Vine/VNC FAQ's

[size=18]Frequently Asked Questions[/size]
For additional VNC information not covered in this FAQ please visit:


Q: What is VNC?

A: VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing. It is remote control software which allows you to view and interact with one computer (the “server”) using a simple program on another computer(the “viewer”) anywhere on the Internet. The two computers don’t have to be the same type, so for example you can use VNC to view and control a Mac OS X machine at home from your Windows machine at the office. VNC is publicly available and is in widespread, active use by millions.

Q: What is Eggplant?

A: If you’ve ever thought that it would be convenient to generate scripts that could interact with a remote VNC machine through the interface exactly the way a user can - then that’s what Eggplant is! It’s a powerful tool for cross-platform automation and testing. If you are interested in learning more about it, please visit our products section.


Q: Is Vine free or a commercial product and how many licenses of Vine do I need to buy?

A: Vine Server is a free open-source VNC server that is not licensed and can be installed on as many machines as you want to control.
Vine Viewer, used to control other computers, is a a commercial VNC viewer that you can purchase from our web store. It requires a separate license for each machine that it will be running on.

Q: How long are your trials for and what is disabled in the trial version?

A: Trials of Vine Viewer are for one week. The trial functionality is exactly the same as a full licensed copy.

Q: I just downloaded a new copy of Vine and my old license isn’t working?

A: You might have downloaded Vine 3.0 which is the newest version of Vine. Vine 1.2 licenses are not valid with Vine 3.0. However as an existing customer, you are eligible to purchase Vine 3.0 at a discount. Please use the host ID that you used to purchase your original license when you proceed to checkout.

 If you want to continue using your old license you can [download the 1.2 version](

Q: Your Vine Viewer license requires a HostID, what if I switch machines?

A: If you ever switch machines you can permanently transfer your license using our online support.

Q: Your Vine Viewer license requires a HostID, if I use my ethernet card will I still be able to use the software when working through AirPort?

A: Yes, as long as that ethernet card (which may be on your motherboard) remains part of your machine then your license will work regardless of which physical network interface you use to make network connections.


Q: Why am I getting the error “No Matching Security Types”?
Q: Why am I getting the error “Incorrect Protocol Version 3.889”?

A: This error indicates that you are trying to connect to Apple Remote Desktop, not Vine Server. ARD will only run on port 5900 so you can either:
Run Vine Server on another port like 5901 or
You can disable ARD by going to System Preferences->Sharing->Services and unchecking the box next to “Apple Remote Desktop”.

Q: Vine Server is running but I can’t connect to it/How do I configure my Firewall to allow VNC traffic?

A: If you don’t see anything in the Vine Server log then your network isn’t allowing the connection. The most likely cause of this is that your MaxOS X machine is running the built-in firewall. You can configure the firewall to allow port 5900 (or whichever port VNC is running on). Using the System Preferences application go to Sharing and then Firewall. On that panel, “Add…” another service for port 5900 and call it VNC

Q: How can I connect to my home machine from outside my home/across the internet?

A: First, if your machine is behind a device that does NAT like a Firewall, Router or Cable/DSL modem then please read the following FAQ. If not, then you need to get the IP address of your computer. It will be shown in the System Prefernces application under Network and will consist of four numbers with dots between them. In your VNC client just use this number to connect to your computer from an external network. You can also go to this handy link from the machine running Vine Server to verify the IP address:

Q: How can I connect to a machine that is behind a Cable/DSL Modem or NAT Firewall?

A: When working through a network address translation (NAT) device like a Cable/DSL Modem, Router, or Firewall you will need to setup “Port Forwarding” on the device to forward the VNC port (5900 by default) from that device to the internal IP address of the machine running Vine Server (the internal IP will look like 192.168.X.X, 10.X.X.X, or 127.0.0.X). For further details on setting up port forwarding please read your device’s documentation or refer to the following helpful website:

Once the port for VNC has been directed toward your Macintosh you should be able to connect via an external VNC client to your Network’s External (or WAN) IP address. This number will be substantially different from the internal IP of your computer and can usually be found by looking at the modem configuration information or else by visiting this handy page from the machine running Vine Server to get your IP and check your VNC access:

Q: After attempting a few connections to a RealVNC Server, I get a “Authentication Failure - Too many security failures” error, only rectified by a restart of the RealVNC server, or reboot the remote system. Why does this occur?

