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View Full Version : Remote Desktop access between Mac and PC possible?




psylance
May 5, 2004, 04:47 PM
I just got my new 12" Powerbook!!!! I have never been so excited about a new computer before. I've been a PC user for the last 14 years. Over the last two years I have slowly fallen in love with Apple, changing my PC interface (first with WindowBlinds and then StyleXP) to look as much as possible like a Mac... But we all know that there is nothing like the real thing. I have to say...wow...all that I was hoping it would be has been surpassed. This is just a beautiful OS and a it runs on gorgeous hardware. Now I'm wondering how long in will be until I sell my desktop and switch that to a Mac as well...

In the meantime...I wanted to know if anyone could help me with two technical questions:

1) I use a wireless network all the time and I was always using my PC laptop from upstairs to access my desktop's desktop :o downstairs , using RealVNC. Does anyone know if there is software I can use to do the same thing between my Mac and PC. I need the server app running on the PC and the viewer client on the Mac.

2) Wireless network is working beautifully. The only problems I've run into are as follows. I can't see the printer that is connected to my PC when I try to set it up as networked printer. (It is an HP Laserjet 5L) I can get to the server but it does not show any printers as being attached to it. The other thing is I want to keep a connection to a shared folder on the PC without having to recreate it and login again every time I close my laptop. I have clicked "Add to Keychain" but it still asks me for my password every time it recreates it.

Thanks a million for helping a Mac newbie...in love with his Mac. :p



mowogg
May 5, 2004, 05:53 PM
You should be able, without problem, to remotely access your PC from your 12 inch with the Remote Desktop Connection software from Microsoft. It's in the Mactopia part of the site and is a free download.

I too have a 12 inch PowerBook and it is the slickest thing since sliced bread. I just finsihed a video conference with our New York office on iSights. Can't beleive how handy Expose is for switching between video and PowerPoint.

:)

laytonhayes
May 5, 2004, 05:57 PM
There was a free program released by M$ a few years ago called Remote Desktop Connection. It only works with XP and I think must be set up as a separate users on the PC. I used it a few years ago and it worked pretty well. If you cannot find it I can email you a copy. Good luck

.:edit:. looks like we were posting the same thing at the same time. :)

psylance
May 5, 2004, 06:05 PM
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll take a look right now and give it a try. For all the flack MS gets, you've gotta' appreciate that they still support us Mac users. ("us"...<sigh> I'm now a Mac user...<grins><looks adoringly at new PowerBook)

iShater
May 5, 2004, 06:08 PM
For #1, another option is to use a VNC client to connect to the PC. Sounds like you have a VNC server running on your PC downstairs, download something like ChickenOfVNC to connect to it, I use it and it is pretty cool.

For the username/password issue, once you mount the drive, drag the icon to the right side of the Dock near the trash and add the link there. Next time you want to connect, just click that icon instead of using Apple-K to connect to server.

Not sure about the printer issue, I cannot print to my PC printer yet :rolleyes:

whooleytoo
May 5, 2004, 06:11 PM
Welcome to the "other side"!! ;)

As the others have said Remote Desktop will let you control a PC from your Mac - but for some reason Apple charge for their equivalent which lets you control a Mac.

VNC (in my experience) isn't as fast as Remote Desktop, but it does allow you to control a Mac from a Mac or PC. You can use OSXVnc as the server, and "Chicken of the VNC" (no, I didn't make that up) as the Mac client.

psylance
May 5, 2004, 08:34 PM
Okay, I downloaded Remote Desktop Connection. I enabled "Allow remote connections" on my PC and I am trying to connect. My Mac can't find it for some reason. I know the local IP address is 192.1682.0.2 but it just can't get to it. Is there anything I am overlooking?

whooleytoo
May 5, 2004, 08:42 PM
Okay, I downloaded Remote Desktop Connection. I enabled "Allow remote connections" on my PC and I am trying to connect. My Mac can't find it for some reason. I know the local IP address is 192.1682.0.2 but it just can't get to it. Is there anything I am overlooking?

Are you sure that's the right IP address? It looks suspiciously like a typo - if you turn on Internet Sharing on the Mac, it shares out addresses starting with 192.168.2.2. Are you sure that's not it?

