Use the kickstart command-line utility in Apple Remote Desktop

You can use kickstart to execute Apple Remote Desktop commands without restarting the remote computer.

Use kickstart to set Apple Remote Desktop preferences. For example, you can install, uninstall, activate, set up, and restart Apple Remote Desktop components.

Get started

You can find kickstart at:

Type the commands in this article as one line of text. If the text wraps as you enter it, that's fine. Don’t press the Return key until you’ve entered the entire command.

For more information about the kickstart command, use the -help flag:

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -help

Sample commands

The commands in this article work with Apple Remote Desktop 3.2 and later. Apple Remote Desktop 3.2 was included with Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard. For earlier versions, refer to the kickstart man page.

Here are commands that you can use to:

  • Restart the ARD Agent and helper:
    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -restart -agent
  • Turn on Remote Desktop Sharing, allow access for all users, and enable the menu extra:
    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -activate -configure -allowAccessFor -allUsers -privs -all -clientopts -setmenuextra -menuextra yes
  • Turn on Remote Desktop Sharing, allow access for specified users:
    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -activate -configure -allowAccessFor -specifiedUsers
    You must use the -configure, -access, and -privs options in a separate command to specify the set of users and their access privileges. For example, this command is for users with the short names "teacher" and “student." It gives them access to observe (but not control) the computer, and to send text messages:
    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -configure -users teacher,student -access -on -privs -ControlObserve -ObserveOnly -TextMessages

    Unlike other kickstart options, you can’t combine the allowAccessFor options with other kickstart options. You must use it as in the last two samples above. You might have to call kickstart more than once to finish a computer’s setup.

  • Remove access privileges for specified users ("student" in this example):
    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -configure -users student -access -off
  • Disable ARD Agent and remove access privileges for all users:
    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -deactivate -configure -access -off
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