RPi VNC Server

From eLinux.org
Revision as of 13:42, 12 May 2012 by Rew (talk | contribs) (Instructions)
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to RPi Guides.

Raspberry Pi VNC Server

What does it do?

Sometimes it is not convenient to work directly on the raspberry pi. Maybe it just has one screen and you are used to a multi-screen setup. This tutorial shows how you can view the raspberry pi graphical session in on your regular desktop in a window.

What do you need?

  • A Raspberry Pi, model B.
  • A boot SD card for the Raspberry Pi.
  • A network connection (Ethernet or WiFi).

What skill level is required?

This project does not require any coding or compilation. Very basic Linux and networking knowledge would be useful, but not essential.

You need to...

  • Install software
  • Enter basic Linux commands
  • Use standard software tools (Windows/Linux/Mac) to add software to your PC
  • Connect computers using ethernet cables

How does it work?

The commands described below start "virtual" graphical session. Instead of using a hardware framebuffer, this uses RAM for a framebuffer. It also opens a port that allows programs on other computers (if they provide the password) to show the framebuffer and provide mouse and keyboard events.

This way you can run a session on the raspberry pi, but display elsewhere.

Because the framebuffer isn't the real framebuffer you cannot take advantage of the GPU to accelerate operations on the screen.

Overview of this project

You need to

  • Install a VNC server on the Raspberry Pi
  • Start the VNC server
  • Install a VNC client on another computer


Log in to your Pi and install the Tight VNC Package

$ sudo apt-get install tightvncserver

Next Run TightVNC Server which will prompt you to enter a Password and an optional View Only Password

$ tightvncserver

Once that is done you can run it straight from the prompt I am using 1920x1080 which is my monitor maximum resolution.

$ vncserver :1 -geometry 1920x1080 -depth 24

Or you could create a script to save typing in the whole thing.

$ nano svnc.sh (call the file whatever you like)

Add the lines:

vncserver :1 -geometry 1920x1080 -depth 24

Ctrl-x y <return> (To Exit Nano and Save)

Set the file to Execute

$ chmod +x svnc.sh

then to run

$ ./svnc.sh

Run at boot.

Start a root session

sudo bash

Create a file in /etc/init.d with a suitable name such as vncboot with the following content.

# Provides:          scriptname
# Required-Start:    $remote_fs $syslog
# Required-Stop:     $remote_fs $syslog
# Default-Start:     2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:      0 1 6
# Short-Description: Start VNC Server at boot time
# Description:       Start VNC Server at boot time.

#! /bin/sh
# /etc/init.d/vncboot


export USER HOME

case "$1" in
   echo "Starting VNC Server"
   #Insert your favoured settings for a VNC session
   /usr/bin/vncserver :1 -geometry 1280x800 -depth 16 -pixelformat rgb565

   echo "Not stopping VNC Server at the moment, on the todo list"

   echo "Usage: /etc/init.d/vncboot {start|stop}"
   exit 1

exit 0

Modify the file permissions so it can be executed

chmod 755 /etc/init.d/vncboot

Enable dependency based boot sequencing

update-rc.d /etc/init.d/vncboot defaults

Reboot your Raspberry PI and you should find a vncserver already started.

Install Tight VNC on your desktop from the link below or most VNC clients work I believe.


Or install it using your package manager. The following works on my ubuntu 11.10 workstation

sudo apt-get install xtightvncviewer

Then use <Your Pi IP>:1 (e.g. as the host name when connecting.

Works Great, select full screen from the tool bar and a full 1080p 24bit desktop is yours from anywhere.