Raspberry Pi LESSON 37: Run a Remote Graphical Desktop From the Raspberry Pi

In earlier lessons we showed you how to remotely login to your Raspberry Pi using the putty SSH program. This is great for many things, but sometimes you would like to have the full Raspberry Pi graphical desktop available from a remote computer. In this lesson we show how to run the Pi Graphical User Interface remotely. The software is TightVNCserver, and it really works great. The video above steps you through installing and running the software.

18 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi LESSON 37: Run a Remote Graphical Desktop From the Raspberry Pi”

  1. Hello Paul,
    may I kindly suggest (ask for) some additional activity in Your
    excellent lessons, namely a how to transfer files between PC
    and Raspberry and also how to communicate with a USB disk
    device. It would be a great step forward in using this great machine called Raspberry Pi. Thanks a lot

    1. not sure if this matters now, but latest raspbian jessie works just like windows file explorer, but from CLI something like
      mv filename.txt sda/filename.txt

      File transfers either done by ssftp or by a program like filezilla (windowz/Linux/Mac)

  2. Paul,
    I can SSH login to my RPi2 using Putty from my MacBook and I can ping my RPi too, but not port 5900. However, after starting up the VNC server on my RPi I can’t log on using tightvnc-jviewer.jar as a client from my Macbook. The VNC server refused port 5900. Do you know how I can determine if port 5900 is open on my RPi, or do you have any recommendations of how to move forward?


    1. Ralph,
      I have never played with an Apple computer, so dont know how it handles the port. I am sorry I can not help on this.

  3. Hi Paul,
    I’ve enjoyed going through your lessons on the Raspberry Pi. Running a remote user interface is very nice, since you don’t have to have a keyboard and monitor attached to the device. But since the ip address can change, you would have to manually reconnect to get the address when it does. Can you talk about setting up a fixed ip address so that step would not be necessary? Also, since the kit contains a USB wifi adaptor, can you show how that is set up as well?
    Thanks for a great series of lessons!

    1. You need to assign a fixed IP address to your pi. This is something you do through your router. There are some many different routers, I can not tell you how to do it, but look up the router you have and find the instructions for assigning a fixed IP address.

  4. Dear Mr. McWhorter,
    today I’ve finished the last of the 37 Lessons after a lot
    of weeks full of experience and your good advice.
    Thanks a lot for your great and helpful courses.

    Volker from Dortmund/Germany

  5. Many thanks for your Linux/Raspberry Pi tutorials. You answered a lot of my questions, and demonstrated the subject- matter in an easy-to-listen style.

  6. I’ve watched a lot of raspberry pi videos and nothing was as good as yours sir!

    Thank you so much for your help!

  7. Mr Mcwhorter,

    GOOD/BAD review:

    First off thank you for your free online lessons. You have helped me out more then I can explain. I do not think I would have gotten my prototype sensors working without your leasons on the arduino.

    I will admit that I was a little disappointed with the raspberry pi. In one of the earlier videos you talked about how the future courses would involve arduino and raspberry pi, however this was just lightly covered.

    I was expecting at the end of the raspberry pi course to have a servo linked up to a sensor of some sort and that the servo would move based on how the environment moves. For example a servo moves at a certain pressure or temperature.

    I was under the impression from the earlier videos that there would be more high altitude ballon information.

    Thank you again for your videos, if you have any sources or recommendations on other resources for advanced learning past your courses, it would be a big help.

    Thank you again and again for your videos as I can not imagine how much time it took you to share your knowledge.


  8. hi
    your all command of Linux is working but in window10 that show no connection & all so, please help me what can i do

  9. I love all your lessons! Im new to linux so they definitely come in handy. I really like how you have Tightvnc run on startup. My question is how would i run this on startup so i dont have to run it myself?

    raspivid -t -0 -w 1080 -h 720 -awb auto -fps 30 -rot 90 -b 1200000 -o – |ffmpeg -loglevel quiet -i – -vcodec copy -an -f flv -metadata streamName=myStream tcp://

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