My MBP screen is broken and fixing will take time. Meanwhile I want to be able to switch it on and login to that machine. I can temporarily higher low resolution screen to login and would like to get local IP and do something like Windows Remote desktop, i.e. Work completely on same Mac but from my Ubuntu Box.

Is there a way I can accomplish this? Commercial cases are ruled out as this is going to be temporary fix.

  • 1
    See also apple.stackexchange.com/questions/84221/…
    – lhf
    Commented Oct 13, 2021 at 16:27
  • If you haven't enabled remote connections already, then no. You can't just blast your way in. The 'quick, temporary' method would be to hook it up to an external display.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 11:54
  • 1
    That is what I did. Hooked to temp screen and did the thing. See the answer Commented Oct 16, 2021 at 21:39

2 Answers 2


So here is what I ended doing. I hooked the machine to temp screen, checked local IP address (It was connected to the router), and noted it down. The I enabled VNC screen sharing. You can search screen sharing in Preferences Window. After enabling it on Mac I was done with the first part.

The second part was to setup the Ubuntu Box. I installed Remmina, client for multiple Protocols, available for free. In Remmina, I connected via VNC protocol, typed in the IP and connected.

Everything worked beautifully!


Macs don't act as a target for Windows Remote Desktop. But, like all Un*x systems, they do or can support "XWindows/Xorg" which is also what's used by Linux.

"XWindows/Xorg" is actually a quite-interesting client/server windowing strategy which your Linux box actually uses all the time even though you don't see it. (Macs usually use other strategies but still support it to allow some applications to run.) Client and server are exchanging drawing commands, which allow the client to create the imagery that the server instructs it to produce. So, you can run a "GUI session" against a "headless" server that doesn't have a graphics card.

If the target machine is Windows, then MS Remote Desktop clients are available for MacOS or Linux. The "Remote Desktop" protocol is actually much more cumbersome, akin to "screen scraping," and involves the exchange of bitmaps.

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