I forgot to turn on "VNC viewers may control screen with password", to enter on my working Mac, is there way to turn-on this feature remotely via SSH (I'm on WindowsXP now)?

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Source: http://technotes.twosmallcoins.com/?p=279 (archived)

Putty is a good SSH client for Windows.

1) SSH into your remote OS X machine with an administrator’s log in and password.

2) Enable Remote Desktop (a.k.a. Screen Sharing, a.k.a. VNC) with this command:

sudo  /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart \
-activate -configure -access -on \
-clientopts -setvnclegacy -vnclegacy yes \
-clientopts -setvncpw -vncpw mypasswd \
-restart -agent -privs -all

3) Login using a VNC client. As I mentioned, TightVNC worked for me; for some reason, RealVNC and UltraVNC didn’t. Your password is “mypasswd” (see the -vncpw flag in the above command; you can and should change this).

4) When you are done, turn of screen sharing using your SSH session:

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart \
-deactivate -configure -access -off
  • 2
    Amazing! Works! – StNickolay Nov 4 '11 at 22:43
  • One thing that Mac RD quite unusable for me (very slowly)... as opossed to windows RDC, which is pretty good. – StNickolay Nov 4 '11 at 23:04
  • Have you tried Vine Server? – StNickolay Nov 4 '11 at 23:11
  • 2
    3+ years later and works perfectly in Yosemite. Thanks! – Jordan Feb 22 '15 at 2:19
  • 1
    @Novellizator Both Mac and Linux have ssh available out of the box. No need for a separate package like you need on Windows. – Christopher Schultz Jul 15 '16 at 0:40

Here is a different way that enables screen sharing access all current users, instead of using a single vnc password;

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart \
  -activate -configure -access -on \
  -configure -allowAccessFor -allUsers \
  -configure -restart -agent -privs -all

Disable the same as before.

This allows you to connect to the remote computer from a mac using the share screen button in Finder.

Reference: http://ss64.com/osx/kickstart.html

  • 2
    For posterity: if you do this, you can also connect via /System/Library/CoreServices/Screen Sharing.app. – Dougal May 27 '13 at 20:50
  • Note that you can (very) easily launch the Screen Sharing app using a Spotlight search – Vincent Robert Nov 7 '16 at 22:05
  • doesn't work for me on macOS Sierra 10.12 – SegFault Jul 19 '17 at 14:20
  • worked for me on macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 – Fahim Aug 20 '18 at 7:10
  • Got this response on macOS Mojave: "Warning: macos 10.14 and later only allows control if Screen Sharing is enabled through System Preferences." – toralux Aug 15 at 8:26

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