[HOWTO] Simultaneous User Environments via VNC

Discussion in 'HOWTO & FAQs' started by ScottW, May 9, 2005.

  1. ScottW

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    Staff Member

    Sep 12, 2000
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    Tiger 10.4 now supports multiple simultaneous user windowing environments.

    The Issue

    Have you ever wanted to login to your Mac remotely and access YOUR user account while still allowing another user and user account to access the console or to not display your VNC session to those who may pass by?

    With Tiger 10.4 and OSXvnc 1.5, this is now possible.


    Download OSXvnc 1.5 and start it up under your user account on a given port (5905) for example. This is YOUR vnc server port. Using fast user switching you can change the screen to the "Login Window". Now connect via a VNC client like Chicken of a VNC to port 5905 and you now have access to your user window environment and it is not displayed on the screen. In fact, other users can log into their own environment at the console so both users can use the same computer at the same time.

    Known Issues

    If a user (at the console or via VNC) switch users, your VNC connection will drop. However, you can connect immediately again via VNC and continue your session.

    In addition, running it this way, you can NOT Fast User Switch, you will always maintain the user account OSXvnc is running as. Running multiple instances of VNC on various ports under different user sessions allows those users to connect to their own windowing environments.


    This has been a highly requested feature for Mac users wanting remote access to a shared system. This makes it nice on a shared system when two people want to use the same computer at the same time and a second computer is available (no matter the platform) to access that environment.

    I hope this is a sign of something bigger coming our way that has not been released or publicized.
  2. Jon Richardson

    Jon Richardson
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    Mar 13, 2002
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    This capability really is incredibly useful (I've only just caught up with this posting).

    Do you - or anyone - know if anything similar is possible with a Win XP system? If not, this is a tremendous plus point for OSX.

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