The 100 best digital picture frames on amazon
The 100 best digital picture frames on amazon
The 100 best digital picture frames on amazon
The 100 best digital picture frames on amazon

Screen shar­ing with a Rasp­berry Pi 4 (Buster) and a macOS com­put­er (Catali­na)


Many Rasp­berry Pi instal­la­tions run as remote sys­tems, which means that you don't have access to their screens. But some­times, it may become use­ful or nec­es­sary to see what comes up on the dis­play. This is what screen shar­ing is for.

It used to work with­out a hitch a few years ago, but then some changes were intro­duced either on the Rasp­bian or the macOS side, and it stopped work­ing for me.

In this arti­cle, I will show you how you can see your Rasp­berry Pi's screen from your macOS com­put­er with­out installing any extra soft­ware.


I have test­ed this set­up with a Rasp­berry Pi Mod­el 4 and the lat­est Buster release.

Sev­er­al arti­cles on the Inter­net talk about the need to install extra VNC soft­ware, but this is not nec­es­sary. Both the Rasp­berry Pi and the Mac are shipped with all it takes.

Two impor­tant points upfront:

First, you can only see the screen of your Rasp­berry Pi if there is a screen con­nect­ed to it. The mon­i­tor may be turned off but, the pow­er sup­ply of the mon­i­tor may even be unplugged, but you still need the nor­mal HDMI con­nec­tion between your Rasp­berry Pi and the mon­i­tor.

And sec­ond, your Rasp­berry Pi must boot into the desk­top, not the con­sole.

To check this boot set­ting, enter

sudo raspi-config

in the Ter­mi­nal win­dow and select (3) Boot Options > B1 Desktop/CLI and then B4 Desk­top Autolo­gin.


While you are in the con­fig­u­ra­tion mod­ule, select (7) Inter­fac­ing Options > P3 VNC and enable the VNC Serv­er. Close the con­fig­u­ra­tion and reboot.

The VNC pro­gram of the Rasp­berry Pi requires a bit of a con­fig­u­ra­tion before you can con­nect. I will describe how to do this remote­ly when you are ssh'ed into your Pi via Ter­mi­nal.

If you don't enter the com­mands below, you will get a mes­sage that "The soft­ware on the remote com­put­er appears to be incom­pat­i­ble with this ver­sion of Screen Shar­ing".

This is a tad con­fus­ing and may lead peo­ple to think that a spe­cial VNC view­er must be installed. But the fix is very easy.

Open a Ter­mi­nal win­dow and con­nect to your Pi. Gen­er­ate a pass­word for your con­nec­tion. I believe it must have a min­i­mum of six let­ters.

sudo vncpasswd -service

Open this file

sudo nano /etc/vnc/config.d/common.custom

and add this line:


Now restart the VNC ser­vice.

sudo systemctl restart vncserver-x11-serviced

Open­ing Screen Shar­ing on your Mac

Open the "Screen Shar­ing" app on your Mac. You won't find it in the Appli­ca­tions fold­er but if you enter "screen shar­ing" in the search box, then the app will come up.

Enter the IP (or the host­name) of your Rasp­berry Pi, enter your pass­word and voilà!