Launch Mac VNC Screen Sharing client from Safari or Finder

Aug 18, 2010 - 3 Comments

launch VNC from safari

Did you know that you can quickly launch Mac OS X’s built in VNC program called Screen Sharing, just by typing an address into the URL bar of Safari?

In Safari, hit Command+L to go to the URL bar and type:

vnc://

Hit Return and the Screen Sharing app will launch immediately. If you specified an IP address of a remote machine like so: “vnc://127.0.0.1″ it will open to that host immediately, otherwise a window will pop up asking you for the VNC Host address.

screen sharing in Mac OS X

Being able point to launch VNC this way through URL’s allows you to link to specific servers on personal start pages and internal doorway pages, and technically anything visible from the outside world though having something widely accessible is probably not the best security practice.

Where is the Mac VNC client located anyway?

You may have noticed that if you try to do a Spotlight search for Screen Sharing it won’t show up, this is because it’s located within the System directory CoreServices. If you want to make a shortcut for quicker access, you can find the full app path here:

/System/Library/CoreServices/Screen Sharing.app/

Outside of the Safari method mentioned above, another choice is to ignore the shortcuts and use the Connect To Server keyboard shortcut that is available anywhere in the OS X Finder by hitting Command+K and typing vnc:// followed by an IP to connect to.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

3 Comments

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  1. linux says:

    So, can I access it from a non-mac and use a cheap netbook as a remote workstation ?

  2. matt says:

    Not on OS X 10.4 or 5 (or at least I can’t!), perhaps 10.6 is different, but you can install VineServer on your Mac, fire it up remotely via ssh (as root) and hit it from Linux, Solaris or Windows (I have used it from those OSes, others will work I suspect) and it will work. I’ve used it for managing XServes fairly successfully.

  3. [...] This is an alternative to using the the “Connect to Server” keyboard shortcut or the Safari launch approach. [...]

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