OS X Lion to have multi-user screen sharing


OS X LionMac OS X 10.7 Lion will offer a multiuser, Fast User Switching Remote Desktop solution. This will offer greater functionality than Screen Sharing (basically a simple VNC remote screen viewer).

Back in 2002, Apple introduced Apple Remote Desktop, which allows for remote administration and management. In 2004, ARD became based upon VNC, the open protocol which meant that the tool allowed you to remotely control not just Macs, but also Windows PCs and other Unix systems with a VNC server installed.

This will now mean remote users can log into a separate user account from the one that is currently logged in,  seeing their own desktop and user environment. Previously they would only see what was already on the desktop and there would be a conflict with the other user already logged in for control of the mouse and keyboard.

This will mean that Mac OS X Lion is now capable of multiple, concurrent graphical shells for remote users, somewhat akin to that offered by the technology Citrix created for Microsoft’s Windows NT 3.51 to allow multiple remote users and login sessions.

Although not something that every user will find essential, this will certainly be welcomed by anyone responsible for supporting other users remotely (even if they are at another desk locally).

One thought on “OS X Lion to have multi-user screen sharing

  1. This all sounds very nice and potentially very useful. However, In the process of trying to extend the functionality, Apple appear to have entirely broken remote acces to Lion, via VNC at least. Searching the Web I have found a plethora of posts from people who were using VNC fine to remote access their Macs in Snow Leopard and then upgrading to Lion has killed VNC. This is exactly what has happened to me too. I’ve tried multiple VNC clients and thay all are able to view the new multi-user logon screen, but then interactivity with this is where it all falls apart. Trying to get a response from the new logon screen is difficult at best, and only ocasionally am I able to get past slecting my username and attempting to enter a password. I keep on getting Bluetooth loss of connectivity dialogue boxes appearing. On the odd occasion, if I’m super quick, I can actually get past the logon and password screens and interact with the desktop fine. Until the next time I try to log in through VNC and then the fun begins again.

    It’s all well and good Apple extending the functionality of their remote desktop systems (in an atempt to almost catch up with the Windows 7 world), but they appear to have failed largely.

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