How do I successfully install VNC on Macs?

I’ll try to keep this short and to the point. VNC on Macs will only work –almost– out of the box from KACE on 10.5.x and up. 10.4.x does not have  (AFAIK) a VNC server built in, and therefore, the commands being run will not enable VNC, but will fail.

That said, you need to also make sure that the Agent was somehow installed on your Macs. In order to do this remotely, you would have manually turn on Remote Login, or turn on SSH, so that the agent be pushed. Some would argue, that if we’re going to have to touch the workstation anyway, we might as well install VNC while we’re at it. that’s a personal choice. For me, it’s faster to just enable remote login, and then push as many packages as I want to a bulk number of machines as opposed wasting a couple extra minutes on each workstation to install VNC on it.

So, assuming that the agent is installed, from my experience, I found out that the original steps that are in the Enable VNC Mac Setting in the KACE box will not always work, and will return a “Version Incompatible”  error when attempting to connect, even though all the visuals for setting up access are there.  (i.e: Remote Management is Enabled, and the VNC Viewer password is populated.)

In researching this, I found out that when changing the VNC password in the GUI, the Mac Keychain admin password is required, which would partly explain why the command lines within the KACE script, as written, don’t work.

Now, the next step, I can’t fully explain, but I proved it to work correctly, and that is, to enabled Remote Login. It sounds a bit ironic to remotely enable Remote Login; However, the advantage in having the KACE Agent on the Mac already, will allow you to run this command from within the workstation, and therefore bypassing a remote login.

To enable this, you would essentially need to turn on the SSH server using the launctl command, like so:

/bin/launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/ssh.plist

You can just add this line as a “Launch Program…” action in the KACE “Enable VNC Settings” Script.

For your convenience, here’s the link to the KACE kpkg of that script and the XML version (you might want to right click and save that one) , so that you can import it to your KACE box

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Posted in: KACE Frequently Asked Questions

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