If users don’t mind entering 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 do not have a long cable, one of the best methods is to use the VNC protocol (Virtual Network Computing) or RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol).
The following are instructions on how to configure on Raspberry Pi. For any other Linux-based devices, it should be similar. Some other distributions use different software installation tools and possibly different installation tools.
By default, the Raspberry Pi operating system does not have VNC servers installed, so we will start by installing these servers. Specifically, we will install the package for the latest Xfce desktop environment and the TightVNC package available in the official Ubuntu repository.
First on the device, update a list of packages:
sudo apt update
Now install the Xfce desktop environment on Raspberry pi:
sudo apt install xfce4 xfce4-goodies
Once that installation completes, install the TightVNC server:
sudo apt install tightvncserver
After 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 will have the option to create a view-only password. Users who log in with the view-only password will not be able to use the mouse or keyboard to control the VNC instance. 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 connect to the Raspberry Pi remotely via the Internet. Open the RemoteIoT web portal and click “Connect Port” on the device context menu and select the “VNC” protocol.
Alternatively, customers can install the xrdp package to the Raspberry Pi. This package will allow remote desktop on the Raspberry Pi. The package can even be used with Microsoft’s own remote desktop client built into Windows.
sudo apt-get install xrdp
Now, open the RemoteIoT portal in a browser and log in to the dashboard. Click “Connect Port” and select the “RDP” port. The user will get a host name (such as proxy8.remoteiot.com) and a port (such as 10008). Now copy the hostname and port to the Windows RDP client and connect to the Raspberry Pi as if it were on the local network.
Hopefully, at this point, users can now use VNC or remote desktop tools on Windows to access their Raspberry Pi.