A VNC server has been included with every edition of Mac OS X, including Mac OS X 10.7 – aka Lion. Let's walk through how to start the server on Lion.
This article refers to Mac OS X 10.7, aka Lion. Other versions are available on our VNC on Mac OS X page.
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VNC is an acronym of Virtual Network Computing. You can use your Mac's free VNC support to remotely connect and control your Mac over a network. You can even control your Mac remotely over the Internet.
After setting this up, you can now remotely control your Mac with any free VNC viewer (e.g. Chicken of the VNC), running on Mac OS X or any other OS.Of course, you can't use all the other cool Apple Remote Desktop control features on the above screen, but being able to use a free VNC server is a nice touch! Simple, secure, ready-to-use remote access software for professionals and enterprises. Toolkits and solutions for integrating secure, real-time remote access. VNC® Viewer Plus. Lights-out remote access for Intel Core vPro computers. CoRD is a Mac OS X remote desktop client for Microsoft Windows computers using the RDP protocol. It's easy to use, fast, and free for anyone to use or modify. Macs interact well with Windows, and with CoRD the experience is a bit smoother.
In Mac OS X 10.5, aka Tiger, Apple introduced Screen Sharing to the Finder. While Screen Sharing appears to be built on VNC, it uses a more sophisticated authentication process that stops most generic VNC clients connecting.
To start a general VNC server on your Mac you need to click a few check boxes.
Starting the Mac OS X 10.7 VNC Server
- Launch the System Preferences.
- Select the Sharing preferences.
- Enable Screen Sharing within the Service list.
- Click Computer Settings… to show the VNC password setting.
- Enable VNC viewers may control screen with password:.
- Enter a strong password.
- Click OK to save your settings.
Your Mac is now running a VNC server and can be connected to from other computers using the standard VNC port (TCP/IP port 5900). Those connecting will need to use the password you entered in step 6.
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The VNC server will start every time you power on your Mac. If you want to stop the VNC server, navigate to the Sharing preferences and disable Screen Sharing.