Enabling ARD, SSH & SNMP On Mountain Lion Server Using serveradmin

The traditional way to enable Apple Remote Desktop is using the kickstart command. But there’s a simpler way in OS X Mountain Lion Server. To do so, use the serveradmin command.

To enable ARD using the serveradmin command, use the settings option, with info:enableARD to set the payload to yes:

sudo serveradmin settings info:enableARD = yes

Once run, open System Preferences and click on Sharing. The Remote Management box is then checked and the local administrative user has access to ARD into the host.

The Server app will also have the “Enable screen sharing and remote management” option checked.

There are also a few other commands that can be used to control settings. To enable SSH for administrators:

sudo serveradmin settings info:enableSSH = yes

To enable SNMP:

sudo serveradmin settings info:enableSNMP = yes

To enable the dedication of resources to Server apps (aka Server Performance Mode):

sudo serveradmin settings info:enableServerPerformanceMode = yes


  • August 14, 2012 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    Is there a reason why they took the Server Performance Mode selection out of Server.app?

    • Federico
      August 14, 2012 - 10:22 am | Permalink

      I guess a server would need all resources it can chew. No point cutting resources from a computer serving tens to hundreds of users.

      • August 15, 2012 - 4:22 am | Permalink

        Interestingly, mine has defaulted to “No”

  • Dave Lee
    August 14, 2012 - 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I’ve noticed that network OD users, even if given admin priv’s, cannot login via ssh. In the server console I see:

    sshd: in od_record_check_homedir(): failed: 7
    sshd: error: PAM: permission denied for from

    • August 27, 2012 - 8:19 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s a visudoers thing. They don’t have access to ARD either, btw. I’ll look at this next time I get a chance.

  • Espen
    August 18, 2012 - 1:31 am | Permalink

    If I enable Remote Management on my Mountain Lion server, My network users (Open Directory, same server) cannot connect with screen sharing (after server reboot) Only local server users can connect. This worked fine in SL server.

    Is this a bug?

    • August 20, 2012 - 10:34 pm | Permalink

      I just confirmed that I’m seeing the same thing. Filed it… :(

  • Sellers
    October 11, 2012 - 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Yes, OD / Network users can’t use Remote Management, however Screen Sharing does work. Do you have a bug I’d like to reference it.

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