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!

29 thoughts on “Mac Screen Sharing (VNC) & White Screen

  1. 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.


  2. 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!


  3. 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!


  4. 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. 🙂


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  6. 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?


  7. 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!


  8. 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 =/ …


    1. 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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