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Setting up your office computer (Mac OS X)

Before you set up your Mac OS X office computer to allow remote screen sharing, you should configure it with a screen saver password. Having a screen saver password decreases the likelihood that an unauthorized user will be able to access your computer.

After you've configured your screen saver password, you will need to configure screen sharing. The steps necessary to configure screen sharing vary depending on what type of computer you plan to connect from. Two sets of instructions are listed below:

  • Option 1: for users who will be connecting from another Mac computer
  • Option 2: for users who will be connecting from any other type of computer (eg. Windows or Linux).

If you want to be able to use both connection methods, follow BOTH sets of instructions.

Enabling the Screen Saver Password:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Security (General tab). Put a check in Require password and select 1 minute (or some other reasonably short time period) from the drop-down box.
    Mac OS Screensaver Password

  2. Go to System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver. Click the Screen Saver tab. Select a Screen Saver and set the time limit to a reasonable number (eg. 15 minutes).
    Mac OS Screensaver

  3. Close the Desktop & Screen Saver window.

Settings to allow connections from another Mac OS X computer:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Security. Click on the Firewall tab. If the Firewall is not already on, click Start to enable it, then click the Advanced... button.

    Mac OS enable firewall

  2. Uncheck Block all incoming connections, Check Automatically allow signed software". Click OK.

    Mac OS firewall settings

  3. Click OK and then Show All to return to the System Preferences window.
  4. In System Preferences, open Sharing. Check Screen Sharing. Make sure only these users is selected and that your user is either in the list or is a member of the Administrators group (which should be in the list by default).

    Mac OS enable screensharing

  5. Click on Computer Settings.
  6. Make sure nothing is checked (this disables legacy VNC and forces the Apple VNC server to use encrypted authentication with a local username and password). Click OK.

    Mac OS screensharing settings

  7. Click OK and then close the sharing window.

Settings to allow connections from NON-Mac OS X computers:

Configuring OpenSSH server

Mac OS X comes with OpenSSH installed by default. The steps below explain how to enable it:

  1. Open System Preferences . . . and click on Sharing.
  2. Select the Services tab and put a check next to Remote Login.

    Mac OS enable ssh

  3. Close the System Preferences window.


Installing & Configuring Vine server
  1. Download the Vine Server for Mac OS X image.
  2. If the .dmg file isn't automatically mounted and run, double-click it to mount and run it.
  3. Drag the Vine Server Application (Vine Server.app) to the Applications folder. Double-click it to run Vine Server.
  4. If prompted to set authentication type, select None
  5. In the Apple Menu Bar, click on Vine Server and then Preferences...
    Vine Server preferences

  6. On the Connection tab, make sure Require Remote Login (SSH) is checked, and set Port to 5901.

    NOTE: No VNC Password is configured here because VNC traffic will be tunneled through a secure SSH connection. Requiring SSH provides much better protection than a VNC password; It is very important that you check Require Remote Login (SSH). If you wish to additionally specify a VNC password, you may do so by selecting VNC Password and typing in the password you wish to use.
    Viner Server Connection tab

  7. On the Sharing tab select Allow only one VNC connection at a time.
    Vine Server Sharing tab

  8. On the Startup tab select Restart server if it stops unexpectedly, then click on the System Server button.
    Vine Server Startup tab

  9. In the System Server window, make sure Require Remote Login (SSH) is selected. If the Stop System Server button is available, click it.
    Vine System Server window