ImageOnce the Mac mini is placed into the data center, Leopard provides a Screen Sharing application that works really well. In this video, we’ll look at connecting with this Screen Sharing app.

This video assumes the Mac mini is setup using the techniques in the Initial Setup video. In that video, we configured the Screen Sharing server. We’ll show where that is located in this video, but you won’t be able to connect if it wasn’t enabled previously.

And now a link to the video: Connect With Screen Sharing (option+click to download)

If you have questions or comments on the video, you can send them via twitter (@macminicolo) or using our contact page.

Recently, we’ve had a few customers write in to mention that they are having a problem with their Screen Sharing in Leopard after the 10.5.5 update. Specifically, the first time trying to connect via the Screen Sharing application will return a small, match box sized window with only black. (pictured below.)


Luckily, it turns out there is a quick fix. In all cases, we found that restarting the local Mac (the one running the client, not the remote Mac running as the server) will fix the problem.

I hope this saves others from the headaches of troubleshooting. Sometimes it’s the most simple answer of all.

ImageIf you’re reading this blog, you probably have a Mac server setup somewhere that requires your attention occasionally. For those of you with an iPhone, I hope to help you out.

Over on the site, I’ve put together a list of seven iPhone applications that I use every day to work with the Mac servers and IT work in general. You can read it here.

ImageThe whole reason I had a jailbroken iPhone was to run VNSea. This let me control all of the Macs in our data center.

But when iPhone version 2.0 came out, I updated despite losing the VNSea client.

So you can imagine how happy I was to see VNC Mocha lite. It is a very well done VNC client that let’s you store multiple connections to control both Macs and PCs. It has a real nice interface that let’s you scroll around the remote screen, use a mouse cursor, and pop up a QWERTY keyboard for use. Just set up your Mac server for Screen Sharing and off you go.

And it is also free. (They’ll be releasing a $5.99 version later that has a few more options.)

To learn more about the app, visit here. Or you can drop straight to the iTunes App Store to download it here. (iTunes Link)

ImageIt used to be that to have remote control ability on Mac OS X it took third party applications. In Tiger they introduced a built in VNC server which is convenient. Now in Leopard, they include a built in VNC client called “Screen Sharing.”

This is actually the application that is used for “Back To My Mac” or to “Share Screen” with local machines on your network. But, it can also be used as a VNC client to any machine. It’s probably most convenient if you take the app and put it in your Dock. It’s located in /System/Library/CoreServices/Screen Sharing.

There are also other ways to open the app on demand.

In Safari, you can type “vnc://ip_address” in the URL bar, replacing “ip_address” with the actual address of the remote Mac.

In Finder, you can “Connect To Server” (Commank+K” and type it there as well.

Doing either of these things will open the application, begin the connection, and return asking for your login.

(Of course, to have any of this to work, you’ll need to be sure to have either “Screen Sharing” or “Remote Management” activated in your System Preferences -> Sharing panel.)

ImageWhenever I set up a new Mac mini in the data center (or help someone set up their own to send in) I’ll always suggest to have “Remote Login” enabled whether they regularly use SSH or not. The reason for this is it gives you a second way in if you were to lock yourself out by turning off Apple Remote Desktop or Leopard’s Screen Sharing. It’s easy to do.

For Apple Remote Desktop 3.2 (all one line):

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/
Contents/Resources/kickstart -configure -allowAccessFor -allUsers -privs -all

For earlier versions of Apple Remote Desktop, Apple has a nice document here.

For Leopard’s Screen Sharing:

$ cd /Library/Preferences
$ echo -n enabled >

(Thanks to this great hint on

ImageAs Macs become more and more prevalent in businesses, it’s only natural that some companies will want to keep their terminal service setup for their office. Aqua Connect makes this possible.

Aqua Connect’s Terminal Server solution allows the Mac OS X platform to be deployed to multiple devices simultaneously. The software product allows Macs, PCs and handheld devices to remotely connect while being isolated. (Similar to VNC, but with a terminal server there can be multiple people using it at the same time with their own desktop.)

The pricing is not clear as they require you to write in with your information and needs to get a pricing quote. There is a trial offer as well.

This is the only Terminal Server for Mac that I know of right now. (Maybe someone else has another option?)

If you are in the need, head over to the Aqua Connect Website.