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VNC for headless MacMini


mindnoise

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Hi Folk,

 

Looking to try a VNC program to help me control my MacMini. I already use the iTouch for remote but would like more control with my notebook at certain times. I did a search on the web and there are so many VNC type software claiming to be the best. Wondering if someone has done this already with any success. I have a PC notebook so I need to know if there is anything that can do a cross platform: PC to control MAC, out there?

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

Jay

 

Jay

 

Raised on TV.

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from redstone software. Connections from Real VNC on Vista and XP are flawless.

 

Also, if you have 10.4 Tiger or later, enabling the built in Apple remote desktop is VNC, without video compression, though. Connecting from your local area network is fine, but over the internet can be painfully slow, hence the installation of Vine in my setup:)

 

CD

 

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If you want REALLY easy, just setup a free Logmein.com configuration. I use it all the time remotely, but it works locally as well (at least I'm pretty sure it's not going out to the internet and back). If your second computer is a Mac, the Back To My Mac feature is nice as well and probably the fastest solution I use, but I happen to have and use a .mac account which I believe it requires.

 

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is what I have used, even on mission critical applications for remote control. The Enterprise edition has software for Macs, so you can setup the server on a mac, control it from a PC or vice versa. Works flawlessly on a LAN even via the net it's not too bad at all. Does file transfers, video setups, rebooting, the lot.

Highly recommended.

 

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Hi All,

Great suggestions :-) I will most likely only use the VNC for LAN only. No need to go over the internet for the simple remote control functions I need it for.

 

I'm a novice so I don't know much about setting up a system like this. Do I have to set up RealVNC on the MAC to control it. Or can I load everything onto my PC notebook and control my MAC from there. Any help regarding the set up of this would be great. Thanks again.

 

Regards,

Jay

 

Jay

 

Raised on TV.

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Jay, just turn it on in System Preferences/Sharing/Screen Sharing... simplees.

Mac to Mac you can also use 'Remote Admin' in preference to Screen Sharing.

 

For access from any VNC client, click on the 'Computer Settings' button in screen sharing, tick the "VNC viewers may control...." and set a good password.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Real VNC is the same installer package, at install time you choose which app you want to install. For the mac, setup Real VNC server, and on your PC, setup VNC as the client.

On the PC, there's a simple wizard to get you through to connect ot the mac, all you need is the IP address of the mac and logon details, username and password to get you going. Once connected you can resize the screen, optimise colours, all that kitsch. You can't use drag and drop from say the mac to the PC, but you could try the file transfer system in Real VNC.

The hard part is to keep track of which screen is which I find, but I'm spatially challenged at times.

 

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Hi,

I just posted a similar question under "Mac mini (2009) with Acer monitor" but it's related here:

 

Was wondering if running VNC reduces sound quality as much as running a mac mini with a monitor? I've read that the monitor requires the display adapter to do work which in turn causes power fluctuate. Does VNC do the same thing?

 

Thanks!

 

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As an experiment, try using vnc to view a computer screen which is playing back video. My experience is that this requires a lot of processor activity on the vnc server machine, enough to start the fans blowing on my mini. Granted that's not a typical use (the vnc video frame rate is too low to be useful, for example), but in the context of your best possible everything matters system, maybe vnc isn't so great. On the plus side, in my experiments the processor activity drops back to normal when you disconnect the client, so I don't believe you'd need to disable screen sharing or your vnc server completely.

 

On the subject of vnc apps, theres a very good implementation for iphone/itouch called Jaadu VNC. It's expensive for an iphone app (£14 UK approx), but works surprisingly well. Can also be used as a wireless trackpad and has some remote-like functions, for example if you have your computer connected to a tv and want to work it from the couch. (Advertisement over!)

 

RealVNC, both server and client, are free and work well on pcs running XP and below. Vista apparently requires some extra steps to enable a vnc server to run. On the mac, the oddly named Chicken of the VNC works well, and Vine server offers more control than the built in Tiger/Leopard server - both of these are free, although I think the Vine client isn't free - however vnc works fine with a mix of clients and os platforms, with only a very few exceptions. You don't need the Vine client if you run Vine server, for example. Sending special characters, eg control / option / right click, can sometimes be problematic.

 

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VNC or not, I can't say I hear any difference and using VNC (Actually the built in Remote Management screen sharing or VNC) with my Mac mini does not get any fans going? I can do it whilst listening to music, using a VNC on my iPhone and cannot hear any problems at all?

 

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So I can control a MacMini using my Macbook but do I need a router (Airport Express) inbetween or can the machines talk

directly to each other. I searched the web for answers but can't seem to find a straight answer.

 

Alan B (another one)

 

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Hi All,

That is what I couldn't figure out... so I have to install software for both computers?

 

Is there any way I can just enable the MAC screen sharing option and then download the VNC view for the PC. Does this work??? Or do I have to install "RealVNC server" on the MAC and then "VNC viewer" on the PC.

 

Thanks again,

Jay

 

Jay

 

Raised on TV.

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Sorry, that joke was so cheesy that it's an Obamanation:)

 

Anyhow, Apple remote Desktop is VNC. You install VNC viewer only on the PC. You turn on remote desktop on your Mac.

 

Do this on your Mac;

 

Goto system preferences->sharing. In the services tab, click the checkbox for Apple Remote Desktop.

In the settings dialogue box that pops up, adjust your security appropriately.

 

 

On your PC, launch VNC viewer and point it to the IP address of your Mac. Voila!

 

Hope this helps.

 

CD

 

 

 

 

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The only limitation to the free version is that is has no encryption, so potential spies can scan the network and freely interpret the packets. On a local, home network, that's usually not an issue, especially since most home networks are isolated from the internet by a router like Linksys, NetGear, DLink etc. Using no-encryption across the internet, however, poses a greater security risk.

 

CD

 

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Hi Codifus,

I'm finally giving this a go.

 

I've got the MAC to allow screen sharing and have set a password. Everything fine at this end.

 

I then loaded the VNC onto the PC. At the set up wizard I asked it to load only the VIEWER. When the set up is done a window pops up called "VNC:New Connection" and it asks me to input "VNC Server: -------" . Here's my dumb question; what am I supposed to input here??? I'm looking to connect this as a LAN only, so I figure that this is to help my PC find the MAC so it can do it's VNC dance.

 

Thanks again for digging me out of the dark,

Jay

 

Jay

 

Raised on TV.

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The local ip of the mac goes there, usually followed by the port number for VNC connections.

 

Local ip will probably be a number of the form 10.0.1.5, or 192.168.0.3 (look at System Preferences/Network to find the correct number for your mac, this may change if you restart your mac between sessions)

 

The default port number for VNC is 5900 (this will not change, although if you're lucky enough to have two screens running on your mac, you would use 5901 to view the second screen).

 

Put the two together and you get (for example):

10.0.1.5:5900

 

Some VNC viewers will assume the ":5900" part, so you may not need to type that bit in.

 

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On your Mac, goto system prefs->network. Look at the built-in ethernet configuration. Take note of the IP address......that's your Mac's IP address on your local area network (LAN)

 

Now, on the PC, in VNC viewer, type in that IP address and hit enter. VNC by default uses port 5900 and you can leave that part out.

 

When you hit enter, the screen of the Mac should pop up.

 

Hope this helps

 

CD

 

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Hi All,

I tried this last night and got it to work. I can control my music from the PC when needed. The software is a bit slow but it works. Any settings I can use to get it to work faster?

 

It's a very cool tool. Having 2 computers on one screen; kinda feels like a Russian Matryoshka doll :-)

 

Thanks everyone.

Jay

 

Jay

 

Raised on TV.

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