Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Screen Sharing with Mac OS X and Windows 7 – or possibly any other Windows

SkyHi @ Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Today, I discovered how easy it is to share my school’s Mac OS X (10.5.x) screen with another non-Mac OS computer. I know it is not a sophisticated or such but I’m posting it here as I know this might not be obvious to most Windows user or even Mac user who often live in their own world.
My first attempt to do this screen sharing thing is by following this super complex tutorial.
The tutorial by Mark Pilgrim comes with videos and links and nice background music and such – making it looks highly reliable for beginner like me. It sounds like a very secure procedure, with explanation about SSH, man-in-the-middle and many more. However, this tutorial miss one crucial aspect regarding setting up fixed domain, tcp-forwarding and those ip related stuff that might confuse 99% of world population. Not to mention his tutorial only shows configuration for home internet with a particular ISP.  The mac that I use for example was located behind CMU’s firewall and some other obstruction, making his tutorial to be only for geeks.
I could not set up the screen sharing capability through his tutorial. :(
*swearing phase*
For some reason all the VNC client that I use, RealVNC, TightVNC, UltraVNC does not seems to work properly. The clients fails with message like: ”Server did not offer supported security type” (tightVNC), ”No matching security types” (realVNC), ”Incompatible Version” (UltraVNC).
Then I google this error message only to found out this very long tutorial on how to tweak Mac to accept screen sharing. The tutorial can be found in this forum:
In short, the tutorial asks me to perform some kind of surgery to the mac machine which obviously I was not so keen of doing so.
*swearing phase*
Then Justin, one of my research mentor pointed out that for mac, there should be no additional set up other than setting up screen sharing. He suspects its a mac-windows uneasy relationship thing.
After few googling I stumble upon one of the forum post somewhere – I forgot from where but it basically said I need to set the password for screen sharing so that those windows based client can actually connect to the mac.
Here is how.
Go to (top-left-apple)-> system preferences->sharing->tick screen sharing together with the users that can be allowed to screen share.
Go to system preferences and then Sharing
Click Computer Setting to set up the password for allowing screen share.


Port forward: 5900 tcp for screen sharing over Internet