A: “Auth Failure” occurs when a client has “hit” a RealVNC server too frequently without a successfull login (it is on a timer and will eventually expire) there are some things you can do to mitigate it.

  1. Make sure you have password entered into the connection properties (EDIT) prior to initiating the connection.
  2. Make sure that in preferences you have availability polling set to OFF, or once at startup.

Q: How can I customize the SSH connection values?

A: You may want to modify the ssh_config file located inside the Vine bundle. This is a standard ssh_config file and so you can specify for certain hosts a particular SSH port (among many, many other things). You can read about the specifications of this file in great detail at

NOTICE: Redstone Software doesn’t offer customer support regarding this file. If you choose to change the ssh_config file, we HIGHLY recommend you BACKUP the original ssh_config file first. Please understand, making useful changes to this file is very ‘geeky’.

Q: When I boot-up my MacMini with no monitor attached I don’t get a valid screen resolution.
A: We came across this useful blog entry that seems to work:

Q: The application launches fine the first time but after that it just bounces in the Dock and never launches?

A: This is most likely because you are running APE from In some situations APE can corrupt the application bundle to the point where it can no longer function. Try adding the application to the “exclude” list in the Ape Manager preference pane and re-installing. If that does not solve your problem please contact support at

Q: Is Vine Server vulnerable to the “IntelliAdmin” bug found in RealVNC4.1.1?

A:No. We have verified that this security vulnerability does NOT affect Vine Server, when properly configured Vine Server does not have any inherent security vulnerabilities allowing arbitrary login. However, if security is an issue to you then we highly encourage you to make connections to Vine Server by using an SSH tunnel to encrypt your entire session.

Q: What encodings does Vine Server support?

A: As far as we are aware Vine Server supports all known encodings for VNC except ULTRA. This includes Raw, RRE, CoRRE, Hextile, Zlib (Full), Zlib (Hextile), ZRLE, and Tight (with optional JPEG). If you have a problem with any of these encodings or know of other encodings that we should support please send us an email.

Q: What are you looking at adding for future versions?

A: Outside of bugs fixes, on our list at the moment (in some rough approximation of order) are…
[list]Adding an indicator when users are connected
Improving International Keyboard support
Adding Multiple Monitor Support
Improving Statup Item[/list:u]


Q: I’m trying to send the Windows key to my Windows machine, how can I do that?

A: TightVNC doesn’t support the Windows key, you need RealVNC.


Q: I’m connecting to a system using VNC and it’s not very fast, how can I improve the refresh rate/performance?

A: Desktop Size- The single biggest factor that you can control is your desktop size. If you don’t need to be working at full size then set your resolution down to 1024x768 or even lower, this will speed up your initial screen load and also anything you do that impacts the whole screen.

A: Color Depth- You can also improve the speed a lot by setting your colors down from Millions to 256 on your VNC client.

A: Desktop Background- Another factor which many people don’t consider is the desktop background, Apple ships with a number of lovely backgrounds but they have millions of colors, so each time your desktop is exposed VNC has to resend that part of the intensive image. Instead set your background to the monotone white, grey or black, which is fast for VNC to send.

A: Font Smoothing- Mac OS X uses a LOT of colors. There is shading and coloring going on in places you wouldn’t even notice but it’s there. As just an example, if you have font smoothing set for a flat panel monitor your “black” letters on white actually have red on one side and blue on the other (illustrated here). This is much harder on VNC than just two colors. You can improve this by launching System Preferences, going to the “Appearance” tab and setting your font smoothing to “Standard- best for CRT”.

A: Encodings- One thing you can do is look at your selected encoding. We’ve found that for a LAN you are actually better off with Hextile, Zlib (Raw) or Zlib (Hextile) than the stronger compressions ZRLE and Tight (which are better over low bandwidth). This can vary based on your machines as well. G3’s are very slow machines at this point for both clients and servers and so VNC is pretty slow on these no matter what you do, in a LAN environment you might even consider going with RAW (no encoding) for them.

Uninstalling Vine Server

Q: How can I be sure to remove all components of Vine Server.

A: If you only run the Desktop server (eg, you haven’t configured a System Server) then you can just drag the app to the trash.

However if you have configured a system server the best way is to use the Server->System Server menu and click “Stop System Server”.
But if you have already deleted Vine Server from your computer then you can remove these files/folders:
and finally perform this command:

sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchAgents/com.redstonesoftware.VineServer.plist