On the road with a headless server, can't connect via VNC. Specifics below

Hello all. I’ve got a rather odd situation. …

I’m on a trip–extended overseas stay–and I brought my NUC server along, running RoonServer, and a small DAC, and my laptop, which I use as a remote. At home I run the server headless and direct-wired (ethernet); when I need to add new music, I download it to my laptop/remote and establish a connection to the server, usually SMB if I just want to transfer files, but sometimes VNC–if I want to make some configuration change or something. It works well enough, and beats keeping a keyboard and monitor lying around.

The problem is that I turned off wireless on the server and forgot to turn it back on again before leaving home. Here in my little apartment, I have wireless. There’s a wired ethernet port, too, but so far I haven’t managed to get it to do anything. The objective: Connect to the server, from my laptop, in a way that allows me to turn on wireless and configure the wireless network. So, probably VNC.

I connected a Cat-5 cable directly between the (MacBook Pro) laptop remote and the server and found that this is sufficient to communicate with RoonServer, via the laptop-remote. But I cannot establish a VNC connection, so I can’t deal with the wireless. I do not have a firewall on, and file sharing is turned on–I use it like this at home, except that my connection goes through a switch, which is connected to a router. The only difference here is that the connection is directly wired, and I’m on a different network.

The direct-wired connection will actually work for me–it’s a sort-of solution to my problem. But I’d rather turn on the wireless. Any tips on establishing a VNC (or similar) connection will be appreciated.

Hi Jim,

The key to connecting the NUC and MBP via Ethernet is to make sure they are both on the same subnet.


  • How is the NUC obtaining / attempting to obtain its IP address (e.g. Fixed IP, DHCP *)?
  • How is the MBP obtaining / attempting to obtain its IP address (e.g. Fixed IP, DHCP *)?

And then look to see which one can be adjusted to match the other.

If DHCP, is this still functioning in your current location, if not the device will be adopting a default.
Check the devices documentation to find out what that might be.