Take Control of Multiple Macs with Apple Remote Desktop

Take Control of Multiple Macs with Apple Remote Desktop

Step 4. Get Everybody Current


Still on the admin Mac, run Software Update (Apple Menu > Software Update) to get the latest version of ARD, which you'll then use to update the preinstalled ARD client on all of the other Macs. Note that the only way to update the ARD client is remotely via ARD on the admin Mac. The current version (ARD 3.1) will update the ARD client software that gets installed with Mac OS 10.3.9 and 10.4. To do it, select All Computers in ARD's left pane, select all of the clients (Command-A or Edit > Select All), choose Manage > Upgrade Client Software from the menubar, then select updatable clients from the list on the resulting sheet, and click Upgrade. Pretty easy, no? That's par for ARD. Remember, Shift-click to select multiple adjacent entries and Command-click to select multiple nonadjacent entries.


Ensure client compatibility by updating ARD on the admin machine first. Then update all of the clients before you start managing them.


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BONUS TIP #2: Resistance Is Feudal

Automation is the key to administrating a network of Macs like a real pro. Do the math: Would you rather upgrade 85 systems individually, or in a couple of mouse clicks via ARD? Automation relies on consistency, so set up your subject Macs as identically as possible. For example, give each unit's hard drive the same name and keep all of the applications in the /Applications folder. Ultimately, the more you let users customize their Macs, the more work you'll have to do to maintain the lot. Regardless of how lenient or strict an administrator you are, at least make sure the designated ARD user has the same username and password on each of the client Macs.


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Step 5. Start the Spyin'


Now for the fun part - we'll start by spying on, ahem, observing the clients. Select a client or several and click Observe to load the observation deck. Click View Options to tweak the display settings to taste; if you've got 35 desktops loaded in the observation deck, you might want to slide the Image Quality down a bit and cram more (or fewer) desktop views into the console. When you're ready to wield your iron fist of authority, select a client's desktop and click Control.


Click this button to...



...customize your all-seeing view.






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alex juno

I was just wondering if anyone knows of the best way to remotely connect from a PC to a Mac. Is it even possible? Is it a feature offered with Apple Remote Desktop?



Yup. Use VNC viewer (free) on the PC side and use Apple Remote Desktop on the Mac side. Works like a charm.



Cheri Kaylor

I've searched the net for ' "VNC viewer" windows ' and found a lot of "free for one month." I want something that is truly free. Also, can you provide more info on how to do this?

I am publishing my e-mail address so that you can reply to me directly.


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