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  #1  
Old 05-10-2011, 04:04 PM
chorpler chorpler is offline
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Multiple simultaneous remote GUI logins to a Mac -- possible?

Our lab network consists mainly of Windows 7 machines, but we do have a couple of Macs running OSX 10.6 as well. All of the Windows 7 machines have Remote Desktop services running, and the two Windows 2008 servers have Terminal Services running. We can log in to any of the Windows machines with multiple users simultaneously via Remote Desktop Connection or any other RDP client.

However, the Macs seem only to have two remote login options:
  • SSH, which can accommodate multiple users simultaneously but is limited to a text console
  • VNC, which gives access to the full Mac GUI, but can only take one user at a time (and if someone is on the Mac using it, it takes over their session)

Is there any way to allow multiple remote GUI logins simultaneously on Snow Leopard? With third-party software, perhaps?
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2011, 04:35 PM
goldmund goldmund is offline
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You probably want iRAPP terminal server: http://www.coderebel.com/products/irapp-terminal-server

ETA: It is also possible to do in a majorly hackish way using a combination of a 3rd party VNC server and user switching, with one VNC session per user running on different ports. I never really got it to work, though. iRAPP lets you use their own client which lets you run Mac applications on your windows desktop, similar to Coherence mode in Parallels. You can also connect to iRAPP via plain ol' Remote Desktop client as well.

Last edited by goldmund; 05-10-2011 at 04:38 PM..
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:41 PM
alterego alterego is offline
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The standard way to do this is as briefly described by teletype: Enable Fast User Switching and start a VNC server for each user. I recently configured such a setup and it worked just fine.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:41 PM
goldmund goldmund is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alterego View Post
The standard way to do this is as briefly described by teletype: Enable Fast User Switching and start a VNC server for each user. I recently configured such a setup and it worked just fine.
Which VNC server did you use?
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  #5  
Old 05-10-2011, 04:54 PM
alterego alterego is offline
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Good question - I tried several and only one worked. I'll let you know when I get home. FYI: OSX Lion has this ability built in - no external software required.
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  #6  
Old 05-10-2011, 04:57 PM
chorpler chorpler is offline
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Thanks teletype, I'll give iRAPP a look. And thanks to you and alterego for mentioning the multi-VNC-server method -- that sounds like how the Fedora Linux box I set up last week worked, starting a VNC server for each user who wanted remote GUI access. It's not ideal, but it works.

alterego, I'll be grateful to hear the name of the VNC server you used. Too bad Lion isn't out yet.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:05 PM
goldmund goldmund is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chorpler View Post
Thanks teletype, I'll give iRAPP a look. And thanks to you and alterego for mentioning the multi-VNC-server method -- that sounds like how the Fedora Linux box I set up last week worked, starting a VNC server for each user who wanted remote GUI access. It's not ideal, but it works.

alterego, I'll be grateful to hear the name of the VNC server you used. Too bad Lion isn't out yet.
For Linux boxes (or FreeBSD), check out FreeNX: http://freenx.berlios.de/

It's fantastic. All sessions operate over an SSH tunnel. It's super fast, too. WAY higher performance than VNC. The client is Java based, so you can connect to it from most platforms. Each user gets a full login session with their choice of desktop environments, without having to run multiple VNC servers. SSH provides the authentication as well. And to top it off, if you don't want users to have to install the client, there's a java applet to launch it from a web browser as well. It can tunnel RDP and VNC sessions as well. I use it at work for secure remote access and basically just have a web page where users can click links for various servers to connect to. Good stuff!

ETA: It's developed by NoMachine, check out their site for more goodies related to it: http://www.nomachine.com/

Last edited by goldmund; 05-10-2011 at 05:07 PM..
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  #8  
Old 05-10-2011, 05:58 PM
alterego alterego is offline
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FYI, In a home network environment VNC is faster than NX. NX's compression of the X11 protocol has high computational overhead.
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  #9  
Old 05-10-2011, 08:54 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Possible. Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chorpler View Post
...the Macs seem only to have two remote login options:[LIST][*]SSH, which can accommodate multiple users simultaneously but is limited to a text console...
SSH is not limited to a text console. You can run X Window, which is a GUI environment (common on all Unix systems) and when you do you can export the screen to your (remote) screen and hence run GUI apps.

Mind you, they won't/can't be Aqua GUI apps. But they are GUI apps.
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  #10  
Old 05-10-2011, 09:17 PM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
X Window
It's just called X, in fact. Look at the X Consortium website sometime.
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  #11  
Old 05-11-2011, 12:56 PM
chorpler chorpler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
Possible. Yes.



SSH is not limited to a text console. You can run X Window, which is a GUI environment (common on all Unix systems) and when you do you can export the screen to your (remote) screen and hence run GUI apps.

Mind you, they won't/can't be Aqua GUI apps. But they are GUI apps.
Good point. In my case, though, I want it to look as though I'm sitting in front of the Mac, not just running X applications over an SSH tunnel.

alterego, any word on which VNC server you used?
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  #12  
Old 09-05-2013, 03:53 PM
baracuda58 baracuda58 is offline
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iRAPP TS

Sounds like iRapp TS is exactly what you are looking for. Its was really easy to setup. They have two products, iRAPP and iRAPP TS. Make sure you purchase TS because it is what allows simultaneous users to connect. Just iRAPP is a single user remote desktop solution. They have a free trial, see if it meets your needs. http://www.coderebel.com/try

Last edited by baracuda58; 09-05-2013 at 03:54 PM..
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  #13  
Old 09-09-2013, 08:33 AM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derleth View Post
It's just called X, in fact. Look at the X Consortium website sometime.
X is always X Windows, and Mac OS X is always System 10, thank you very much!
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