I picked up on a few of Shawn Wallace’s Raspberry Pi 101 tips at World Maker Faire this year and decided a few minutes ago to act on his advice to setup a VNC server so that I can view my Pi’s screen on my laptop without re-patching anything.
I found this site quickly (check out this guide for using Bonjour to auto-locate the VNC server and other cool tips) and was up on my Pi (sporting it’s lovely Occidentalis v0.2 Adafruit Raspberry Pi Educational Linux Distro) in less than three minutes of tweaking. And then I hit the Python Games link!
I went with TightVNC for my server and Chicken-of-the-VNC (Mac only) for my client. I physically have my laptop and Raspberry Pi connected over ethernet to the same little switch, so if you are configuring a wi-fi option, you might have a few more steps.
Oh, and here’s a hint: I opened up the terminal in the Adafruit Raspberry Pi WebIDE and was able to install TightVNC from there using the tutorial. I did learn however that I can’t run TightVNC from that web terminal without establishing the USER environment variable (at first I thought this was an error) — so I used my username and password and SSH’d in via Terminal to startup the VNC server and pick the screen geometry and bitdepth I wanted (I switched between 1024×728 and 1920×1080 and both worked great).
So you’ve got your Raspberry Pi setup, but what if you don’t have a dedicated monitor to use with it (for example, mine’s connected to my TV). How can you use it without disrupting your setup? VNC (Virtual Network Computing) allows you to see your Pi’s desktop and control it remotely using another computer running Mac OS X, Windows or Linux (and other devices too).
The VNC server software runs on your RPi, access it by running VNC client software on your other device.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit, be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Have you tried the new “Adafruit Raspberry Pi Educational Linux Distro” ? It’s our tweaked distribution for teaching electronics using the Raspberry Pi. But wait, there’s more! Try our new Raspberry Pi WebIDE! The easiest way to learn programming on a Raspberry Pi.