Enable Remote Desktop (VNC) After 1.1 Update

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Due to Apple removing the AppleVNCServer in the 1.1 update, if you want to use VNC on your AppleTV you'll need to install a third-party server, such as Redstone Software's Vine Server.


  • Intel Mac
  • Fugu - graphical SFTP client (or use scp if you prefer)
  • Vine Server - OS X VNC server software (Version 2.2)

(make sure it is version 2.2, it doesn´t seem to work with current version 3)

Step 1

To enable Remote Desktop on your AppleTV after the 1.1 update, you'll need to download Vine Server, and run the Vine Server app from the mounted dmg. Setup Vine Server according to your needs then choose Start System Server from the Startup tab.

Step 2

Using Fugu (or scp) copy /Library/StartupItems/OSXvnc to your frontrow directory on your AppleTV. You can now stop the System Server process in the System tab of Vine Server. This removes the OSXvnc directory from your Intel Mac.

Step 3

SSH into your AppleTV, enable readwrite, and move the OSXvnc directory to /Library/StartupItems

 sudo mount -uw /
 sudo mv ~/OSXvnc /Library/StartupItems/OSXvnc

Step 4

Ensure you have the proper permissions by using chmod:

sudo chmod +x /Library/StartupItems/OSXvnc/OSXvnc
sudo chmod +x /Library/StartupItems/OSXvnc/OSXvnc-server
sudo chmod +x /Library/StartupItems/OSXvnc/OSXvnc-keepalive

Step 5

Reboot your AppleTV by sending it a shutdown command.

sudo reboot

Your AppleTV will now reboot and OSXvnc will load on startup. You can now log in to your VNC server.


If the first steps didn't work, you can try doing it this way:

Step 1 - Installation

Download Vine Server (I used version 3)

Copy Vine Server.app to the /Users/frontrow/ on the Apple TV.

Step 2 - Configuration

SSH to the Apple TV and run the following commands:

cd Vine\ Server.app
./storepasswd YOURPASSWORD /Users/frontrow/vncpasswd
cp Contents/Resources/OSXvnc-server /Applications/

Step 3 - Autostart

Now to make sure vnc server starts automatically with ATV:

create a file /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.OSXvnc.plist (use nano or echo >) with the following contents:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<true />

If you can't create a file right on the Apple TV:

create one on your local machine,

copy it to /Users/frontrow on ATV,

then ssh into it and

cp /Users/frontrow/com.OSXvnc.plist /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/


sudo reboot

Step 4 - Connect

now when your ATV boots up you should be able to connect to the VNC server using Chicken VNC or Jollys Fast VNC or any other client on port 5900 and whichever password you made in step 2

credit: Arfore dot com

Remote Desktop for TAKE 2

taken from the forum

mount the volume for read access

sudo mount -uw /
sudo touch /.readwrite

change to user folder

cd ~

mount recovery volumes (these Steps only work if your AppleTV came with Firmware Version 1.0 if your AppleTV had a newer Firmware installed you will need to get the recovery.dmg elsewhere)

sudo dd if=/dev/disk0s2 of=recovery.dmg bs=1m
sudo hdiutil mount recovery.dmg
sudo hdiutil mount /Volumes/Recovery/OS.dmg

Copy the Remote Management programs, and some extra perl stuff

sudo cp -pr /Volumes/OSBoot\ 1/System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement
sudo cp -pr /Volumes/OSBoot\ 1/System/Library/Perl/ /System/Library/Perl/
sudo cp -pr /System/Library/Perl/Extras/5.8.6/ /System/Library/Perl/5.8.6/

Configure the settings:

This is a hashed password "frontrow" which is used by VNC Server. The password "frontrow" was chosen to be easy to remember.

echo 71463E00FFDAAA95FF1C39567390ADCA > /Library/Preferences/com.apple.VNCSettings.txt
sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart  -configure -clientopts -setvnclegacy -vnclegacy yes

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart  -activate -configure -access -on -users frontrow -privs -all -restart -agent -menu

and now start the service, as a background so you can keep using the ssh connection

/System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/AppleVNCServer.bundle/Contents/MacOS/AppleVNCServer &

tested with apple remote desktop and Leopard Share Screen and "chicken of the VNC"

Remote Desktop for Take 3

These steps will work for Apple TV units with later versions of the firmware. You don't need firmware 1.0.

User "DaFranca" on http://www.hackint0sh.org/f98/56546.htm has posted the script and steps below that will install 7z, wget and VNC server on an SSH enabled Apple TV. The VNC server is OSXVNC.

http://pastebin.com/pastebin.php?dl=f3f7c7f99 (Use the corrected version lower on the page, a copy/paste in Textedit worked for me, simply save the file with an .sh extension.)

1) Transfer: f3f7c7f99.sh on ATV. (I used Cyberduck on a 10.6.2 MacBook pro)

2) Open ssh connection to: AppleTV.local

3) Type Password: frontrow

3) execute: chmod 755 f3f7c7f99.sh

4) execute: sudo bash ./f3f7c7f99.sh

5) Type Password again: frontrow

6) After ATV reboots open your VNC Client and connect to: AppleTV.local

7) Type Password: frontrow

Knock Yourself Off! The script downloaded, installed and configured the OSXVNC server perfectly. It made the whole process easy.

Tested on a Take 3 Apple TV with SSH enabled using ATV-USB patchstick creator. Also installed "Launcher" NitoTV, Boxee Beta, Flash, Silverlight, Firefox 3.6.

Note: VNC server is useful and works only if you have to control a browser like Firefox 3.6 or Boxee Beta on your Apple TV. Keyboard and Mouse will work only then, they won't work on the Native FrontRow Apple Tv interface.