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Starting and stopping the remote monitoring service

The Control Window

You can either start the monitoring service manually, or let macOS do this automatically for you each time you start the computer. In both cases you should verify that the preferences of the application are set according to your needs.

After launching the application the following control window will appear. It is divided into four parts:

Control Window of Hardware Monitor Remote
Control Window of Hardware Monitor Remote

Prerequisites for controlling the service

To start or stop the monitoring service, you need to know name and password of an administrative user account. If you don’t have that privilege, please ask the administrator of your computer for further assistance. Administrator privileges are also needed to modify any of the settings because they become effective for all users of this computer, not only for the current user account.

Hardware Monitor Remote is fully integrated into the security policies of macOS. The operating system will display an authentication panel automatically when Hardware Monitor Remote requests an operation where this is necessary.

Starting and stopping the service manually

To start the service, press the button in the upper left corner. It will be started with the settings currently displayed in the window. When the service is running, the button turns into a stop sign and the new status is displayed. To stop the service, press the button once more.

Alternatively, you can use the menu items Monitor > Start Service, or Monitor > Stop Service, respectively.

Automatic start by macOS

macOS and Hardware Monitor Remote will automatically try to maintain the current status of the monitoring service, even if you restart the computer. This means if the service was active the last time you have shut the computer down, macOS will automatically relaunch the service the next time you are starting the system. No login and no additional user interaction are necessary.

The background service runs independently of the control program. You can use the control window of Hardware Monitor Remote any time to start or stop the service as needed.

Network settings

Modifying the default network port

Hardware Monitor Remote uses TCP communication to transfer data over the network. It listens for incoming requests received on a specific TCP communication port. The default port is 37,037. You can select a different port when needed.

In theory, all port numbers between 1,024 and 65,535 can be used. However, macOS already uses certain ports for its own network services. You cannot use ports which are in use by another service already. For further information about network ports, please see the documentation of the operating system.

It is not recommended to use a port different from 37,037 unless there is a specific reason to do so, and you know exactly what you are doing.

If the network between the connected computers is protected by one or more firewalls, please remember that you’ll have to configure the firewalls to let data packets destined to the selected port pass without filtering.

Advanced settings

The remote monitoring service automatically uses the IPv4 and IPv6 protocols simultaneously, fulfilling the requirements of modern network environments. If you don’t like the service to be offered via Internet Protocol version 6, set a check mark at Disable support for IPv6.

Hardware Monitor Remote additionally uses service advertising via Bonjour, so network clients can easily locate all computers offering remote sensor monitoring, and connect with a few mouse clicks. If the service should not be so easily visible for privacy reasons, this feature can be switched off by setting a check mark at Disable service advertising via Bonjour. Note that clients have to connect manually via DNS name or IP address when Bonjour is inactive.

Using artificial sensors

As of version 3.5 of Hardware Monitor, the application allows you to define software sensors called “probes”. They can collect operational data from the system, like current CPU load and memory consumption. Probes must be defined with the Preferences panel of Hardware Monitor.

You can import probe definitions from Hardware Monitor into Hardware Monitor Remote, so network clients can have remote access to the probe readings as well. The checkmark at Artificial Sensors: Support probes enables or disables that feature. When you switch this on, Hardware Monitor Remote will automatically import the current probe definitions from Hardware Monitor. The preferences are taken from your current user account on the local computer. You can later manually initiate a new update of the settings by pressing the button Import from Hardware Monitor in the same line. After each import operation, Hardware Monitor Remote will display how many probe definitions it has read. The new settings become effective the next time you start the remote monitoring service.

To ensure that Hardware Monitor Remote reads the latest version of the probe settings, it is recommended to quit Hardware Monitor before using the import feature in Hardware Monitor Remote.

Supporting external LCD units

A typical case for the use of Hardware Monitor Remote is a “headless server”, a computer running without an attached monitor, providing services to a network or the Internet. Such a computer can be monitored via a network connection, but you could also attach an external display unit to the USB port. (To learn more about the support of external display units, please see the reference manual of Hardware Monitor.) The background service of Hardware Monitor Remote can control such devices as well, and send readings to the display, no matter if a user is currently logged in.

The external LCD box must be configured in the preference panel of Hardware Monitor before it can be used with Hardware Monitor Remote. To let the background monitoring service control all configured LCD units, set a checkmark at Control LCD units. Hardware Monitor Remote will automatically import the current display definitions from Hardware Monitor. The preferences are taken from your current user account on the local computer. You can later manually initiate a new update of the settings by pressing the button Import from Hardware Monitor in the same line. After each import operation, Hardware Monitor Remote will display how many LCD unit definitions it has read. The new settings become effective the next time you start the remote monitoring service.

To make sure you are actually getting the latest version of the LCD unit definitions, it is recommended to quit Hardware Monitor before using the import function of Hardware Monitor Remote.

You can additionally define preferences in which intervals the displays should be updated, and what temperature unit should be used when displaying readings from temperature sensors on the LC display. Use the pop-up button Temperature Unit and the slider Update Interval to change the settings as desired.

You should not run Hardware Monitor and the Hardware Monitor Remote background service at the same time to let them both control the same LCD unit. Although the applications are designed to avoid corruption of the display content when this happens, the results are unpredictable. Simultaneous access to the LCD boxes from different applications is not supported.

Setting preferences for the remote monitoring service

If your computer contains hard disks which are using S.M.A.R.T. temperature sensors, the monitoring service will automatically record readouts for these sensors as well. This can have unwanted side effects, because the transfer of diagnostic data from the hard disks can slow down the transfer of your normal user data. Additionally, the energy saving feature of macOS will interpret the transfer of diagnostic data as regular usage of the disks, so the drives and the computer might no longer enter sleep mode.

To avoid these problems, S.M.A.R.T. temperature sensors are not queried as often as other sensors. You can set the minimum time interval for accessing S.M.A.R.T. sensors with the slider Update Interval at the bottom of the window. Hardware Monitor Remote will automatically warn you when there is a possible conflict between this preference setting and your energy saver preferences. In this case set a larger update interval.

The new settings become effective the next time you start the remote monitoring service.

Sleep mode and network errors

The transfer of data between the remote monitored computer and the monitoring computer is automatically stopped when one of the two participants enters sleep mode, or there is a communication problem on the network. In this case the two sides automatically disconnect the network link without negative side effects. If the computer running the remote service returns to normal operation later, the service will automatically continue. No further intervention is required. Note however that the other (monitoring) computer will not try to reconnect automatically when the monitored computer wakes up. On the other hand, if the monitoring computer has gone to sleep mode, it will try to reconnect when it wakes up.

Troubleshooting

There are some particular situations caused by operating system problems, where Hardware Monitor Remote may not be capable of starting or stopping the monitoring service.

You cannot launch the background service: The typical cause of this problem is that macOS does not allow the application to use the specified network port. There is either a conflict with another application which uses the same port, or macOS still keeps the port blocked due to a problem with an earlier session of Hardware Monitor Remote. The latter can happen if you have stopped the monitoring service while some network clients still had active connections to it. In this case, please try one of the following solutions: