Sh*t my brain says and forgets about

Mac Screen Sharing (VNC) & White Screen

I’ve had problems connecting to my Ubuntu 9.10 server via Mac OS’ built-in VNC client, “Screen Sharing”.  Frequently when I connect, I get a white screen with no indication that the connection is working.  If I type characters or click the mouse, it does actually send those events to the remote side.  My only option was to use Chicken of the VNC (which sucks) to connect to my server.  Finally, I did some digging and found the solution/workaround.

  1. Open a new Finder window.
  2. Click “Go” and then “Go to Folder” (or hit Command-Shift-G).
  3. Type in “/System/Library/CoreServices” and hit enter.
  4. Find the “Screen Sharing” application, click once to highlight.
  5. Click “File” and then “Get Info” (or hit Command-I).
  6. Find the checkbox labeled “Open in 32-bit mode” and check it.
  7. Close the Info window and Finder folder window.

That’s it!  Apparently there is a bug in the application only when running in 64-bit mode.  I don’t really care why it fixes it, I’m just glad its fixed and I thought I’d share.

Thanks to the anonymous user on Mac OS X Hints!


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  1. Stefan Edlund

    Worked great thanks!

  2. Janko Hrasko

    Thank you! It would be good to know why did it stopped working in the first place as it worked fine before.

    This might have something to do with Darwin Ports, until I installed them it worked fine. I could be wrong on this.

  3. Erik

    Thanks for this info, the solution worked for me.
    I had no problem connecting to Ubuntu 32-bit. But a Ubuntu 64-bit no luck, this solved it!

  4. Brian

    You sir are a GOD!!!! Thanks! This problem has plagued me for a year, the only thing i could do was log in 20 times till it finally worked. This worked first time out – thank you so much!

  5. Alasdair

    Textbook. Thanks for posting this.

  6. Allan Marcus

    AWESOME! This was driving me crazy. Many thanks.

  7. Brian

    Thanks! Worked like magic

  8. Tim

    This saved me. Thank you.

  9. Andrew

    Sweet – this had been annoying me for quite some time. Occasionally quitting and reconnecting would fix it but this has fixed it for good. 🙂

  10. Derte84

    Thanksssss. Vnc is full of bug

  11. shpokas

    saved my day, man. thanks!

  12. Thank you very much it worked perfect

  13. Nothal

    Works. Thanks!

  14. sweetie

    Thanks a lot!

  15. Wander

    Worked great! Thanks.

  16. Thanks Worked like a charm with my hackinstosh 10.6.7.

  17. Rob van Wijk

    Thank you very much! This post has helped me a lot.

  18. Click170

    This white-screen problem was baffling me for weeks until I finally took the time to Google it and your blog came up, thanks!

    Talk about dropping the ball on Apple’s part, a persistent reproducible bug in Apple’s interoperability software that’s persisted for more than a year? WTF?

  19. Jan Hartmann

    Thank you!

  20. urihaynes

    THANK YOU! Worked like a charm for me. I was pulling my hair out on this one, until I found this post. Again, thank you!

  21. neotipper

    Dude, I just spent most of the day troubleshooting my LINUX box! It never occurred to me that this was a MAC issue. 😐

    Works perfectly now.

    Thanks for the tip!

  22. r3n

    You the man Aaron! It fixed my problem.

  23. nove

    i have the same problem ( but actually i have it with any VNC viewer, and the screen is black,) and i did what you said and didn’t work =/ …

  24. Erick

    You are a hero.. This problem has been nagging at me for the last few days..
    Thanks again for sharing..


    Erick from Holland

  25. Wow, thanks for this, worked perfectly.

  26. SuperLuckyCat

    Uh-huh, that did the trick. Amazing!

  27. ksuchomel

    GET INFO does not have a 32 bit button with Mavericks 10.9.4. Any other ideas?

    • Aaron Douglas

      I think Mavericks doesn’t ship with a universal 32/64 bit binary for I think we’re screwed and must use a third party VNC tool. I still don’t know the cause of the issue in the first place.

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