Apple Remote Desktop Capable Thin Client

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by osx-addict, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. osx-addict macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2013
    We use a single Mac Mini Server at home for the kids to use for their homework but only one can use it at a time and I realize I can RDC into the server from another Mac and use it that way.. In looking at various VNC capable thin clients, I'm concerned about clients that are underpowered or lacking features.. My kids will want to stream audio/video from the Mac Mini server to whatever thin client they will have and I know I'll get complaints if that stuff can't work..

    Are any of you aware of any thin clients that natively support the Apple Remote Desktop connection protocol (which I realize is a VNC variant) and are powerful enough to be able to view streaming videos as if they were actually using the native server? All of these would be hardwired -- no WIFI. I've looked at things using the Raspberry PI hardware (which I gather can't do the streaming well with a VNC connection) to dedicated VNC capable clients.. Suggestions? I also realize I could probably buy some older Mac's to do the same but would prefer something not as power hungry if possible (or as much $$) as a full-mac..
  2. osx-addict thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2013
    I'm thinking that IF I used some sort of Windows based PC I could use Remotix for Windows ( since it directly supports the Mac's pretty well from what I can tell.. Of course there may be a true thin client box (e.g. a Wyse for example) that might work out of the box but I don't have any experience with such a beastie..
  3. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    So you want your server Mini to serve a full desktop playing a movie to your kids machine?
    That does not make sense, as a FullHD display demands 3gbit of bandwidth, not fitting in gigabit ethernet. The thing is, streaming only moves the video-stream, in nice HD quality maxing out at ± 50mbit.
    You better give the kids a Raspberry Pi with XBMC and let them access a network volume on your Mini.
  4. osx-addict thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2013
    Nope.. Never indicated I needed full-HD or anything like that -- just the occasional Youtube video and thats good enuf. The rest of the time they'll be using the web, running Pages or similar to write papers,etc..
  5. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    I'd buy a used Mac Mini or iMac. I wouldn't worry about power. Even if you ran one 24/7 without ever letting it sleep, you're probably only looking at $10/month. Assuming you will let it sleep, you're probably only looking at a few dollars a month in electricity and I still think that's overestimating. You can probably get something that will work well enough for about half the cost of a new base-model Mac Mini. I mean, just about any Mac made in the past 6 years will do what you want.
  6. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    Wouldn't they have access to the web directly for Youtube on their computer?

    About ability:
    My older Mini is almost the very first Intel Mini from 2006, and it can play up to 1080i video stored on my server computer just fine via simple OSX file sharing on our 1Gb ethernet.

    VPN/RDC is more if you need to run apps on the server. For instance, my office uses web-based enterprise software that only runs properly on Internet Explorer (of which there is no OSX equivalent), so when I work at home I use RDC to run IE off the Windows server at work, despite obviously having internet access at home. If you are talking about file sharing for storing homework files or playing stored video/audio, and only between Macs, just use that OSX File Sharing.
  7. osx-addict thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2013
    I guess I could go that route.. The main drawback of using an older Mini (for instance) is that it may not be able to run the latest OS which means possibly older apps.. compared to what will be used on the server..

    I was trying to do something similar to what the kids school does (on Windows of course) -- a terminal server with a bunch of thin client workstations - one for each kid.. My understanding is that the processing/UI is run off the server -- not off the thin client -- so the thin client is doing just that -- providing a 'view' of what the server is doing. I do see a few companies offering kinda what I'm looking for -- at least on the server side -- such as iRapp TS or even their iRapp client possibly for use on a Windows machine (back to Win2k)..

    I might have to experiment to try some of these out.. I'll look for a thin client that has a built-in RDP client..
  8. mfram macrumors 65816

    Jan 23, 2010
    San Diego, CA USA
    Keep in mind that if you go the thin client route, then video will most likely be laggy.
  9. osx-addict thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2013
    Is that when watching something like Youtube or just using anything? Also, is that your thought because many of these thin clients are typically on the underpowered side (running Intel Atom processors, occasionally ARM Cortex A8's or similar)?..
  10. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008
    you can still use your Mac Mini as a server, to distribute content via iTunes and shared folders. you dont even need a computer per se, just a few ipads or ipad minis. you can get cheap models refurbished from apple.

    they run youtube natively no problem and you can stream content from itunes, documents such as Pages, etc.

    there are even remote client applications for the ipads you can remote into the mini natively as well.
  11. reSPAWNed macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2013
    I have for a long time been wondering the same... Is it really not possible to have an OSX Server that thin/thinner clients can log onto and still have descent results.

    My thought is this: Use an OSX Server as a terminal server for my Windows laptops.

    Well in the latest keynote by Apple they mentioned using any display via AirPlay, even an AppleTV... So I figure it must be possible to use a laptop in this way.

    I stumbled onto this if you are interested:
    It lets even Windows devices receive AirPlay feeds, so now I'm thinking if you combine this with something like a VNC-connection, that might work.

    Please come with any comments as to whether this sounds plausible.
  12. drsox, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013

    drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    I have a Win7 PC that I use for heavy duty use and control it through VNC by an MBA. The PC will WOL on demand, run stuff as directed and then be shut down. I tried using a Mini instead, but I kept getting the black screen problem with VNC so I switched back to a PC, plus WOL doesn't work with a Mini.

    If I LAN connect the MBA then I can watch video on the MBA, but I haven't bothered to enable audio so that might need checking.

    EDIT : Just checked - no audio yet available through VNC, no scratch that idea for the moment.

    EDIT2 : Just found Splashtop Remote Desptop that supports audio. Might be worth a look.
    See :

Share This Page