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Preferably free please.

Edit 1: Please bare in mind how much effort, e.g: clicks and key presses is it from download to screen sharing! Compiling a custom reverse VNC connecting app to a pkg file seems like the lowest mouse/key press option but is there anything with a few more presses that will do the job?

I have observed that package files seem to be easiest install method.

I tried and logmein but the install for both of them failed.

Once I have access I could install a permanent solution.

I would prefer a solution that fits all recent OS X versions.

Edit 2: I wrote a bash script that can be executed in 6 clicks and no keypresses, see my answer and upvote if appropriate please.

Edit 3: It looks like this question has been subject to spam by one of the less well known companies mentioned - with accounts being created purely for answering this question.

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migrated from Jul 1 '11 at 17:16

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

I've found TeamViewer to be very simple for the end user to install and get running. Once installed, all they need to do is launch the app and then give you the automatically-generated session ID and password, after which you can gain access to their session.

Alternatively, a QuickSupport version can be run from within the downloaded image, without installation. The download page also offers a button-generator, which you can use to get an HTML snippet to download the QuickSupport version. Downloading makes OS X open it, and show:

Please double click the TeamViewer button to start TeamViewer QuickSupport

Next, one might be prompted by OS X:

“TeamViewerQS” is an application downloaded from the Internet. Are you sure you want to open it?

(A similar message might be shown for any download.) Choosing "Open" will make TeamViewer wait for a connection, but whoever wants to connect needs to be given the 9 digit ID and 4 digit password.

TeamViewer QuickSupport

When done, the user is shown a TeamViewer web page and still needs to unmount the disk image.

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+1 for beating me by one second. – tombull89 Jul 1 '11 at 17:20
May I ask about how many clicks it took for the downloading user to have their computer remotely controlled? – Luke Stanley Jul 1 '11 at 17:20
@Luke I dunno, standard simple install I guess. Download it and test yourself. Then you can document the procedure for gramma as well. – EEAA Jul 1 '11 at 17:44
I want a scalable solution for all grandma's and other users out there with the minimum clicks. I'm pretty sure it's more than - say, Gitso already. – Luke Stanley Jul 1 '11 at 17:53
I don't think scalable means what you think it means. – EEAA Jul 1 '11 at 18:23

If you already have Skype, and are confident that you can use Granny as your keyboard and mouse once you can see her screen, you can get her to share her screen with you. Once a call is established, get her to go to the "Call" menu, "Share Screen" and "Share Full Screen". You'll be able to see her screen, just like a video call.

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People make for very painfully slow and frustrating human interface devices, grannies especially, bless them :) – Luke Stanley Jul 1 '11 at 22:09
@Luke Stanley I find it's pretty reasonable when you can see what they're doing and thus provide appropriate feedback rather than trying to blindly direct them to something you can't see, but your mileage (and granny) may vary. :-) – Scott Jul 1 '11 at 23:12
I just did this last weekend with my dad. +1 for people making very painfully slow and frustrating HIDs. Thankfully my dad is no computer dummy. – music2myear Jul 12 '11 at 21:17
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm using this to support end users testing an app of mine. This is the download page I made for the reverse VNC boostrapping script, it has a video download too, showing how to do it. Feel free to copy the instructions, I'll include them at the bottom.

This is the download page I made for the reverse VNC boostrapping script

On my Linux server which has it's port 5500 open to the internet, I run:

vncviewer -listen -compresslevel 8 -quality 3 -depth 8

I saved the following into a file named double_click_here_to_start_remote_support.command

curl -O
hdiutil attach vine.dmg
cd "/Volumes/Vine Server/Vine"
./OSXvnc-server -connectHost

then I made it executable, and put it into a tar file to save it's executable permission. like so:

chmod +x double_click_here_to_start_remote_support.command
tar -cf vnc.tar double_click_here_to_start_remote_support.command

and I host it on a webserver somewhere, and use .htaccess in the same directory to ensure it's downloadable:

<Files *.tar>
ForceType applicaton/octet-stream

Now it works, I'm quickly making a webpage with a screencast showing how to download and run it, with a big download button.

This has less clicks and keypresses than TeamViewer QuickSupport - and it works for free - and is even Kosha for commercial use. No lengthy id's need sharing.

I count 4 end user steps - 6 clicks, 0 keyboard presses - that is 2 double clicks, and 2 single clicks.

It could probably be wrapped maybe with something like Platypus- I encourage you to do so and share how you did it!

(I'm not actually a Mac user, but I use Linux all the time.)

End user instruction steps:

  1. Click the big green button below to start the download process
  2. When the first download dialog shows - double click the icon with a zip on it, labeled TAR
  3. Some time later another Downloads window will also show, double click the icon labeled "double_click_here_to_start_remote_support.command"
  4. A security dialog will show, verifying that you want to continue, click Open and sit back, wait a minuite for it to load and watch as your mouse moves!
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