I have a new Mac at the office. We have a pretty closed off firewall here but we allow people to work remotely through a TS-Gateway using RDP. For a client I use iTap as it supports the gateway very smoothly. Now that I've switched to a Mac, I can no longer attach to it remotely. This is a big part of my job, and if I can't figure this out I'll need to go back to MS at the office.

  1. Is an RDP server already running on Mountain Lion?
  2. If so, how do I turn it on?
  3. If not, does Apple Remote Desktop come with one? (I already bought it but I think it's overkill)

Macs share their screens using VNC technology where pictures of the screen are sent as opposed to RDC where drawing commands are sent (primarily). They do not integrate with TS-Gateway out of the box or with any software I've seen.

On the Mac side, you need either a location service (like Back to my Mac or Screens connect client) or a VPN tunnel to get your client past the firewall and back into the local network.

Also on the Mac side, you simply enable either Remote Management or Screen Sharing as both can turn on the VNC server and allow incoming network requests to be served.

Since I put a lot of OR options in the text, here is what you need:

  1. Turn ON VNC in Sharing preference pane
  2. Open VNC ports (or bypass the firewall with NAT/VPN or ssh tunneling) on the Mac and incoming from the network
  3. A VNC client similar to iTap if it does not work with plain VNC implementations.
  • 1
    You can also use VNC over SSH if you prefer it more then VPN. Jan 28 '13 at 16:54
  • @NaWiatMac Oh so true - I'm going to add that since it makes the answer a bit more comprehensive. +1
    – bmike
    Jan 28 '13 at 16:56
  • To configure screen sharing (VNC + password) and remote login (also FTP) in the preferences pane is self explaining. The same is it with port forwarding (only 22) on your gateways / firewalls. On your client open a terminal and enter ssh -L 6900: -N User@Hostname see man ssh for the details of the switches. The ssh establishes a tunnel from your local machine to the remote (needs a working DNS query). Open in Finder <Go to => Connect with> and enter vnc:// Instead of 6900 you can use any free ports BUT NOT the VNC ports. See also ssh(d)_config/ services in /etc Jan 28 '13 at 18:36

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