Otherwise, is there a firewall between the Mac and PC that could be interfering?

psylance
May 5, 2004, 11:16 PM
I have to really be more careful when posting replies. The typo was only in my reply to this thread. An extra 2 slipped in. The IP address should read 192.168.0.2. No firewall internally with my network. I just can't figure it out. Any one out there have it working successfully?

Joshvar
May 5, 2004, 11:41 PM
It's pretty good. I use TightVNC on my work computer, and it does everything I need it to. Toggling between fullscreen/windowed doesn't work with the hotkeys it says to use though...but other than that, no complaints :)

This is my first Mac too. 12" iBook G4 1GHz :D

phrancpharmD
May 6, 2004, 01:31 PM
What about going back the other direction? I would like to access my Mac at home from my Win2000 box at work. Do I need VNC on my Mac and something else on my work computer?

whooleytoo
May 6, 2004, 01:57 PM
What about going back the other direction? I would like to access my Mac at home from my Win2000 box at work. Do I need VNC on my Mac and something else on my work computer?

Sure, just run OSXVnc on your Mac (and leave it run), and run any VNC client on your PC. There are several, I don't know which is the best, you could try RealVNC (http://www.realvnc.com/).

(p.s. I strongly recommend you set a password in OSXVnc - leaving it blank is very risky).

phrancpharmD
May 6, 2004, 02:21 PM
Sure, just run OSXVnc on your Mac (and leave it run), and run any VNC client on your PC. There are several, I don't know which is the best, you could try RealVNC (http://www.realvnc.com/).

(p.s. I strongly recommend you set a password in OSXVnc - leaving it blank is very risky).

OK - I've installed RealVNC on my work computer. When I opened it, it asked for the server name. Will this be assigned / chosen when I install OSXVNC on my Mac when I get home later?

whooleytoo
May 6, 2004, 02:28 PM
OK - I've installed RealVNC on my work computer. When I opened it, it asked for the server name. Will this be assigned / chosen when I install OSXVNC on my Mac when I get home later?

I should have said - if your home machine is on a dial up connection you're out of luck.

However, if you have a broadband connection at home with a static IP address, then you can use that address in the "Server Name" field when trying to connect from work.

phrancpharmD
May 6, 2004, 02:31 PM
if you have a broadband connection at home with a static IP address, then you can use that address in the "Server Name" field when trying to connect from work.
Cool; I have DSL at home. So do I still need to install OSXVNC on my Mac at home then?

whooleytoo
May 6, 2004, 02:41 PM
Cool; I have DSL at home. So do I still need to install OSXVNC on my Mac at home then?

Yup, the OSXVnc app needs to be running to listen for connections.

If you're paranoid about security, you could turn on Remote Login in System Preferences and leave OSXVnc off; that way you can log in using a Telnet/SSH client from work, launch OSXVnc on the home Mac, then connect via VNC.

phrancpharmD
May 6, 2004, 03:01 PM
Yup, the OSXVnc app needs to be running to listen for connections.

If you're paranoid about security, you could turn on Remote Login in System Preferences and leave OSXVnc off; that way you can log in using a Telnet/SSH client from work, launch OSXVnc on the home Mac, then connect via VNC.

I think I understand what you mean, but how would one go about logging in via Telnet/SSH client from work? And just to clarify, this would allow me to avoid leaving OSXVnc on all the time, right? And what would the differences be between logging in remotely and using VNC anyway? Does logging in remotely not allow you access to the machine you logged into? Please excuse my ignorance and educate me. :)

superbovine
May 6, 2004, 03:06 PM
these are my favorites

http://www.microsoft.com/mac/downloads.aspx?pid=download&location=/mac/DOWNLOAD/MISC/RDC.xml&secid=80&ssid=9&flgnosysreq=True

http://www.tightvnc.com/

whooleytoo
May 6, 2004, 03:43 PM
I think I understand what you mean, but how would one go about logging in via Telnet/SSH client from work? And just to clarify, this would allow me to avoid leaving OSXVnc on all the time, right? And what would the differences be between logging in remotely and using VNC anyway? Does logging in remotely not allow you access to the machine you logged into? Please excuse my ignorance and educate me. :)

The only real advantage in "my" way is that the ssh 'server' runs transparently in the background so it doesn't get in the way. Just leaving OSXVnc is fine, provided you set a password (doesn't have to be -and probably shouldn't be - your login password).

Having said that, it's quite possible that VNC sends the password clear text (non encrypted) which makes it easier for someone to grab it and log in via VNC. Hence it's safer to only have VNC running on your Mac when it's needed.

