Apple Screen Sharing


All macOS Apple desktop systems have Apple Screen Sharing enabled which allows you to remotely access a Apple desktop system environment.

If you are external to the Physics Department network you will need to first connect to either VPN or open a ssh tunnel on port 5900 to the department before you can connect to the systems.

If you wish to open a ssh tunnel to use Screen Sharing on your Apple desktop system do the following:

How to open a ssh tunnel for Screen Sharing

  1. Open Terminal window, from a Apple system this is in the /Applications/Utilities/ folder.
  2. In the Terminal window enter the following command replacing username and computername with your physics account name and the name of your computer: ssh -L 59000:localhost:5900
  3. You will then be prompted for your physics username and password twice, once for the ssh gateway and once for your desktop
  4. Once the tunnel is open keep open the Terminal window until you have finished your session.
  5. Now follow the instructions to connect to the system from the instructions for your operating system however replace the name of your computer with localhost:59000 e.g. vnc://localhost:59000

How to connect to Apple Screen Sharing from different Operating Systems

How to connect from a macOS System

  1. In Finder click Go > Connect To Server from the menu bar at the top of the screen.
  2. In the Server Address window type the name of the computer you wish to connect to e.g vnc://, vnc://
  3. You will then be prompted to enter you physics username and password
  4. If someone else is already logged into the system you will be prompted to either ask permission to share their screen or login with a new session.
  5. When you have finished with your session log out of the system and close the Screen Sharing application.

How to connect from a Ubuntu System

  1. Open Remmina Remote Desktop Client
  2. Click the "Create a new remote desktop file" icon
  3. A new window should open, enter the name of the new remote desktop preference as something you will remember (e.g Physics macOS)
  4. Change the protocol option to be VNC.
  5. In the server option type the name of the computer you wish to connect to e.g,
  6. Enter your Physics username and password into the relevant fields
  7. Make sure you change the colour depth to be at least "High Color 15 bit" and enter any other preferences you wish.
  8. click Save and then double click on the name to connect to the macOS system.
  9. When you have finished with your session Log Out of the system and close Remmina Remote Desktop Client.

How to connect from a Windows System

Unfortunately all the free VNC viewing software for Windows does not support the type of authentication used by Apple Screen Sharing. If you wish to connect from a Windows system please email and we will set a remote VNC password for the system so it can be used with the free VNC viewers for Windows

Categories: Apple | Astrophysics | Mac | Remote Access | Theory | VNC