About kickstart

The kickstart command-line tool lets you install, uninstall, activate, configure, and restart components of Remote Desktop without restarting the computer.

You can configure all the features found in the Remote Management section of Sharing preferences. The kickstart tool can be used with SSH to configure remote computers.

Learn more about the tool

The kickstart tool isn’t in the default shell path. It must be activated explicitly at its location: /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart

Use the sudocommand with an administrator account to use the kickstart tool, or you can use the Send UNIX Command.

The syntax and list of actions possible with kickstart are available by running the following:

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -help

Sample kickstart commands

All commands presented in this section should be typed as one line of text. It’s OK if the text wraps as you enter it; don’t enter Return characters. Here are examples of actions possible with kickstart:

  • Activate remote management, enable access privileges for all users, and restart the Remote Desktop Agent:

    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -activate -configure -access -on -restart -agent -privs -all
  • Activate remote management, enable access privileges for the users “admin,” grant full privileges for the users “admin,” and restart the Remote Desktop Agent and Menu item:

    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -activate -configure -access -on -users admin -privs -all -restart -agent -menu
  • Activate remote management, and disable access privileges for all users:

    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -activate -configure -access -off
  • Shut down the Remote Desktop Agent process:

    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -agent -stop
  • Deactivate Remote Desktop access for a computer:

    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -deactivate -configure -access -off