Remote into a Mac Mini on the local network?

For those of you with a headless Mac Mini on your network:

I know how to ssh into a machine without a monitor. But if I set one up, how would I go about using it via another Mac on the local network?

Iirc, Back to My Mac is no more, but I assume there’s a decent way of doing it?

I’ve used Screen Share in that situation. You just need to have an account on that machine and you’re good to go.


To enable SSH access go to System Preferences - Sharing and enable Remote Login.

If you want to access the machine using Screens or another VNC client, you would enable Screen Sharing on the Sharing pane.

This link, while detailing how to access a Mac from a Windows machine, goes into more detail regarding limiting access to certain users, adding a VNC password (in addition to the usual username and password), etc.


Thanks! Very helpful!

Are you talking about screen sharing?
Turn on screen sharing on the Mini, find it in Finder on the other, then click connect & screen sharing.
(Ie what @scotte said, and I just saw)

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I use VNC server on the headless , then use VNC viewer from where you want to remote into the Mac Mini

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I use Screens + I had Luna Display connected in case I want to restart the machine and Screens is kicked out.

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For Future People™:

Finder | Go | Connect to Server…

Use the address smb://10.0.0.x to connect to a file share.

Use an address like vnc://10.0.0.x to connect to screen sharing.


Is there anything else you would want to do from a security aspect?

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I use JumpDesktop.

I’ve found it more reliable and easier to use than its predecessors: screens and parallels access.

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As I was looking into Jump, it seems that it’s a RDP and VNC client and has their own proprietary protocol called Fluid Remote Desktop. I don’t know much about their protocol but I’d probably stick with VNC as the protocol.

Did you try it?

I’ve found it a lot more reliable and usable.

I don’t really care what protocol is used, so long as it works.

Screens w/ Screens Connect is my setup. This is also great if you did want to access your computer from outside of home including on your iPhone/iPad

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I’ve tried to use this setup for Backblaze backups, but found that my network wasn’t able to reliably copy files to the Mac Mini from my MacBook Pro. Granted the Mac Mini is from 2013/14 (inherited from my mom) and not beefy at all. But it’s hardwired to a router that can get 10 gig connections. I would timeout a lot on backing up (I think I tried rsync but not sure). I did use ssh to check on things and Screens or connect to server via Finder, neither made a difference in speed. I gave up on the whole setup and just hook up my MacBook Pro (2019) to my external drive directly and backup to it while on the network hardwired. It doesn’t do anything for my daughter or wife, but neither of them store anything locally, it’s all in some cloud (iCloud or Google), as do my iDevices and theirs. But I agree with all of the above for connecting. Good luck!

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Apple Remote Desktop is great.

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