Black screen when connecting to idle M1 Mac

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  • #35087
    aaronclawrence
    Participant

    Hi, I am absolutely loving NoMachine. It works fantastically, such an improvement over the old VNC-based sharing! Thank you.

    Using Windows 10 as a client, we have 3 Intel Macs as NoMachine server. Those work fine in every way.

    We also have one M1 Mac that we are starting to use. This mostly works fine, except for two things:

    One is the audio, which I dont care about, and you know about already.

    The second is more annoying:

    If I connect to the M1 from Windows, and it has been idle for a while, then all I get is a black screen on NoMachine. It’s almost like whenever it is locked, except that if I lock the screen and immediately try again it works.

    My workaround is:

    • Connect with VNC
      • I can then see lock screen
      • type in the password.
    • Connect with NoMachine again
      • Now it shows me lock screen
      • type in the password and off we go.

    Using NoMachine 7.6.2 client and server.

    Thanks

    #35125
    fra81
    Moderator

    Hi,

    we can’t reproduce the issue with black screen in our labs. To start an investigation, we would need server side logs. You can find instructions in https://knowledgebase.nomachine.com/DT11R00182#1 and you can send them to forum[at]nomachine[dot]com. Collect them while reproducing the black screen.

    #35132
    Brisn
    Participant

    I’m running a MacMini 2020 with M1 and 2TB SSD. Confirming same behavior; setting all the settings to avoid sleep does no good…unless the monitor is set to “never sleep”, once the screen enters sleep mode a connection  either locally or over the internet (in this case specifically from the !M iOS app on an iPhone) prevents a black screen on the client. The mouse pointer is present and the screen can be zoomed to see the enlarged pointer arrow, but the screen will not wake. Bringing up the virtual keyboard and typing ESC does not wake the computer , as it would if sitting at the actual keyboard.

    If the display is set to “never sleep” in energy saver preferences then there is no problem establishing a connection either locally over the LAN or remotely over the internet but this is not an acceptable workaround…. I don’t want to leave my display on 24/7…this should (to me) be a somewhat simple fix to make but it seems to have been lying out there unaddressed for years. I experience the same behavior trying to connect using the 7.6.2 MacOS client, so the problem seems to be at the MacMini (server) end and this inability with the client software to wake the server Mac from display sleep. I will say this is a wonderful piece of software but this one bug makes all of the rest of the good features the program offers of accordingly no value. I can’t use the product if this matter remains unfixed….why does it remain unaddressed…it’s almost as if the developers don’t fully use their own software enough in the real world to experience these annoying deficiencies for themselves….

    #35136
    aaronclawrence
    Participant

    Alrighty, I have done this now. Thanks.

     

    #35137
    aaronclawrence
    Participant

    Specifically I did the following:

    Connected to the Mac using VNC (typed in the mac password)

    Setup the nxserver debug.

    Disconnected VNC.

    Connected with NoMachine (see the black screen)

    Disconnected NoMachine

    Connected with VNC again

    Collected the logs

    Disconnected VNC.

    #35157
    Britgirl
    Keymaster

    @Brisn, thanks for this additional information about how to reproduce the problem. Every extra bit of information can be useful, especially in this particular because there are three possible ways for a computer to become idle: 1) the monitor enters sleep mode to save energy 2) you close the lid on your macbook/laptop  3) there is a full system sleep where we can only try to wake it with WoL (wake on lan).

    this should (to me) be a somewhat simple fix to make but it seems to have been lying out there unaddressed for years……it’s almost as if the developers don’t fully use their own software enough in the real world to experience these annoying deficiencies for themselves…

    Have you had this problem on Intel as well? M1 only came out last November. Successfully diagnosing a problem and then finding an effective solution can sometimes be a long process, however, I don’t recall *unresolved* problems with NoMachine waking up Intel Macs/Macbooks/Mac (i.e if there have been problems in previous versions, they’ve been resolved). “Deficiencies” can be interpreted as missing features and in that case, we certainly welcome feedback on how to improve and add value to the product.

    #35161
    Brisn
    Participant

    Agreed I will set up my intel Mac as a server tonight and report the findings!

    #35167
    aaronclawrence
    Participant

    Hm, now I think about it, our Intel Macs are set to stay unlocked. Whereas the M1 locks itself.

    So its possible the same problem would happen with them. I might have confused two variables…

    #35168
    aaronclawrence
    Participant

    Britgirl,  thanks for your email about submitting logs.

    I replied via email,  but I’m not sure if that is going to get to you because the reply address is just forum[at]nomachine.com. That doesn’t seem likely to go anywhere useful. So my reply is also here:

    >I don’t know. I haven’t got another message back from the NoMachine email server, nor a reply to the logs email.
    > I was just following the NoMachine instructions.

     

    #35169
    Brisn
    Participant

    This definitely appears to be an M1 issue, or so it seems:

    Now I am running my Intel-based MacBook Pro (Big Sur 11.5.2) as the server.

    Used the same iPhone as in my earlier post of 9.6.21 (iPhone 12 Pro Max iOS 14.7.1).

    The iPhone connects to the Intel-based MacBook Pro (Big Sur 11.5.2) as the server.

    Connects both over the internet to the IP address and specified port as well as to the local LAN address on port 4000, no issues…

    Over to you!

    Brian

    #35170
    Brisn
    Participant

    By “connects” I mean the iPhone wakes up the Intel based MacBook Pro from sleep to the sign in screen whereas the exact same process after connecting to the M1 based MacMini will not wake the screen to the sign in screen….

    #35172
    aaronclawrence
    Participant

    We have found that after VNC disconnects, the M1 Mac locks its screen again.

    Our Intel Macs are still (stuck) on Catalina, and they don’t show this behaviour.

     

    #35184
    Britgirl
    Keymaster

    aaron, we won’t need the logs now, we’ve reproduced the black screen and updated an initial Trouble Report we inserted regarding Big Sur on M1

    https://knowledgebase.nomachine.com/TR04S10180

    #35186
    nxmac
    Participant

    I have also been experiencing this issue since I started trying to use NoMachine on my M1 Mac Mini, and I also found the same workaround (use VNC to connect, then NoMachine, then disconnect VNC).  I actually turn my monitor off, like the test that lead to the knowledgeable article.  I appreciate the presence of an official workaround that doesn’t involve third party software, but I am concerned that it may reduce security (prevent the session from locking at all if I forget to manually lock it locally and/or forget to disconnect remotely).  The trouble report appears to indicate that the NoMachine team will be working on a fix; is it the best place to track progress regarding such a fix?

    #35190
    Britgirl
    Keymaster

    The link is definitely the best way to track the resolution, when the fix has been officially released to the public. Its status will change to ‘closed’.

    We might be able to send out a patched version to users before it gets released to the public.  If we have any news, we will update this topic 🙂

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