Tuesday, 26 January 2010

SSH tunnelling, VNC and Mac OS X

That said, one can do almost anything as long as this anything is not writing a lecture (which that specific one should be doing — at least, theoretically).

Now, I'm not different in any sense. Instead of writing an Image-Based Information Processing lecture (which puts me to sleep almost immediately — or is it the professor who does it?) I've managed to get a VNC working on my Mac. On my home Mac. Well, it all started with the TeamViewer, which suddenly stopped to work. It was disappointing, as I couldn't play with Boxee on my home computer during the lecture anymore, so I've tried to invent something. Indeed, I could SSH into my iMac (via a resident NAS which acts as an SSH gateway to my home network). What I ended up doing could be best described by these commands:

imac$ sudo port install tightvnc
imac$ vncserver ... password ... verify ... your VNC server is running on iMac:1
nas$ sudo ssh -f roman@imac -L 5901:localhost:5901 -N
macbook$ ssh -f my-nas-username@my-nas-host 5901:127.0.01:5901 -N # it didn't work with localhost here

Then I simply used JollyFastVNC to VNC into my iMac by connecting to and port 5901. Yay! However, ten minutes later I realised, that in fact I can set up a tunnel to my Mac's default (bundled) VNC server on screen 0. So I did — and apart of the fact that I should've enabled monitor mirroring (otherwise it tried to skew my iMac's monitor + my HD TV connected to it into one rectangular window, which didn't look neither pretty nor comfortable), it did work quite good. That works and an only question I ask myself - why on Earth do I need it if TeamViewer has started working again?