Remote mac login and vnc server setup with vine

I’m primarily a linux, freebsd, and windows user. I know linux/unix systems fairly well, so I figured, since the mac is built on unix, I should be able to figure out my way around it pretty easily… NOT!

Here’s what I do all the time with windows and linux, and I’d like to do the same thing with a mac os x 10.5 server.

a) From a remote machine (linux, windoze) log into the server using, let’s say, ssh. Fire up a vnc server from the command line and leave it running in the background. (This actually runs an X server that creates a virtual display that doesn’t show up on any display hardware, but can only be viewed from a vnc client.)

b) From my remote machine, fire up a vnc viewer and connect to my server.

Like I said, I do this all the time, running on dozens of linux boxes from a vnc client on my windows machine. I’ve never even seen the console of these linux machines that I spend countless hours developing on.

So… I downloaded vine onto the mac, and fired it up. Can connect to it using RealVNC viewer on the windows pc. Great. But… The mac belongs to somebody else (let’s call her “judy”). She doesn’t mind if I use it, but I don’t really want to be logged in to the console. So here’s where it starts getting confusing.

The documentation says I can start a “System Server”, connect to that, and then log in from there. But this doesn’t seem to work. If I leave a “System Server” running, when I connect to it, assuming judy is logged in to the console, I see judy’s desktop, not a system login screen as I would have expected. From there, I can’t seem to log in as me.

I’m just confused about the whole “fast user switching” and “system server” stuff. I realize this is a mac world, so I shouldn’t expect it to work like I’m used to (though it is unix…). But I’m just confused. How is it supposed to work and how can I get the effect I want?

Any help appreciated!



OH, p.s. is there really no way to get the mac to continue to run with the cover closed? I find this bizarre!

So, much later the answer…

The Mac doesn’t work quite this way – it’s a “personal computer” :wink: On the Mac you don’t get a GUI session unless you are actually at the computer (well most of the time).

What you can do though with Vine Server is login to your account on the machine and launch Vine Server (on a particular port). Then you can “switch” to “Judy” on the main screen. But having done that first part you are now able to connect to the VNC session on that other “off-screen” account. Unfortunately there isn’t a better way that creates a GUI session for you from command-line.

Hopefully that helps.