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Access your Raspberry Pi remotely from another computer

Raspberry Pi remote access

In this tutorial you will learn how easy it is to setup your Raspberry Pi to be able to remotely work with it from another device. By working this way, you don’t need a monitor, keyboard nor mouse connected to your Pi. Often this is also a much more convenient way to work as you can use your usual desktop PC, laptop or even smartphone.

What you’ll need for this tutorial

For this tutorial, you need to have your Raspberry Pi running on the latest version of Raspbian. If necessary, we have a short tutorial where you can learn how to update Raspbian to the latest version. This version includes VNC®. VNC® is a graphical desktop sharing system that allows you to remotely control the desktop interface of your Raspberry Pi from another computer or mobile device.

To setup the remote connection, your Raspberry Pi has to be connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Once the connection has been established, you won’t need these peripherals any more. It’s just the time to make everything ready. There is a way to setup the remote connection even without peripherals on the Pi. But as it is more complicated, we won’t cover it in this tutorial. 

While your Raspberry Pi will run the VNC server, you’ll also need the VNC viewer running on your desktop PC, laptop,… . Depending which operating system you are using you will have to download the VNC viewer from following webpage:

www.realvnc.com/en/connect/download/viewer

download VNC viewer

Both applications are free for private use.

To be able to connect both devices, we will use a local network or WiFi. Make sure your Raspberry Pi is connected to your LAN or WiFi network. It is also possible to make a remote connection over the internet using VNC® . But this won’t be covered it this tutorial.

Enable the VNC server on the Raspberry Pi

Let’s come back to the Pi now. As already mentioned, Raspbian comes with the VNC server pre-installed. So we just have to enable this function. For this we open: applications menu > Preferences > Raspberry Pi Configuration as shown in the picture below.

raspi-config
  

Once the Raspberry Pi Configuration menu opened, click on the tab “Interfaces”. Select here “Enabled” in front of VNC. raspi-config-VNC

Find out your Raspberry Pi’s IP address

To be able to access your Pi, we will use the Pi’s IP address. For this we have to open a terminal window as shown below:

At the command line we enter:

ifconfig

This command give you lots of network related information.

Near to eth0 (for a wired connection) or wlan0 (WiFi connection) we can see the current IP address. In our example of the figure above it is 192.168.0.16. or 192.168.0.24. Write this IP address down, as you’ll need it later.

Important Remark

A static IP address makes it easier to access your Raspberry Pi from another computer. So, before setting up a VNC-connection, it is advisable to give your Raspberry Pi a static IP address. This will avoid updating the IP address of your VNC viewer at the other computer when a new IP address has ben assigned by your router. In this tutorial you can find out how to give your Raspberry Pi a static IP address.

That’s it for the Raspberry Pi. Now we can go on with the other computer.

Install the VNC viewer on your desktop PC or laptop

Once you’ve selected and downloaded the VNC viewer file, you have to run the installation file.

VNC_install

Follow the installation wizard until the Finish button.

Establish a connection to your Raspberry Pi in VNC viewer

To make a connection with our Pi now, we have to open the VNC viewer application. There, we have two possibilities to make a connection. One is by signing in to the RealVNC server (in the cloud). Here we have to create an account first and need internet access. This connection type has the advantage of giving remote access to your Pi over the internet, but it’s slightly more complicated than the “direct connection”.

As most of the time your Raspberry Pi will be part of the same local network as your desktop PC or laptop, a direct connection is an easy and straight forward way to establish a connection. To do this, just insert the IP address of your Raspberry Pi in the navigation bar.

VNC_connect1

After having entered the IP address of your Raspberry Pi, an authentication window should open.

VNC_authenticate

Enter the username and password of your Pi. If you didn’t change these, it’s “pi” and “raspberry” as shown in the picture above. For obvious security reasons, if not already done, consider to change your username and password on your Pi.

Congratulations, you can access your Raspberry Pi from a remote computer! From now on you can take full advantage of this much more convenient way of working on your Pi.

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