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How to access Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) via VNC-over-SSH? asks how to tunnel ARD traffic over SSH. But the answer provided does not detail the steps required to do so.

Would some please provide the steps to setup a MacBook to:

  1. Disable ARD traffic on all forward facing interfaces
  2. Enable ARD traffic over SSH

ARD must be disabled on forward facing interfaces because it has an 8-character password limitation.

About all I have been able to find on Apple's site is Apple Remote Desktop: Connecting through a firewall, NAT or VPN and TCP and UDP ports used by Apple software products. Surprisingly, Apple seems to think its OK to hang an ARD listener off the internet with a weak password (sigh...).

According to HowTo: Tunneling VNC Connections Over SSH, the remote client should be able to use the following to connect to the MacBook (this may need to be changed to port 5900):

ssh -L 5901:localhost:5901 -N -f -l <user> <server>

The MacBook is a bit dated circa 2009, but its got 4GB RAM, 2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo, and OS X 10.9. So I think it meets requirements for this sort of thing. Its going to being used to donate cycles to open source projects that need access to OS X, so I hope so.

Thanks in advance.

  • I found a reference directing me to macitguy.com/2008/11/ssh-vpn-with-mac-os-x.html, but its from 2008 and the web page is no longer available (even on the Wayback Machine). – jww Apr 10 '15 at 11:09
  • I agree with your ssh goal, yet your statement about weak password limitation is only true if you have enabled "VNC viewers may control screen with password". This option is found in the Sharing -> Remote Management (or Screen Sharing) -> Computer Settings. – glenschler Apr 10 '15 at 12:58
  • You have two good questions. Is it easier to ask as two different questions? The SSH server with client tunneling question is common (you have almost answered it yourself), but the second firewall blocking question deserves it's own separate question/answer. – glenschler Apr 10 '15 at 14:11
  • @glenschler - yeah, ARD and weak passwords may be the least of my worries: Hidden backdoor API to root privileges in Apple OS X. – jww Apr 10 '15 at 17:00

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