Is it possible to configure or connect (with or with out software) that helps us emulate the 3389 RDP that Microsoft has for Windows, but on the Mac?

I am a Major PC guy, but I am finding needs to connect to Mac computers often to configure them. And Apple Remote Desktop doesn't seem to be simple or doable to configure. Plus I would rather use a 3389 RDP application anyway.



As far as I know nobody has ever managed to properly reverse engineer all the ins and outs of the RDP protocol.
It is notoriously difficult because of subtle differences from Windows version to Windows version.
Implementing this on another OS with a totally different display architecture is even worse, because RDP is very closely tied to the way Windows handles things behind the screens.

And you don't really need it (or Apple Remote Desktop for that matter). OSX contains a VNC server as standard. They call it "Screen sharing" but it is just a VNC server. Just enable it, configure security as desired and you are good to go.


Having once labeled myself a "Major PC guy", you will do yourself a tremendous favor in the long run to consider re-inventing yourself into "Colonel Cross Platform". Hey, consider it a promotion.

In all seriousness, an open mind will help you appreciate and understand the differences. That said, you can use VNC (many different flavors available for Windows) to connect to a Mac quiet easily. The first thing to do is enable screen sharing on the Mac and you can do this from the command line (meaning also in a script or with ssh)

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -activate -configure -access -off -restart -agent -privs -all -allowAccessFor -allUsers -clientopts -setvncpw -vncpw passw0rd

Then fire up your VNC client of choice and connect with the password of passw0rd. A tip I remember from a while back was to keep logout of your current user on your Mac before connecting. Otherwise you'd be prompted for a Mac login password after connecting but the desktop wouldn't render.

  • Thanks, I also like both platforms as there is so much more to learn. Especially as a programmer. I love being open minded. – Bill Daugherty Jun 30 '15 at 15:41
  • Also, I will check out that command if I can't get xrdp working. – Bill Daugherty Jun 30 '15 at 15:41

If you really need to use RDP and cannot use the alternatives people proposed in their answers, there is a similar question here. The two answers there are use either iRAPP, but as I understand it you must use their client as well, or using xrdp, which you may have to compile from source (I found this relatively recent tutorial for that).

  • Along this line of thought, you could use logmein.com or other similar solutions but why pay for something you can already do? – SaxDaddy Jul 1 '15 at 17:52

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