Waking Screen Saver via VNC in Mac OS X

I’m setting up a new imac that is in a public area, and I would like to be able to use it remotely, securely, without local users having access.

I was thinking that a screen saver that would require a password would be a good way to get this done, but it appears that VNC is unable to shake the computer from saving its screen… so to speak.

SO. I’m wondering if there’s any way to fix the most obvious problem: getting VNC to wake up the machine. OR, if there are other clever ways to have the Vine server running, be able to control the computer unrestrained remotely, and require the entry of a password to manipulate the computer locally.

I don’t particularly care if people have access to the machine locally while I’m accessing it remotely… that’s a manageable risk.


apparently, having the computer at the login window allows for it to be secure and for remote users to connect. which is acceptable.

But, I’d rather it be more like the screensaver set up if that’s possible.

Thanks all,

Well if you login through a System Server (login), then start a desktop server to YOUR account then switch the System/Console back to the login window (or to a public account) only you will be able to access your account (assuming it’s password protected).

More details on that are available here:

Is that close to what you are looking for?

Incidentally though, while VNC can’t wake the machine from SLEEP it should be able to wake it from screen-saver mode. Do be sure that VNC doesn’t prevent the screen saver from kicking in.

Yeah… that’s how I have it set up now, and it works okay.

But, I’d really like the screen saver :).

I’m surprised that you say that it can normally do it no problem. I got no response whatsoever when I did it.

Edit: I could connect, see the screensaver, but I couldn’t bump it out of the screensaver mode.


I just ran a test where I woke (and password unlocked) my 10.4.11 machine that was running the iTunes Artwork screen saver. Seemed to work fine. It was a bit slow in that it changed the entire screen (black except for login panel) when I sent a mouse movement action.

Can you describe in which way it’s not working for you?