If users don’t mind typing commands, the command line is a great way to manage remote Linux computers, but sometimes users need to be able to view the GUI. If users don’t have a long cable, one of the best methods is to use the Virtual Network Computing (VNC) or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).
Below are instructions for configuration on the Raspberry Pi. It should be similar for all other Linux-based devices. Some other distributions use different software installation tools and possibly different installation tools.
By default, there are no VNC servers installed on the Raspberry Pi operating system, so let’s start installing these servers. In particular, we will be installing the package for the latest Xfce desktop environment and the TightVNC package available in the official Ubuntu repository.
First, update a list of packages on the device:
sudo apt update
Now install the Xfce desktop environment on the Raspberry Pi:
sudo apt install xfce4 xfce4-goodies
After completing this installation, install the TightVNC server:
sudo apt install Tightvncserver
After the installation, complete the initial configuration of the VNC server, use the vncserver command to set a security password and create an initial configuration file:
After verifying the password, the user has the option to create a read-only password. Users who log in with the view-only password cannot control the VNC instance with the mouse or keyboard. This is a useful option if the user wants to demonstrate something to others using the VNC server, but it is not required.
Now create a secure tunnel to remotely connect to the Raspberry Pi via the Internet. Open the RemoteIoT web portal and click on “Connect Port” in the context menu of the device and select the “VNC” protocol.
Alternatively, customers can install the xrdp package on the Raspberry Pi. This package enables remote desktop on the Raspberry Pi. The package can even be used with Microsoft’s own remote desktop client, which is integrated into Windows.
sudo apt-get install xrdp
Now open the RemoteIoT portal in a browser and log in to the dashboard. Click on “Connect Port” and select the “RDP” port. The user is given a host name (e.g. proxy8.remoteiot.com) and a port (e.g. 10008). Now copy the host name and the port to the Windows RDP client and connect to the Raspberry Pi as if it were in the local network.
Hopefully, users can now use VNC or remote desktop tools on Windows to access their Raspberry Pi.