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Another VNC viewer alternative
Authored by: werikblack on Oct 19, '07 12:28:59PM

Yeah, sadly. I'm a computer technician and can pick out the useful information in a license in seconds, generally. Most of the stuff is legalese, so you just need to know which area to look for, and most read pretty much the same. You wouldn't believe (or maybe you would) how many people believe that everything is a "site license." Explaining volume license versus standard per-seat, upgrade (throw away the original), and OEM is a pain at times.

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Another VNC viewer alternative
Authored by: diamondsw on Oct 11, '07 08:15:32AM
While it's still in early development, I can highly recommend JollysFastVNC. It's very fast, and works quite well, especially with Mac servers. Give it a try (and forgive the icon!).

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Another VNC viewer alternative
Authored by: mike3k on Oct 11, '07 10:04:08AM

I second this. I've been using ChickenOfTheVNC for several years, but I've switched to JollysFastVNC. It's by far the fastest VNC viewer and it's very stable.

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…unless you use vi
Authored by: SeanAhern on Oct 11, '07 11:49:41AM

Jollys is good, but if you use fullscreen and vi, you're in for a world of hurt. Hitting ESC while in fullscreen mode drops you out of fullscreen mode. A bit of a pain. I use fullscreen Chicken of the VNC for this.

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Another VNC viewer alternative
Authored by: patniemeyer on Oct 11, '07 03:52:37PM

I have started using JollysFastVNC because it's very lightweight and doesn't hog cpu when it's not doing anything. My only complaint is that it's not very mature when it comes to key bindings. e.g. command-Q quits a remote application, but command-W closes the local JFVNC window. (this is maddening ;) )

- Pat

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JollysFastVNC Close menu patch
Authored by: dean_muc on Oct 13, '07 01:56:51AM
If you have the Apple Developer Tools installed you can change JollyFastVNC's 'close window' keyboard shortcut very easily:

right click on the application
choose '"Show Package Contents'
navigate to
double clicking on the MainMenu.nib will open the file in the Interface Builder
double click on the MainMenu in the MainMenu.nib (English) window
click 'Window'
double click on 'W'
press the new shortkey (I use command-shift-W)
save the changes and quit the Interface Builder

Now you can close remote windows using command-w and JollysFastVNC windows using command-shift-w.

I have placed the modified nib file on my server so you can just copy it to to apply the change mentioned above.

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Another VNC viewer alternative
Authored by: amgems on Oct 11, '07 06:15:02PM


I tried the viewer. connected to a g4 machine. Took a few tries to get it to connect (kept giving me a 'error 255' and quitting). Not integrated with the KeyChain --- you will have to always enter the passwd, each time it takes a hissy-fit and disconnects.

The end result of the viewer experiment was that it rendered the remote VNC session hung (soaking up 100% of free CPU and not responding to connects). Had to HUP the AppleVNCServer process to get it to recover. Retreat to ChickenOfTheVNC.

Tried the VNC server. Required reboot to install --- hello windoze! Tried to connect locally --- server crashed immediately. The 'resurrect server' process they leave running did not resurrect the server.

Based on my experiences, I would avoid this. Too bad --- I really did want to kick some $$ to this company to support them for all the times I have used the free version of various VNC servers over the years.

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Another VNC viewer alternative
Authored by: toor on Oct 12, '07 03:17:35PM

Tried it in my endless search for an inexpensive/free replacement to TB2.

Unfortunately, it's slower than molasses over a WAN and about half as fast as Chicken over a LAN. Way less flexible than Chicken too.

The new FastVNC seems about the same as Chicken in my testing.

So far the remote speed champs seem to be Apple Desktop Remote and TB2.

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