PC-to-MAC Remote Access

Discussion in 'macOS' started by krujap777, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. krujap777 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    #1
    I work for a company that supplies remote support to client networks. We just recently acquired our first MAC clients and are looking for a cheap (free) solution that will allow remote access to the MAC machines from our Windows machines. I'm aware of Timbuktu (costly) and some other services (realVNC, OSXvnc) but am still in search for the best choice.

    If someone could recommend one based on personal experience I'd be much obliged. Also if some light could be shed on realVNC and OSXvnc and whether they really are cross-platform compatible would be helpful. I've heard both Yes and No on the matter.

    Objective: FREE or VERY CHEAP remote desktop access program that will allow a Windows machine to control a MAC machine.
     
  2. strydr macrumors 6502

    strydr

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    SoCal
    #2
    VNC all the way

    VNC works great. I use it the other way around. I use my powerbook to take control of other's PC's. I also use VNC to control my headless Mac Mini. I am using Chicken of the VNC on the Mac, but if you're going to dial into the Mac, just enable "Apple Remote Desktop" in the "Sharing" Pref. pane, and select "access Priv." to enable VNC support. then use your favorate VNC client for the PC. Let me know if you need more details.

    PS, its Mac, not MAC- (MAC- as in MAC Address)- "trying to not be nit picky, but....."
     
  3. MacAficionado macrumors 6502

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    #3
    As far as I know all you have to do is have the remote desktop client, turn on Remote Login in the Sharing preferences, and login via SSH.

    Something like that.
     
  4. strydr macrumors 6502

    strydr

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    #4
    But that won't get you to the user's desktop. You can SSH in to get files/put files, but if you need to support a user having problems, VNC is the choice (unless you have 2 Apples- then use Apple's Remote Desktop) to "see" what the user is doing wrong. I support several work sites, and several hundred users with VNC. For what you need, it is the best (cheep-free) choice for you.
     
  5. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    As noted, you have 2 choices. VNC and Timbuktu. It depends on how many "Bells and Whistles" you want/need. IMO, Timbuktu is the way to go.. mainly for the "Bells and Whistles". But if you need cheap, your ONLY solution choice is some flavor of VNC.
     
  6. krujap777 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    alright cool thanks, im feeling better about the situation now. But we are not going to be dialing in to the Macs (hehe). Is that a problem? What I'd like to do is use UltraVNC client to connect to the VNC server in Apple Remote desktop to gain control.
     
  7. strydr macrumors 6502

    strydr

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    #7

    Ya, that sounds like the right solution- sorry about the "dial into" confusion- I really just mean taking over control.. It sounds like all you need to do now is configure UVNC and open a port on the Firewall( or VPN in). :D
     
  8. krujap777 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 8, 2005
    #8
    .: UPDATE :.

    Ok we went to the client's office today and I could not get a VNC connection going. Here are the details:

    OS X 10.3.9

    I enabled Apple Remote Desktop in 'Sharing' and set the Access Privileges. Before that I created a Standard user account with the name of our company as the account name and our password. Then in the Access Privileges I chose that user account and enabled all access rights.

    I also opened port 5900, even though I figured enabling Apple Remote Desktop would open it anyway.

    From a Windows machine I tried connecting to the Mac's IP address with Windows Remote Desktop and UltraVNC. No luck.

    I understand for me to connect to the Mac from Windows, the Mac needs to be the VNC Server. This is what I found on the OS X 10.3 page at apple.com; "Mac OS X includes the Apple Remote Desktop client software so you can manage computers on your network."

    I downloaded what I thought was Apple Remote Desktop ADMIN 2.2 at the time, but it turned out to be the update. After opening, it said there was no Apple Remote Desktop Admin on the computer to update.

    I'm not sure what version of ARD is on OS X 10.3, but it appears that there is no VNC server, just a client. If there is in fact a free ARD Admin download, I'd greatly appreciate it if someone could point me in the right direction.

    Lastly, I've been checking out RealVNC and OSXvnc. OSXvnc seems to be a viable option for a Mac server. I checked out the RealVNC downloads and did not see a Mac version, but there is UNIX download. Would that be functional in a Mac environment? I don't know much about the Mac system, but I've read it's built on a UNIX platform.

    Thanks for everyone's help thus far, I'm learning a lot really fast.
     
  9. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    There is no such (legal) animal. ARD (Admin) is $299-$499 (depending on how many licenses you buy).

    I'm not sure VNC was included in ARD clients before v2. If so, there should have been a checkbox "VNC viewers may control screen with password:". You need to check that box and enter a password. The access privs that you turned on ONLY have to do with ARD, not with VNC. All VNC will allow you to do is control/view a remote computer.

    If you have VNC turned on properly via ARD, then I suggest just turning OFF the firewall and checking again to see if you can connect, then working backwards from there.

    Finally, AFAIK, this is the only VNC Server for Mac OS X: http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/16699
     
  10. krujap777 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 8, 2005
    #10
    Thanks yellow. I've been doing some more research and here is what I found. This is off of Apple's ARD Admin Guide:

    To allow VNC access (I'll be skipping certain obvious steps):

    -Select Apple Remote Desktop in 'Sharing'
    -Click Access Privileges
    -Select "VNC viewers may control screen with the password"
    -Enter a VNC password

    ARD 1.2 comes bundled with OS X 10.3, and what I was viewing did NOT have the "VNC viewers..." option in the Access Privileges. So it's starting to look like an update was necessary.

