iPad as a monitor for "headless" Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by KettyKrueger, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. KettyKrueger macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2007
    Hey all,

    With the announcement of the new Mini's, I'm considering selling my MBP and ATV and replacing them with a new Mini and iPad.

    My wife already has an iPad so it would be great to solely control the Mini with our iPads but do you new a keyboard and mouse for initial installation or at any point after? It really would be a waste of money to have to buy them just to get the thing running.

    Is there an app out there that can act a full BT keyboard if need be? Rowmote looks pretty sweet for day-to-day use.

    That said, I don't think the Mini would get much use, the iPads would be our main net/mail/cal/etc companions, the Mini would simply be the mothership, holding all our music, videos, etc. I still need a full computer for all my photo and home movie editing, otherwise I'd consider a beaten up old powerbook or iBook.

    Also, what would be the advantage of getting OSX Server? If it helps, we have no other computers in the house, only 2 iPhones and 2 iPads (potentially).

    Thanks for the input.
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    AFAIK, all the apps that let you control a Mac from an iPhone / iPad / other computer need some initial configuration -- either activating settings to allow remote desktop in some cases or installing a server app on the Mac (for the programs like AirMouse).

    The easiest solution would probably be to borrow any old USB keyboard and mouse from somewhere (friend, work, etc). OS X supports remote install/config over the network, I believe, so in principle I think you can configure the Mini from the MBP, but it's probably a lot more complicated than borrowing a mouse and keyboard for half an hour....
  3. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    I bought a cheap keyboard/mouse from Best Buy to complete my config. OS X Server would be a waste, but if you need more disk, it may be worth getting the server model.

    You might ask your place of employment if you can borrow the keyboard/mouse for an evening.
  4. KettyKrueger thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2007
    Thanks for the quick replies.

    I was afraid that would be the case. I guess it's not that much of an issue.

    Having read the OSX Server page at Apple, I agree that's a waste in my case. I don't particularly need the additional hard drive at this point, all of my stuff comfortably fits on a 500GB HDD, in fact it's only half full.

    Thanks again for the replies.
  5. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2007
    A physical KB & Mouse are handy to have. Get the cheapest USB ones you can.

    If you have another Mac (or any computer really) you can turn on screen sharing and use that for occasional use too.

    My HTPC mini doesn't have a Mouse and KB attached, but I have had to go in via Screen Sharing to reboot or download the latest remote mouse software. I picked up a mini Lenvo wireless kb/mouse combo thing, but haven't needed to use it yet.
  6. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    iPad as a monitor for "headless" Mini?

    I want to use the new Mini purely as a music/movie server. Can I use my iPad as a monitor? I just need to be able to control the Mini. I don't want to jailbreak the iPad.
  7. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2009
    The Waste
    I currently use the iTeleport iPad app to control my MacBook Pro remotely. I'm about to buy a new Mac Mini and do the same thing. The program works well, though the display on the iPad is fairly choppy. It does what I need it to do, but it should not be considered a true replacement for a monitor. You can't, for example, open up Safari on the iPad and watch a flash video -- the lag is simply too much. For server purposes though, it should be fine. You can initiate downloads, move files, etc. with relative ease.
  8. qwerty808 macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2010
    yes, but controlling the computer via vnc is not much fun.
  9. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    I have LogMeIn installed on the iPad. It's choppy.
  10. LeeTom macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    You can setup the Mac Mini Server without a keyboard or mouse!

    You just put the Server Admin Tools DVD that comes with it in your MacBook Pro and run the Server Admin app. Go up to Server... Set Up Remote Server.

    This will open the Server Assistant, and you can do a remote setup, and turn on Screen Sharing and all that jazz so you can manage it from your MacBook Pro. Pretty handy. I think you need the last 8 characters of the hardware serial number or something, but it's all explained in the manual that comes with the Mac Mini Server.

    Lee Tom
  11. bob1 macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2007
    I plan on doing the mini + pad combination.

    For home use over the wireless router I think the iTeleport solution will do and for portability it's best (so far) to create an ad-hoc network and connect the iPad (automatic log in enabled on the mini).

    A cable + App solution for E/A would be a dream come true.
    This could seriously move some more people from buying a notebook to buying the mini + iPad combination.

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