You might want to download any ssh client (a telnet client would do, but it also sends the password as clear text), open a connection to your Mac's IP address, using your Mac username and password. Then "cd /Applications" - assuming that where you've installed OSXVnc - then type "open OSXVnc.app". You also need to make sure "Start Server on Launch" is selected in OSXVnc, and (obviously) that Remote Login is enabled in System Preferences->Sharing.

It all depends on how paranoid you are. If the number of black helicopters circling your house is less than five, you probably don't need the extra step of starting/stopping VNC from the terminal.

phrancpharmD
May 6, 2004, 03:58 PM
Do I download the SSH client onto my Macintosh or my computer at work?

psylance
May 6, 2004, 04:03 PM
I don't get it with TightVNC...are people suggesting that just for the PC end? I don't see a download for Mac.

whooleytoo
May 6, 2004, 04:09 PM
Do I download the SSH client onto my Macintosh or my computer at work?

On the PC at work.

Once installed, you run it on the PC, connect to your Mac and launch OSXVnc.
Then quit the SSH client, and launch RealVNC on the PC to connect to the Mac's GUI.
When you're finished, quit OSXvnc on the Mac (which will, of course, cause the connection to drop - and RealVNC to exit).

(But as I said before, all this might be overkill, it all depends on how sure you want to be).

phrancpharmD
May 6, 2004, 04:13 PM
On the PC at work.

Once installed, you run it on the PC, connect to your Mac and launch OSXVnc.
Then quit the SSH client, and launch RealVNC on the PC to connect to the Mac's GUI.
When you're finished, quit OSXvnc on the Mac (which will, of course, cause the connection to drop - and RealVNC to exit).

(But as I said before, all this might be overkill, it all depends on how sure you want to be).

Cool! I'll give it a go on Monday and let you know how it all went. What do you think of PuTTY as an SSH client for the Windows box at work?

whooleytoo
May 6, 2004, 04:17 PM
Cool! I'll give it a go on Monday and let you know how it all went. What do you think of PuTTY as an SSH client for the Windows box at work?

Any should do, I use Axessh, but I wouldn't really recommend it. As long as it works, and it doesn't send the password as clear text, it's fine.

Any problems with that, you can probably find plenty more on versiontracker.com 's Windows section.

whooleytoo
May 6, 2004, 04:33 PM
I don't get it with TightVNC...are people suggesting that just for the PC end? I don't see a download for Mac.

On the machine you're sitting at, you need a VNC client, you can use TightVNC (PC) or Chicken of the VNC (Mac).

On the machine you're "remote controlling", you can use OSXvnc on the Mac. If you're trying to control a PC, can either use a PC VNC server (such as RealVNC which comes with client and server), or use Remote Desktop instead.

In my experience, Remote Desktop is faster than VNC for controlling a PC, and the Mac and PC clients are free.

If you're trying to control a Mac, VNC is the only free option I'm aware of.

(I just double checked, and if you have the firewall turned on in OSX, it will probably block both VNC and Remote Desktop by default. If you're still having trouble getting Remote Desktop to work, try turning off the firewall temporarily to see if that fixes it?)

psylance
May 6, 2004, 05:50 PM
I've got the client viewer installed on the Mac and the server running on the PC. When I search for the local IP of the PC the Mac can't find it. Maybe your suggestion about the firewall is the problem. Where do I go to turn it off...remember, I'm a recent switcher. :rolleyes:

Update: Nevermind...I found it. Under Sharing in System Preferences. But now I can't figure out how to turn it off.

Update to the update: Nevermind...figured that out too. I love my Mac <sigh>

whooleytoo
May 6, 2004, 05:59 PM
I've got the client viewer installed on the Mac and the server running on the PC. When I search for the local IP of the PC the Mac can't find it. Maybe your suggestion about the firewall is the problem. Where do I go to turn it off...remember, I'm a recent switcher. :rolleyes:

Ah, sorry. (The problem is as OSX gets more powerful - internet sharing, firewalls etc., it also gets more complicated.)

Open System Preferences (in the Dock, or the Apple Menu), then open the Sharing pane. Click on the Firewall tab, and if the firewall is on, stop it (for now).

