ScreenConnect Server Setup Guide

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Welcome to ScreenConnect!


ScreenConnect is a self-hosted remote support web application that you install on the computer/server/VM/or VPS of your choice. This creates a central web application that can be accessed by your techs or customers, via their browser, from anywhere in the world.

Some advantages of a self-hosted solution:


Before you begin

Installing ScreenConnect is much like configuring a new website. The computer you install ScreenConnect on will be referred to as a "server," even if it's a workstation.


Things to consider before installing ScreenConnect:

  • Is the machine going to stay within your network? The machine where ScreenConnect is installed needs to be stationary; a laptop is not a good choice.
  • Do you have a static external IP address? A static IP is great but not required. Learn more.
  • Do you have access to your router and/or modem? You may need to tell your router where to direct external traffic. Learn more.


Server system requirements and recommended specifications

Expand the section below to view our full list of server requirements.


Server requirementsBullet arrow up.pngBullet arrow down.png open full page | view inline

Supported Operating Systems

Note.png Note: While we do our best to support end-of-life operating systems, we cannot guarantee successful performance in all cases.

Windows

  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8 & 8.1
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2003 R2
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP SP2+

Linux

The ScreenConnect server software requires i386 or x86_64 architecture and glibc 2.5 or higher. If you don't know if your Linux meets these criteria, assume that it does.

  • Ubuntu Linux
  • Linux Mint
  • Debian Linux
  • CentOS Linux
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Fedora Linux
  • OpenSUSE Linux


Note.png Note: ScreenConnect is compatible with ARM 7. For questions on installing ScreenConnect on your ARM 7 device, please visit our forum.

Mac OS X

  • Mac OS X 10.7+


Note.png Note: Server-side screen recording is unsupported on OS X. It may be possible to install libavcodec and related libraries using MacPorts, but this has not yet been done. This may be investigated further in the future depending on demand.

Recommended system requirements

It's difficult to pinpoint recommended system requirements as they will vary according to your use model. For instance, users that plan on connecting to many machines at once, or users that plan on view video remotely, will use more server resources.

For RAM, generally we recommend 2GB per 10 concurrent sessions ("concurrent" meaning both a Host and a Guest are connected). If you are expecting to use 15 or more active sessions at a time or have over 1000 Access clients, a server running Windows may better serve your needs.

The example server specifications below are not minimum server requirements, but they can be useful as "ballpark" numbers when deciding on a server for ScreenConnect On-Premise.

Example: Larger implementation of ScreenConnect On-Premise

For a ScreenConnect server that will have over ten concurrent sessions and over 500 Access clients:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Quad-core processor at 2.4 GHz
  • 8GB RAM
  • SSD recommended


Example: Smaller implementation of ScreenConnect On-Premise

For a ScreenConnect server that will only have a few concurrent sessions and around 200 Access clients:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Dual-core processor at 2.4 GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • SSD recommended

Bandwidth usage

Bandwidth usage during a session is highly dependent on the activity within the session; viewing a video over a remote connection will use more bandwidth than a session with few screen refreshes.


Installing ScreenConnect on your server

Installing the server software on a Windows machine Bullet arrow up.pngBullet arrow down.png open full page | view inline

1. On the Welcome Screen, click Next.

Install1.png


2. On the End-User License Agreement, place a checkmark in the box labeled 'I accept the terms in the License Agreement' and click Next.

Install2.png


3. On the Destination Folder screen, select the location to which ScreenConnect will be installed and click Next.

Install3.png


4. On the Ready to install ScreenConnect panel, click Back to review or change any of the installation settings, Cancel to exit the wizard or Install.

Install4.png


5. ScreenConnect will begin the installation process.

Install5.png


6. During the installation process, you may receive a notification that some modified files have been stored in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ScreenConnectBackup. After installation, you may restore these files.

Install6.png


7. Once the installation is complete click Finish to exit the Setup Wizard. This will launch the ScreenConnect Administration Page for configuration, where you will be able to set up security, enter your license(s), etc.

Install7.png


Installing the server software on a Linux machineBullet arrow up.pngBullet arrow down.png open full page | view inline

To install ScreenConnect on a Linux machine:

Option 1: Paste one-liner into a terminal

workingDirectory=~/scInstall; downloadUrl="https://www.screenconnect.com/Download?Action=DownloadLatest&Platform=Linux&PreRelease=false"; rm -rf $workingDirectory; mkdir $workingDirectory; (cd $workingDirectory; if which wget; then wget -O sc.tar.gz "$downloadUrl"; else curl -L "$downloadUrl" > sc.tar.gz; fi; tar xf sc.tar.gz; $(find . -name install.*);); rm -rf $workingDirectory;

Option 2: Create a simple script

#!/bin/sh
workingDirectory=~/scInstall
downloadUrl="https://www.screenconnect.com/Download?Action=DownloadLatest&Platform=Linux&PreRelease=false"

rm -rf $workingDirectory
mkdir $workingDirectory
cd $workingDirectory

if which wget; then wget -O sc.tar.gz "$downloadUrl";
else curl -L "$downloadUrl" > sc.tar.gz; fi;

tar xf sc.tar.gz
$(find . -name install.*)

rm -rf $workingDirectory

Option 3: Run a few commands

1. Download the latest stable build of the Linux server to file sc.tar.gz.

$ wget -O sc.tar.gz "https://www.screenconnect.com/Download?Action=DownloadLatest&Platform=Linux&PreRelease=false"


2. Extract the archive:

$ tar xzf sc.tar.gz


3. Find the install.sh script and run it:

$ $(find . -name install.sh)


4. The installation script will prompt you for the installation location and the name of the ScreenConnect services. Typically, accepting the defaults of /opt/screenconnect for the installation location and screenconnect as the services name will work just fine.

