Enable Remote Desktop (VNC)

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Enable Remote Desktop (VNC) After 1.1 Update


See Enable Remote Desktop (VNC) After 1.1 Update for newer instructions

These instructions assume you already have SSH access to your Apple TV.

Step 1

To enable Remote Desktop on your Apple TV, you need to create the text file com.apple.VNCSettings.txt with the following content. This is a hashed password "frontrow" which is used by VNC Server. The password "frontrow" was chosen to be easy to remember. Other passwords may be used as described below.


To generate your own password, run this command:

perl -nwe 'BEGIN { @k = unpack "C*", pack "H*", "1734516E8BA8C5E2FF1C39567390ADCA"}; \
chomp; s/^(.{8}).*/$1/; @p = unpack "C*", $_; foreach (@k) { printf "%02X", $_ ^ (shift @p || 0) }; print "\n"'

Ignore the "Useless use of single ref constructor in void context at -e line 2." error message. Just start typing and hit enter when you've finished typing your password. It will show the hashed version of the password after you hit enter. If you mess up, just hit enter and ignore the incorrect password hash. Type Ctrl-C to stop the script.

  • Note: Alternatively, if you are already logged into the AppleTV you could simply issue the following command. Afterwards skip to Step 3.
echo 71463E00FFDAAA95FF1C39567390ADCA > /Library/Preferences/com.apple.VNCSettings.txt

Step 2

Copy that file to /Library/Preferences/ on your Apple TV. (Note: /Library/Preferences on the OSBoot image is a sym link to the Media partition)

Step 3

once you copy the RemoteManagement core service to appletv's /System/Library/CoreServices/ folder, then On the Apple TV, type:

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

Step 4

Use a VNC Client like Chicken of the VNC which should automatically detect the AppleTV on your network. The password is "frontrow"


See Replace Finder for interesting things you can do once you have control (run firefox, terminal, etc). It doesn't seem to work very well with the default Apple TV finder.

Users running Leopard (OS X 10.5) will be able to use the Screen Sharing as a VNC client.

See Configuring Apple Remote Desktop via the command line or for more detailed information on the kickstart command, or for the various command switches and options, type:

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -help