Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

One thing that I like about Linux is that it's (relatively) easy to use a box in more then one people a time, via gdm or kdm. Or, in emergency cases, via ssh -X.

Now I'm using the Mac a lot but I really miss that feature. Yeah, screen sharing is wonderful, but I'd like to remotely login into my machine. Is it possible? What about ssh -X?

share|improve this question
Mac has X11, if you want to run X remotely you can. Is that what you want or do you want to run Aqua remotely? – Richard Hoskins Aug 20 '09 at 13:28
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes/no. As freiheit explained yes you can connect using VNC, etc.

However having more than one person logged in use the computer at once? You can't out of the box - at least when it comes to a GUI. You can have multiple people logged in via SSH and such, but something akin to Terminal Server on Windows - not out of the box.

If you want multiple people to log in and use a GUI instance check out AquaConnect

share|improve this answer

Yes, with VNC or with Apple's (commercial, $$) Apple Remote Desktop product. With VNC, you probably want to forward the connection over ssh, since it doesn't support encryption.

With OSX 10.4 it's built in. Under system preferences / Sharing, click "Remote Management" and in there there's a "Computer Management" button that has an option to turn on VNC. Definitely set a password. :) (10.3 and earlier you can find VNC servers)

You'll need a VNC client. Chicken of the VNC is what's usually recommended on OSX, but there's VNC clients for everything.

I believe the default port is 5900, so you could run "ssh -L5900:localhost:5900 HOSTNAME" before starting up the VNC connection.

Actual X11 and ssh -X will only help with X11 applications, which you probably don't care about on OSX.

Note: this isn't a second login, this is more taking over the screen remotely. There's ways with VNC on some platforms to do a second login instead of taking over the screen, but not sure how to do that on OSX.

share|improve this answer
I don't know about Apple Remote Desktop but VNC is not exactly the same as a XDMCP request. With an XDMCP request you have your very own session. – Ludwig Weinzierl Jul 18 '09 at 23:10
Apple Remote Desktop is basically a cannibalized VNC. – Joey Jul 18 '09 at 23:26
@Ludwig: edited to make that clearer. @Johannes: Yeah, pretty much, but with some features that are useful in many cases... – freiheit Jul 18 '09 at 23:30
You're telling me something useful I didn't know about, but I'd like to login 2 times with different users and use the machine concurrently – IlDan Jul 19 '09 at 0:25

I asked a similar question over on ServerFault:

share|improve this answer

I recommend which has a detailed tutorial. It's from the Windows perspective, but bases on putty and VNC which makes it flexible to UNIX as well.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .