How-to Setup a VNC Remote Connection to a Raspberry Pi

I don’t have a Raspberry Pi board, yet I’m using one right now remotely thanks to the VNC (Virtual Network Computing) protocol.

The Raspberry Pi I use runs the latest Debian-13-04-2012 image.

Here’s how to do to access the Raspberry Pi desktop in Windows XP. These instructions could  also be followed to connect to any remote networked Linux device with minor modifications.

  1. Connect to the Raspberry Pi via SSH
  2. Install a VNC server (e.g. tightvncserver):

    # sudo apt-get install tightvncserver

  3. Run startx in the background

    # startx &

  4. Start the VNC server (it will ask a password of your choice):

    # tightvncserver

    New ‘X’ desktop is raspberrypi:1

    Starting applications specified in /home/cnxsoft/.vnc/xstartup
    Log file is /home/cnxsoft/.vnc/raspberrypi:1.log

  5. Back to your computer. Install a VNC client such as  TightVNC for Windows. You only need to select “TightVNC Viewer” during installation.
  6. Start TightVNC Viewer (In Windows XP, Start->All Programs->TightVNC->TightVNC Viewer)
  7. Enter the Raspberry Pi IP address and display number in “TightVNC Server:” field , e.g., select your connection profile and click on Connect.
    Raspberry Pi Remote Desktop Connection
  8. It should now ask for the password you chose in step 4 and you should see LXDE desktop as shown below. The color depth of the display is 8-bit, since I chose “Low-bandwidth connection” connection profile because I access the board via Internet and to make the system more responsive.

Raspberry Pi TightVNC Server and Viewer Connection

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8 years ago

It would not work on my PI as user pi [email protected]:~$ startx & [1] 1281 [email protected]:~$ xauth: (stdin):2: unknown command “c2d7e44cbb17978f166b1e4127 b81c1c” X: user not authorized to run the X server, aborting. giving up. xinit: No such file or directory (errno 2): unable to connect to X server xinit: No such process (errno 3): Server error. [1]+ Exit 1 startx it works fine as root ! [email protected]:~$ sudo startx & [1] 1305 [email protected]:~$ X.Org X Server 1.7.7 Release Date: 2010-05-04 X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0 Build Operating System: Linux 2.6.32 armv5tel Debian Current Operating System: Linux raspberrypi 3.1.9+ #90… Read more »

Dan Randolph
Dan Randolph
6 years ago

Works for me. I just have to use ipv4::5901.
If I don’t specify the “::5901” after the ip address, it won’t work.


[…] How-to Setup a VNC Remote Connection to a Raspberry Pi […]

3 years ago

Starting applications specified in /home/pi/.vnc/xstartup
Log file is /home/pi/.vnc/raspberrypi:4.log

getting this message when entering the input as ‘ # tightvncserver’ and thus not getting the login and verify block .
so what to do for this thing ??