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Replacements for the lost screen sharing Bonjour browser Network
Back when 10.5 came out, this hint about enabling the screen sharing Bonjour browser was quite popular. Unfortunately, Apple disabled this very useful feature at some point during 10.5's life cycle, and it doesn't work in 10.6, either. In the course of my travels through the submission queue and Macworld's Mac Gems columns, I've come across a couple of possible replacements for this functionality.

First, there's Screen Sharing Launcher, an open source app that lets you add local computers to a list of available servers. When you want to screen share with another Mac, you just launch Screen Sharing Launcher instead, then select the desired machine.

This is a relatively new project, and it's not yet feature complete -- for instance, you can add machines to the list, but not remove them via the GUI. To remove them, you can edit the preferences file (with any pure text editor) directly; it's named net.curby.ScreenSharingLauncher.txt, and located in your user's Library » Preferences folder.

The other solution, and the one I've been personally using, is ScreenSharingMenulet, which is a faceless application that adds a new icon to the menu bar. Local hosts will show up automatically in the menu, or you can manually enter a host and add it to the My Computers section of the menu. Dan Frakes covered this app in an earlier Mac Gems column. The site's home page also lists two hidden preferences for controlling the display of IP addresses and the number of recent servers in the menu.

If you're aware of other replacements for the Bonjour browser, please list them in the comments...
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Replacements for the lost screen sharing Bonjour browser | 8 comments | Create New Account
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Replacement: get the Bonjour browser back
Authored by: arcticmac on Dec 22, '09 08:22:34AM

The original hint still works, you just have to do
defaults write com.apple.ScreenSharing debug -bool YES
first. Actually, you can just do that, and then it adds a debug menu which will let you set it to show the browser at launch or on demand. Although when I tried, names in the browser weren't clickable - you had to type them by hand. But at least it'll show you the list.



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Replacement: get the Bonjour browser back
Authored by: lowbatteries on Dec 22, '09 09:45:55AM

Thanks for this! It truly is crippled since you can't click on anything, so its not really that useful anymore.



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Replacements for the lost screen sharing Bonjour browser
Authored by: benichols on Dec 22, '09 08:23:20AM

I've settled on creating a dock folder shortcut to ~/Library/Application Support/Screen Sharing under Snow Leopard. Anytime you access a computer an alias is saved in this folder. The added advantage is that even Back To My Mac computers are saved and easily accessible, an advantage over the other methods.



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Shortcut icons
Authored by: lowbatteries on Dec 22, '09 09:44:26AM

Once you are connected to a machine, you can grab the little icon in the center of the titlebar and put that in a folder.

I then do CMD+I on the computer in the Finder sidebar and on the shortcut file, and copy the copy the computer icon from one to another.

Now I have a VNC shortcut to that computer, that actually looks like that computer. I put a bunch of those in a folder in my Dock, and now I've got a nice visual stack of computers to connect to. Of course, this only is that cool if you have several different types of macs.



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Shortcut icons
Authored by: palahala on Jan 06, '10 03:48:42AM

JFYI: that little icon is called the "proxy icon".



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Replacements for the lost screen sharing Bonjour browser
Authored by: luomat on Dec 22, '09 10:38:35AM

I wrote up a tip in an article for TUAW which boils down to: drag ~/Library/Application Support/Screen Sharing/ to your dock and have stack access to screen sharing computers.

Only drawback seems to be that the files are only created once you connect somewhere, and don't disappear if a computer is offline. Minor though.



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Replacements for the lost screen sharing Bonjour browser
Authored by: robogobo on Dec 22, '09 03:32:58PM

The most enduring and surest method is to connect using command-k or Go>Connect to Server and use the vnc://hostname-or-ip:port# protocol. Then save the server to favorites. Even so, I prefer the Screensharing Menulet.



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Replacements for the lost screen sharing Bonjour browser
Authored by: bigkm on Dec 23, '09 07:53:04PM

I just put a bookmark in safari's bookmarks bar.

vnc://mini.local

as the address and thats it.



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