I have a new macbook air 11, which I do some web based programming on, I have a windows box with a 1920x1200 display which I'd like to use to view the mac desktop and keep working at home when I can - taking advantage of the higher resolution screen and full sized keyboard/mouse.

I don't think VNC or such is the answer I'm looking for as it would restrict the display to the airs 1366x768 - negating the main benefit more lines of text on screen.

From some rudimentary googleing I think I'm after some sort of x-windows / x-11 remote display. But I'm not a Linux user and any discussion seems to be about linux > os x or windows > Linux setups. Can anyone provide a clear set of instructions on how to do this or an application that can do this.

  • It's going to ultimately depend on the maximum resolution supported by your video card. You can't go any higher than what the machine can natively handle. Until we know what that is, no one can answer this question. Feb 19, 2011 at 5:10
  • I'm talking basically about the Air supporting what I assume for it would be a secondary display of 1920x1200 - on the windows box, this shouldn't be a difficult task for any modern machine laptop or not [ignoring 3D acceleration, and talking about 2D desktop]. The card is listed as NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory. I know using display port in the office it has no issue with the resolution on a physical 27" Mac display via display port which has a higher resolution then I am asking for.
    – Elijha
    Feb 19, 2011 at 5:21
  • You can run an X Server on the Windows box, but then the only programs you can run remotely on the Mac would be X clients. That may be fine if you're developing, but it could be a serious restriction.
    – Gabe
    Feb 19, 2011 at 5:24
  • Gabe you have the direction backwards. The Mac would be serving the display out to the windows machine.
    – Elijha
    Feb 19, 2011 at 5:39
  • Elijha - the program that would have to run on the Windows box would be correctly called an X Server. Also, what kind of 1920x1200 display only has one input?
    – user7541
    Feb 19, 2011 at 5:45

1 Answer 1


ScreenRecycler should work — it creates a virtual display on your Mac which is viewable via VNC from your Windows box.

  • Yes this seems to exactly what I am after... shame their is no open source option since it is basically VNC based. I have also just found and started trailing irapp which bills itself as "terminal Services for OS X" though it is still limited to the maximum resolution of the original display - it does have a feature where it lets application windows re-size outside of this limitation and layers them in with your MS Windows desktop. A Little buggy but workable it seems... and expensive.
    – Elijha
    Feb 19, 2011 at 8:02
  • 1
    The hard part of ScreenRecycler is not VNC, it's implementing a display driver for the Mac and convincing it that it has a monitor that isn't there. Feb 19, 2011 at 8:14

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