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Setting Up Apple Remote Desktop

by Wei-Meng Lee
03/26/2004

If you work in an environment where you need to manage a large number of Macs (such as in a classroom), you might want to take a look at Apple's Remote Desktop. Using this pricy but effective software, you can easily control and manage all of the Macs on the network. Windows users probably take this functionality for granted, because that platform includes Remote Desktop Connection.

On the Mac side of the fence, however, this capability will set you back $299 for the 10-client edition and $499 for unlimited clients. So what do you get for that hefty ding in your budget? Let's take a closer look.

Client Installation

Installing Remote Desktop is straightforward. You have two packages: admin and client. You'll put the administrator package on your machine and everyone else gets the client software. Once everything is installed on the client side, you'll see the Remote Desktop icon in the System Preferences window.

Locating the Remote Desktop icon in the System Preferences window
Figure 1. Locating the Remote Desktop icon in the System Preferences window

Click on Remote Desktop, and then click on the Sharing... button to configure the software.

Configuring Remote Desktop on the client machine.
Figure 2. Configuring Remote Desktop on the client machine

In the Sharing window, click on the Services tab and check the Apple Remote Desktop checkbox. This will start the Apple Remote Desktop service so the administrator (which is most likely you) can remotely manage this Mac using the IP address shown at the bottom of the screen (see Figure 3). Click on Access Privileges to determine the account that the administrator will use. Check the Show status in menu bar checkbox to display the status of Apple Remote Desktop on the menu bar.

Enabling the Remote Desktop service on the client
Figure 3. Enabling the Remote Desktop service on the client

You can then select the user account to allow for monitoring. You can also refine the permissions for each user, such as the ability to let the administrator delete items, send text messages, etc. (see Figure 4). Click on OK to continue.

Providing access privileges to certain user accounts
Figure 4. Providing access privileges to certain user accounts

That's it! The client setup is completed. One last thing to note is that the client can send a message to the administrator when that machine is being monitored (see Figure 5).

Sending a message to the administrator
Figure 5. Sending a message to the administrator

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