The script will then install ScreenConnect, Mono, and additional required dependencies, and finally start the ScreenConnect service. It will also display the URL from which to access the Setup Wizard, which will be your computer name followed by 8040. You may also view the Setup Wizard from another machine by navigating to the Linux machine's external IP address, followed by the port 8040.

Installation complete!
To access your new ScreenConnect installation, open a browser and navigate to:
http://machinename:8040/Host


5. ScreenConnect is now installed. To start and stop the ScreenConnect services, use the following commands:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/screenconnect start
$ sudo /etc/init.d/screenconnect stop

Optional dependencies (ScreenConnect On-Premise 4.4 and earlier)

Note.png Note: This section applies only to ScreenConnect 4.4 and earlier.


Depending on the distribution, and if you are installing ScreenConnect 5.0 or earlier, you may see the following notice when running the installation script:

We were unable to resolve these dependencies:

libavcodec53 (optional): For transcoding videos when using Extended Auditing

libswscale2 (optional): For transcoding videos when using Extended Auditing

libavutil51 (optional): For transcoding videos when using Extended Auditing

libavformat53 (optional): For transcoding videos when using Extended Auditing

These dependencies are used for server-side screen recording, but are not required for any other feature.

If you want to use extended auditing with server-side screen recording, you will need the following libraries available:

  • libavcodec.so.53
  • libswscale.so.2
  • libavutil.so.51
  • libavformat.so.53

Otherwise, you can use ScreenConnect normally without server-side recording.

Installing the server software on a Mac machineBullet arrow up.pngBullet arrow down.png open full page | view inline

Option 1: GUI

1. Download the latest stable build of ScreenConnect for Mac.

2. Double-click on the .ZIP file to extract the files necessary for installation.

3. In the new folder created after extraction, double-click on the install.command file. A terminal window will open to run the script.

Asterisk orange.png Tip: If you receive a message from Gatekeeper that "'install.command' can't be opened because it is from an unidentified developer," right-click on install.command and select "Open." You will then have the option to run the file.

4. Enter your password to begin the installation script.

5. The script will prompt for the following options (in most cases, you will want to install using the default options):

  • The installation directory for ScreenConnect to be installed (default: /opt/screenconnect)
  • The name of the ScreenConnect service (default: screenconnect)

6. Once the script has finished installing, it will suggest a URL to visit to configure your ScreenConnect web interface. For new installations, this URL is often http://localhost:8040.

Option 2: Terminal

Option 2.1: Paste one-liner into a terminal window

workingDirectory=~/scInstall; downloadUrl="http://www.screenconnect.com/Download?Action=DownloadLatest&Platform=Mac&PreRelease=false"; rm -rf $workingDirectory; mkdir $workingDirectory; (cd $workingDirectory; if which wget; then wget -O sc.zip "$downloadUrl"; else curl -L "$downloadUrl" > sc.zip; fi; ditto -xk sc.zip .; $(find . -name install.*);); rm -rf $workingDirectory


Option 2.2: Create a simple script

#!/bin/sh
workingDirectory=~/scInstall
downloadUrl="http://www.screenconnect.com/Download?Action=DownloadLatest&Platform=Mac&PreRelease=false"

rm -rf $workingDirectory
mkdir $workingDirectory
cd $workingDirectory

if which wget; then wget -O sc.zip "$downloadUrl";
else curl -L "$downloadUrl" > sc.zip; fi;

ditto -xk sc.zip .
$(find . -name install.*)

rm -rf $workingDirectory


Option 2.3: Run a few commands

1. Download the latest stable build of the Mac server to file sc.zip.

$ curl -L "http://www.screenconnect.com/Download?Action=DownloadLatest&Platform=Mac&PreRelease=false" > sc.zip


2. Extract the archive:

$ ditto -xk sc.zip .


3. Find the install.command script and run it:

$ $(find . -name install.command)


4. The installation script will prompt you for the installation location and the name of the ScreenConnect services. Typically, accepting the defaults of /opt/screenconnect for the installation location and screenconnect as the services name will work just fine.

The script will then install ScreenConnect and Mono, and finally start the ScreenConnect service. It will also launch the Setup Wizard. You may also view the Setup Wizard from another machine by navigating to the Mac's external IP address, followed by the port 8040.