If you can connect now, then it's the firewall that was at fault. If so, then open the firewall tab again, click "New...", and select "VNC" from the list. This tells the firewall stop all incoming traffic, except those coming into the VNC ports (plus the others that were already in the list). Now you can safely turn the firewall back on, and it should work fine.

psylance
May 6, 2004, 06:06 PM
I tried turning it off and I still can't get through. Not with VNC and not with Remote Desktop. Frustrating. This and remote printing are really the only two things I need to make the switch to Mac painless.

whooleytoo
May 6, 2004, 06:24 PM
I tried turning it off and I still can't get through. Not with VNC and not with Remote Desktop. Frustrating. This and remote printing are really the only two things I need to make the switch to Mac painless.

Hmmm.. is networking between the two machines working ok otherwise? Can you see Windows shares? Can you ping one machine from the other?

You could try outputting the network configs of both, copying and pasting them to a message here and we could take a look. On the Mac, open the terminal and type "ifconfig -a". On the PC, open the command prompt, and type "ipconfig /all".

It's possible the subnet masks don't match up, your configs will reveal if that's the problem.

phrancpharmD
May 11, 2004, 10:39 AM
if you have a broadband connection at home with a static IP address, then you can use that address in the "Server Name" field when trying to connect from work.

So, I have to have a static IP address; I guess that's probably why I've not been able to connect. Is there no way to do this if you do not have a static IP address?

whooleytoo
May 11, 2004, 11:06 AM
So, I have to have a static IP address; I guess that's probably why I've not been able to connect. Is there no way to do this if you do not have a static IP address?

Well, there are two key requirements:

- Your target (home) machine must already be connected to the Internet, so either you have broadband, or have a dialup that's up all the time! (Well, strictly speaking there is a sneaky way around this if you have ISDN, but using analog modems, you're out of luck).

- Your target machine must have either a known IP address, or a domain name (such as something like 'obscure_name1234.your_isp.com'). It doesn't have to be static, but if you have broadband at home, it's very likely to be.

phrancpharmD
May 11, 2004, 11:41 AM
Your target machine must have either a known IP address, or a domain name (such as something like 'obscure_name1234.your_isp.com'). It doesn't have to be static, but if you have broadband at home, it's very likely to be.

will this information be in the "Internet Connect" section of system preferences?

ingenious
May 11, 2004, 12:39 PM
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll take a look right now and give it a try. For all the flack MS gets, you've gotta' appreciate that they still support us Mac users. ("us"...<sigh> I'm now a Mac user...<grins><looks adoringly at new PowerBook)

they dont support us very well... oh well, thats y apple makes superior software.. who really cares about M$? :D

whooleytoo
May 11, 2004, 12:56 PM
will this information be in the "Internet Connect" section of system preferences?

Ah, I just read a previous post of your's, where you said you have DSL.

Assuming you connect your DSL modem to your Mac via Ethernet, open the Network pane in System Preferences, select "Ethernet" from the "Show" popup menu, then click on TCP/IP. (In OSX 10.3) there should be a "Configure IPv4" popup menu. If it's set to "Manually", you have a static IP address. I imagine, since you have DSL, it will be.

If your DSL modem connects to your Mac via USB, I'm guessing it should show up in the same location - I've never used a USB DSL modem.

If you're looking for the host/domain name, the easiest way is to open the Sharing pane, and click on any of the services that are running (e.g. Personal Web Sharing). At the bottom of the pane, it will show either the hostname (or an IP address if there's no hostname specified) of your machine.

phrancpharmD
May 11, 2004, 01:51 PM
Ah, I just read a previous post of your's, where you said you have DSL.

Assuming you connect your DSL modem to your Mac via Ethernet, open the Network pane in System Preferences, select "Ethernet" from the "Show" popup menu, then click on TCP/IP. (In OSX 10.3) there should be a "Configure IPv4" popup menu. If it's set to "Manually", you have a static IP address. I imagine, since you have DSL, it will be.

If your DSL modem connects to your Mac via USB, I'm guessing it should show up in the same location - I've never used a USB DSL modem.

If you're looking for the host/domain name, the easiest way is to open the Sharing pane, and click on any of the services that are running (e.g. Personal Web Sharing). At the bottom of the pane, it will show either the hostname (or an IP address if there's no hostname specified) of your machine.


Thanks for the instructions. My DSL modem is connected to my AirPort (Snow) base station via ethernet. I'll look for that info and try again tomorrow. Thanks for your help!