Using Screen Share, a Mac Mini, and QC

gabeshaughnessy's picture

I'm using Screen Share to run my Mac Mini from my laptop. I'm running os 10.6 on the laptop.

When I connect the Mac Mini to a monitor, and turn off screen sharing, everything works fine.

When I unplug the monitor from the mini and turn on screen sharing, then try to launch quartz composer, I get this error message:

"Quartz Composer requires an NVIDIA GeForce2 MX, GeForce3, GeForce4 Titanium or GeForce4 MX card or any ATI AGP Radeon card. A minimum of 16mB VRAM is required."

My Mac Mini has a NVIDIA GeForce 9400 with 256MB of Vram.

If I turn off screen sharing, launch quartz composer, then reactivate screen sharing, my compositions won't open, if I launch screen sharing with a composition open, it is just a flat grey panel in the editor window, and no output in the viewer.

Anyone found a way to work with screen sharing on a mac mini in QC? I would like to be able to install the mini up out of reach and run it with screen sharing.

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jmlnorris's picture
Re: Using Screen Share, a Mac Mini, and QC

In my experience you can not screen share a mac if that machine doesn't have a video output device attached. It doesn't have to be a computer monitor. It could be a projector or tv or whatever. It doesn't really matter what type of output device as long as the video card can support it. This "feature" doesn't seem to be isolated to the mac mini, mac pros seem to suffer from this as well. I'm not quite sure why the video card needs to detect a display before the machine will output an image for screen sharing to use, but it seems to be the case. Other file sharing/ transfer options seem to function just fine without an attached display.

If someone else knows of a work around I'd love to hear it as well.

mattgolsen's picture
Re: Using Screen Share, a Mac Mini, and QC

A DVI to VGA adapter will trick it into thinking there is a video display connected to it. Give that a go. You don't have to have a monitor connected to it, just the adapter.

dust's picture
Re: Using Screen Share, a Mac Mini, and QC

check out this screen shot im screen sharing my macbook on my mac book pro. the macbook is plugged into a tv and the lid is closed but im not even using the tv still i get two screens. also in the mix is both my ipods one is just the home screen the other is a vnc of my mac book pro and the 3 screens its connected to. so there is a weird feedback loop going on here because i can control them all from one device that can actually control itself from another computer. it gets confusing but screen sharing is awesome, although i must say it freaked me out the first time i saw and a teacher took control of my mouse. i will say be careful screen sharing remotely if you have a girl friend at home. they tend to get upset and have privacy issues when you want to change a setting on your server remotely or what ever when they are using the computer. just be warned. it happened to me.

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Iggybird's picture
Re: Using Screen Share, a Mac Mini, and QC

I think your issue is that it's just not possible to run QC over screen sharing since it's not using a video card to render to a display. I get the same error as you when I try it on a headless machine that does screen sharing just fine otherwise.

gabeshaughnessy's picture
Re: Using Screen Share, a Mac Mini, and QC

thanks for the advice I went ahead and looked into your suggestions, this is what I have to report

plugging in a mini display to vga adaptor or dvi adaptor doesn't trick the computer into thinking a screen is attached.

even when a screen is attached I still get the error if I am screen sharing. (see the screen shot). However, if I do things in this order, everything works fine: attach a monitor to the mini. launch QC launch screen sharing on the mac book pro

as soon as I unplug the monitor, I get an error in QC, which I also attached.

so I guess I can work around this, just want to share it with the community. if anyone finds a solution that lets me run a mac mini headless, using QC (so for example, I can turn off a projector, set up a file, and turn the projector on at a later time), please post it here.

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cybero's picture
Re: Using Screen Share, a Mac Mini, and QC

BTW - I am given to understand that the error message you have received is a reported problem by several others, despite their being on 10.6.x, they need to clear their QC cache, in effect its gotten to the point of being unable to do anything other than misreport the obvious facts.

It is, in fact the sort of message individuals used to get when their non Quartz Extreme capable card was asked to turn in on itself, so to speak.

Screen sharing used to work AOK for me in Leopard.

It should not be getting presented.

Screen Sharing should work, basically a part of the VNC framework, so far as I am aware. There do seem to be lot of reportable problems, though the reported error message seems transitory IMETD.

Also difficult to reproduce whatsoever.

I have never had problems as such with screen sharing before now , but don't have a Mac Mini , nor a shareable screen .

Screen sharing for some applications, needs to be read as in place at application runtime and cannot be changed on the fly, no more so than asking QC to load plugins you've installed during a live editing session, needs a stop and restart. In case of erroneous error messages, clear your cache and wonder at why you are getting this unclosed loop.

You could also report that problem to Apple.