5. ScreenConnect is now installed. To start and stop the ScreenConnect services, use the following commands:

$ sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/screenconnect.plist
$ sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchDaemons/screenconnect.plist



After installation

ScreenConnect On-Premise setup wizardBullet arrow up.pngBullet arrow down.png open full page | view inline

Once the on-premises software has been installed, our software will automatically launch the ScreenConnect Setup Wizard in your default browser. The application will open and prompt you to complete the setup by creating an Administrator login and entering your license key.

Security Setup

Provide an administrator username and password for logging into ScreenConnect. Click "Next" to proceed.

Creating an administrative username and password in the Setup Wizard

License Setup

Copy and paste the on-premises trial license key into the available text field. Click Next to proceed. If you don't have a trial on-premises license, contact sales@screenconnect.com for assistance.

Entering a license in the ScreenConnect Setup Wizard.


Once you have entered your license, you have completed the ScreenConnect Setup Wizard. ScreenConnect will then redirect you to the Host page.

Potential issues

Once you have completed the Set-up Wizard, you will be brought your ScreenConnect administration page. You should see a list of status checks. There are two status checks that more commonly throw an error: external accessibility and browser URL.

View of the Administration/Status page, where the External Accessibility and Browser URL checks are both failing.
External accessibility check failing on administration pageBullet arrow up.pngBullet arrow down.png open full page | view inline


Expanded view of the External Accessibility Check on the Administration/Status tab.


If your external accessibility check is failing on your Administration page, that may indicate that something is blocking traffic to your installation (the Web Server) or sessions (the Relay). If you're setting up the on-premises software for the first time, you may also see a yellow Browser URL Warning as well.

Here are a few troubleshooting ideas.

  1. Make sure you have forwarded the correct ports – You will need to access your router's administration page (the URL is usually found on the router itself) and forward specific ports. By default, the on-premises installation requiers ports 8040 and 8041 to be opened. See our forwarding ports in your router knowledge article for more information.
  2. A third-party firewall might be blocking the software – Several tools, including antivirus suites, will block traffic until you create an exclusionary rule. A quick test for this is to disable the firewall for five minutes and see if your installation is now publicly visible.
Browser URL warning on administration pageBullet arrow up.pngBullet arrow down.png open full page | view inline

The Browser URL warning in the Administration page status tab is designed to alert new users that the URL currently listed in your browser may not work outside of your network.

Expanding the Browser URL Check to get full details on the error and suggested URLs to use.

Understanding the ScreenConnect URL

ScreenConnect is a web application similar to any website, the difference being you are hosting this web application in your own environment. On a Windows machine that has ScreenConnect installed, your ScreenConnect site can be accessed via the Start-Programs (or similar) path. However, we recommend accessing ScreenConnect the browser by the proper URL selected by the ScreenConnect Administrator.


As a web application, several URLs will work for accessing the software. Depending on your use-model, certain options might be more pragmatic than others. In all examples below we will use the default port 8040 however this port can be changed as required.

Example ScreenConnect URLs:

  • localhost:8040 - On the machine where ScreenConnect is installed this URL would provide access to ScreenConnect if you're on the ScreenConnect . However it would not work for guests or anyone not connecting on that machine.
  • Internal IP Address:8040 - The internal IP address URL, typically something like 192.168.1.249, will work well for anyone connecting from your LAN. If you will be using ScreenConnect for internal use only, this is a reasonable option for both sides of the connection.
  • Computer Name:8040 - This is a common default URL, especially if connecting through the Start-Program option on the machine where ScreenConnect is installed. Just like the internal IP Address URL this will work well if both the hosts and guests are on the same LAN. This address will not resolve if the hosts often work from home or on the road or if your customers are external of your LAN.
  • External IP Address:8040 - Once ScreenConnect passes the external accessibility test, this URL can be used by hosts and guest both on and off of your LAN. To determine your external IP address you can visit the Browser URL check discussed above or visit a site like http://whatsmyip.org.
  • DNS Name - Once you have set up ScreenConnect, you can choose to setup a DNS hostname such as support.mycompany.com or help.mycompany.com. For more information, please see our article on setting up a DNS hostname.


Removing the Browser URL Warning

In the drop-down description of the error, we provide suggestions for externally-accessible URLs that you can use instead.

If you're seeing a Browser URL warning, you can use the following steps to solve it:

  1. Make sure the External Accessibility Check passes.
  2. Expand the Browser URL Check box. You will see suggested URLs to use to access ScreenConnect in the future.
  3. Click on one of the suggested URLs. Or, try your external IP along with ":8040" at the end, assuming you're using the default ports.
  4. Log into your site using your ScreenConnect administrator credentials.
  5. Go to the administration page, and ensure that the Browser URL Check is now green.
Tip: Rather than using the shortcuts in the Start menu on Windows machines, hosts and administrators should bookmark an externally-accessible URL (like a static external IP address) in their browsers and use that bookmark to access the software.

Note.png Note: If the external URL to your ScreenConnect server does not load in your network, try loading it on a machine outside of your LAN. If the URL loads outside of your network but not within it, then you could have a NAT loopback issue with your router.


Start-to-finish installation video

Our start-to-finish installation video show the installation process, including router set-up, on a Windows machine.


References

Related articles

Additional resources