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Chapter 21. Accessing and Controlling Ti... > Accessing Mac OS X Remotely Using Ap...

Accessing Mac OS X Remotely Using Apple Remote Desktop

One highly useful, but oddly unsung (except in the halls of system administrators) application for accessing and managing Macs remotely is the Apple Remote Desktop application, or ARD. ARD was born of a desire to provide a flexible way for administrators to manage (possibly many multiple) remote machines, in an environment where large portions of the interface require graphic interactions. The basic question was to find a way to share screens, keyboards and mice, so that an administrator sitting in her office could attach to a remote machine and interact with it as though she were sitting at its keyboard, viewing its monitor.

This question, and possible solutions to it, have been through several iterations over the years, but Apple seems finally to have settled on a solution that not only makes the Mac easy to administrate from a remote location, but also makes it easy to interoperate with the ubiquitous VNC shared-desktop solution that is available for Linux, Windows, and most other operating systems. With the release of ARD 2, Apple's solution is clean, elegant, interoperable, and provides many features that go beyond simple desktop sharing, and that makes ARD an indispensable tool in any administrator's arsenal. Apple's own documentation of ARD spans 116 pages, and might be considered light on detail in many places, so we can't hope to cover all ARD features in which you might be interested in this book. Instead, here we will hit the highlights that can help you decide whether ARD is for you, and if it is, try to cover some of the details that might help with remembering some of the less expected features.


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