    I'll be going back to the client office sometime next week, so I'm really hoping to get this right and not have to kick their users off for hours at a time. If someone could walk me through the update process for ARD I'd appreciate it. Mac's Software Update doesn't include it, and I forgot to check ARD's menus at the top for any information (if there was any). If the update feature is in the menu, then it should be simple. If I have to go digging through system directories, I'd appreciate a walkthrough. After so many years of using Windows my navigation speed through Mac's has diminished.

    *EDIT: Ahh, I can simply upgrade the ARD Client (which contains the VNC Server) free from Apple! VNC Server had me thinking ARD Admin was necessary. I think that should do it. Please leave a short reply if I've got this figured out.
     
  11. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #11
    There is no ARD "update". ARD 2.x client is included with Tiger. But to upgrade from previous versions to 2.x on versions of OS X that aren't Tiger, it'll cost you $299 to $499, depending on how many licenses. If you're going to cough up the dough for that, then forget what you're doing and spring for Timbuktu, which is worth it. Otherwise, you're sticking with OSXvnc.
     
  12. krujap777 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 8, 2005
    #12
    Take a look at this for me Yellow.

    FROM: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20050429153115383&query=vnc

    "So, the first thing I did was upgrade his Mac to the latest ARD client software. This is free on the Apple site. It's called the ARD client, but in truth, it's really a VNC server under the sheets."

    FROM: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20050429153115383&query=vnc

    Here is the download link he provides in the article: http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/appleremotedesktop21client.html

    My guess was that as long as you already have the Client on your OS, the Client updates are free, and that it was the initial Admin/Client package that costs money. But it seems you're saying that ARD 1.2 cannot be upgraded to 2.1 without purchasing it.

    I really wish I had my PowerBook right now to make sure, but I don't.
     
  13. MacTurtle macrumors member

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    Jul 30, 2005
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    #13
    I tried to get this working when I was on panther. I never could get it to work. Once I upgraded to Tiger, the magic option appeared on the system and I was able to connect to it via a vnc client from my pc to my mac.

    If they aren't on Tiger, it doesn't support connections from a vnc client. I also ran into issues with some vnc clients. I think I ented up useing tinyVNC for my pc client and had the fewest problems. RealVNC seemed like it had issues with the VNC server portion in apple remote desktop.
     
  14. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Portland, OR
    #14
    I'm fairly certain this is the case.. please note the System Requirements for the ARD 2.1 update (BTW, it's not ARD 2.2).

    It's not clear to me which version of OS X this guy is talking about in his Hint. And that makes a big difference on how he can "update the ARD client software".

    I don't have any Macs that are running versions of ARD older then 2.2, so I really cannot be sure if this "update" works using the link provided.
     
  15. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    #15
  16. krujap777 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 8, 2005
    #16
    Wow thanks Yellow. Took more research than seemed necessary lol, but hopefully we're as right as we think we are. Thanks for the link, I'll be putting it to the test next week. Thanks!
     
  17. krujap777 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 8, 2005
    #17
    UPDATE!​

    Well I went to the clients office again today, updated ARD, and a connection was born! Big thanks to Yellow for his super efforts. But it doesn't end there..

    I call my coworker to test the VPN and it works... however he was unable to click anything with the mouse (he could move the mouse) because some kind of loading bar was on his screen. Either the VNC Server is laggy or it's a Mac thing or something. I told him to play with the UltraVNC settings, such as number of colors and compression methods, but office workers were starting to arrive and we didn't have a chance to troubleshoot. Any experiments we try we'll have to do before 8am when nobody else is using the computers.

    So what I'm asking for is any changes to settings we should do, or if there are any standard VNC settings for Mac connections. Like I said, our time frame is not that large, so I'd like to get a clear idea of what we should do to get in, get out, and finally be able to put this case behind us. We're using UltraVNC on the PCs btw, and both Macs are running dual-monitors.
     
  18. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

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    Jul 17, 2004
    #18
    Use the lowest color settings. Bandwidth gets chewed up fast with anything like VNC.
     
  19. baummer macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 18, 2005
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    Southern California
    #19
    Why can't they ask the employees to take a day of filing or to catch up on paperwork for a few hours while you properly configure the systems?
     
  20. krujap777 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 8, 2005
    #20
    ACK more issues

    Well, the connection works... but the visuals are not there... I've tried UltraVNC and RealVNC.

    -UltraVNC - "Please wait, Initial Screen loading..."; just stays like that or quits
    -RealVNC - Black screen for a second; then quits with "unknown message type, would you like to reconnect?"

    I've tried different encodings and color configurations (less of everything) which hasn't helped. The Macs are running dual-monitors.

    So this case for me is not closed and it's adding to the stress of other things I'm working on! What else is there left for me to try?
     
  21. baummer macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 18, 2005
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    Southern California
    #21
    That's your problem right there. By nature, VNC's were built for single display systems only. When it tries to connect, it doesn't know which display to tap into, and therein lies your problem. Try using a single display system and see if that works.
     
  22. krujap777 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 8, 2005
    #22
    Damnit! That sucks. So if I get a call from a Mac user, I'm gonna have to ask them to disable the second monitor in the Preferences? It's a pretty simple process to enable/disable the extra monitor, right?
     
  23. baummer macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    That would be my guess. I'm not sure how simple it is, as I've never used a dual monitor system before.
     
  24. Dreadnought macrumors 68020

    Dreadnought

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    #24
    You can't disable it in the preferences, only by unhooking the second connector off the back of the graphics card. Then the mac goes automatically back to one monitor.
     
  25. krujap777 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 8, 2005
    #25
    Are you positive there's no setting in the Display preferences?
     

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