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Is there a remote desktop solution to control a Mac that behaves like Microsoft Remote Desktop for multiple monitors?

When you use Microsoft Remote Desktop Client to connect to a Windows machine from a Mac (the opposite of what I'm looking for), you're able to use the remote machine in full screen, with 1:1 resolution on all of the client's displays. If you have 2 monitors on the client, no problem. 3 monitors, no problem either. It doesn't matter what physical monitors exist on the server because the remote desktop session is creating virtual displays vs controlling the physical displays that are connected to the client.

Requirements:

  • Connection will use all monitors on the client at the client's resolution without scaling
  • Use all monitors on the client even if resolutions and number of monitors on the client differs from the server

Nice to have:

So far, I've been unable to find something that provides this full screen multi-monitor experience that makes it feel like you're really sitting at the remote machine. Most solutions that are multi-monitor aware require you to manually switch between displays on the remote side or they give you one huge window with all the displays on it - making it near impossible to work with if you have a client with 3 randomly sized monitors.

TeamViewer looks like you can split each monitor out to its own window, but it doesn't seem like you can match the number of monitors and resolutions that the client has. Perhaps this is extra tricky with OS X, but hopefully there's something out there!

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You might try RealVNC. You can certainly use multiple monitors on the client machine - see the RealVNC documentation here: https://support.realvnc.com/knowledgebase/article/View/379/6/how-do-i-map-multiple-vnc-viewer-monitors-to-multiple-vnc-server-monitors

But beyond that, your question is a little confusing. You don't want scaling, but if your client's physical monitors are not the same resolution as the server's physical monitors, it will be impossible to display the server's physical monitors without scaling or cropping or panning or something like that to get one size screen to map to another. Therefore, I'm assuming you don't care about actually mirroring the server's physical monitors, rather you want virtual displays on the server that match the physical monitors connected to your client. (If that's not right, you might want to clarify your question.)

I think RealVNC can do this if you use a "virtual display" on the server. This is the default on Linux, but not on Mac or Windows. Look at this similar question and answer: Mac, VNC and multiple monitors

The keyboard mapping should be no problem for RealVNC.

Good luck.

Duncan

  • I think your clarification of virtual monitors hits what I'm looking for spot on. I updated the question a little to reflect this. I tried RealVNC, but it still seems like it depends on the physical displays. The link you posted mentioned 1:1 mapping in particular or support.realvnc.com/knowledgebase/article/View/341/12/… mentions displaying a particular monitor. I saw a few mentions of irapp by coderebel that looked interesting, but they seem to have just gone bankrupt. Terminal services seems to be what I want. – jon_wu Aug 23 '16 at 18:28
  • If you think my answer is "spot on", please give it an upvote. Thanks. – Duncan Oct 6 '16 at 16:10
  • Unfortunately, I can't upvote due to my reputation. I didn't mark it as an answer because RealVNC can't support virtual monitors and requires a 1:1 mapping. – jon_wu Oct 6 '16 at 22:09

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