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15.05.2008 14:09

Ever tried to VNC into a MacOS X box?


I had to do this today and found out that even in VNC terms, MacOS is different. Usually, running `vncviewer $IP` works as expected, but on my linux box I only got a short flicker and was thrown back to the command line:
tuxx@vi-edv003:~$ vncviewer $IP
VNC viewer version 3.3.7 - built Dec 30 2006 12:48:54
Copyright (C) 2002-2003 RealVNC Ltd.
Copyright (C) 1994-2000 AT&T Laboratories Cambridge.
See http://www.realvnc.com for information on VNC.
VNC server supports protocol version 3.889 (viewer 3.3)
Password:
VNC authentication succeeded
Desktop name "UserÔs Macintosh"
Connected to VNC server, using protocol version 3.3
VNC server default format:
  32 bits per pixel.
  Least significant byte first in each pixel.
  True colour: max red 255 green 255 blue 255, shift red 16 green 8 blue 0
Warning: Cannot convert string "-*-helvetica-bold-r-*-*-16-*-*-*-*-*-*-*" to type FontStruct
Using default colormap and visual, TrueColor, depth 24.
Got 256 exact BGR233 colours out of 256
Using BGR233 pixel format:
  8 bits per pixel.
  True colour: max red 7 green 7 blue 3, shift red 0 green 3 blue 6
Using shared memory PutImage
ReadFromRFBServer: rdr::EndOfStream
ShmCleanup called
tuxx@vi-edv003:~$

OK, I thought, let's try the Windows RealVNC client, but the situation didn't change. I then tried to play around with the VNC options and found out that the only way to connect to your MacOSX VNC Server (Screen Sharing service) is using the following command line arguments to `vncviewer`:
vncviewer -encodings "copyrect hextile" $IP

The Windows VNC Viewer would only connect after setting the "Preferred encoding" to "Hextile" and the Colour level to "Full (all available colours)".
I guess you can imagine what having all available colours transferred through a VNC connection means in terms of speed and latency...

Ideas, anyone? (BTW: This does not only happen on my hackintosh, but on a real Apple PowerBook too).
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