Luna controlling the Mac, remotely

In MPU Episode 461, during one of the sponsored ads for Luna, @katiefloyd refers to using Luna to remotely control her headless Mac Mini. The impression I get is that she is using it somewhat like VNC or Screens.

When I use Luna, If I don’t first drag a Mac app onto the iPad, I can’t do anything on the Mac, from the iPad.

I get the feeling there is another way to use Luna, that I’m not aware of.

I think that must be a misunderstanding. I’d assume she meant from another part of the house. AFAICT the Luna Display requires that we’re on the same Wi-Fi network:


If your iPad and Mac are connected to the same Wifi network and the Luna Display apps are running on both devices, the connection should occur automatically. If that doesn’t occur, here are a few things to check:

  • Your iPad and Mac are on the same Wifi network

Let’s ignore that fact, there’s no point to trying to use them if they aren’t on the same network.
She specifically said that she uses it to control her headless Mac mini, which is in a closet.

Oh, sure, you can use it to control a headless Mac.

I’ve been doing that myself. Just leave the Luna Display Mac app running and you can connect to it.

The only issue is that there seems to be a bug where sometimes the Mac will stop responding, and you have to “wake” it. You can either do this with SSH or VNC, but once it’s awake, you can switch back to the Luna Display app on the iPad.

I’ve actually got an article about this that I need to finish writing up so I can post it.

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I don’t see how this is possible. Maybe one needs to have an iPad Pro.

I have an iPad air2. When I launch the Luna app on the iPad, the only thing I see is the Mac wallpaper, until I drag an ap from the Mac to the iPad. However, all actions need to be done on the Mac first.

This is the same behavior you’d get any time you connect a second display to a Mac and extend the desktop onto it. It doesn’t specifically have anything to do with Luna or the iPad.

As I understand what Katie’s doing, the difference is that for her Mac mini the Luna dongle is the only display, so everything is going to show up on the Luna app on the iPad.

The other solution here would be to set up display mirroring so that both displays show the same thing.


I just received my Luna Display and intend primarily to use in headless mode. I’ve been using the Jump app to VNC to my computer but looked forward to a higher quality display experience.

I’m confused about keyboard options in the headless scenario - am I unable to use the ipad’s soft keyboard for remote data entry? I can use my finger and pencil to point and activate menus, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to enter text! I’ve seen their headless mac mini video with a keyboard, but the bluetooth keyboard is adjacent to the mac mini - what do you do if you’re far from your computer?