Raspberry Pi: GUI with a Remote Desktop Connection

 

Introduction:

In the LED Blinking tutorial, we use serial command line and software PuTTY to give a command in the Raspberry Pi. For this tutorial, we will use Remote Desktop Connection as our interface to program Raspberry Pi.

We still need PuTTY software to set up a WiFi dongle and access the Raspbian command prompt. PuTTY is a great application for accessing the command line in Raspbian from another computer, but you can’t use it to access the Raspbian desktop (GUI). In order to access the Raspbian GUI from another computer, we need to configure it to work with a remote desktop application. This will allow us to access our Raspberry Pi desktop from anywhere in the world as long as we have a computer with an internet connection. 

Compare to Ethernet cable, I more prefer to use a WiFi dongle, which gives me more flexibility with the physical locations I can store the Raspberry Pi while it is running. Be careful when choosing a WiFi dongle for the Raspberry Pi though, because not all WiFi dongles will work without a lot of configuration.

Hardware Required

  1. Raspberry Pi + 8GB SD Card (Raspbian image)
  2. USB To UART Converter + USB MiniB Cable (2.0)
  3. TP-Link WiFi Dongle

Software Required

  1. PuTTY.
  2. Remote Desktop Connection.

Step by Step

1. In this tutorial, the SD card must be already have Raspbian operating system.

2. Connect UC00A and WiFi dongle to Raspberry Pi. Power it up.

3. Login to your Raspberry Pi through PuTTY and wait until boot complete. Please refer to Led Blinking Tutorial to know how to use PuTTY.

To setting TP-Link TL-WN727N WiFi Dongle, please follow this link

Next, we will setting the WiFi in Raspberry Pi. We need to do some changes to a few configuration settings. Type

[code]sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf[/code]

*Tips : Copy the code and right click with your mouse where you want to paste it into PuTTY and it will be inserted.

4. Replace the code in the file with this code:

[code]country=GB
ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
update_config=1
network={
ssid=”WIFI ID Network”;
psk=”WIFI Password”;
}
[/code]

The entry for ssid=”WIFI ID Network” should be the name of your wireless network, and the entry for psk=”WIFI Password” is the password you normally use to login to your home wireless network.

Now press CTRL+X, then Y, and press Enter to save the changes to the file.

5. To check the status of your WiFi connection, type

[code] sudo iwconfig [/code]

Your WiFi network name should appear under ESSID: “YOUR WIFI NETWORK NAME”.

6. To complete the WiFi setting in PuTTY, we need to reboot the Raspberry Pi. Before proceed to reboot, we need to configure Raspberry Pi first. The command for configuration settings menu is:

[code] sudo raspi-config [/code]

This is where you can change all of the default settings for Raspbian, and do other useful tasks like expand the file system and overclock the processor.

7. Now, we can start reboot the Raspberry Pi, type:

[code] sudo reboot[/code]

Wait until reboot finish.

8. After finish reboot, login Raspberry Pi same as before. To enter Remote Desktop Connection, we must enter local IP Address for Raspberry Pi. To check the local IP address type:

[code] sudo ifconfig[/code]

9. To use Remote Desktop Connection, we must first install a service on the Raspberry Pi called xrdp. To install the xrdp service, enter

[code]sudo apt-get install xrdp[/code]

10. After finish install xrdp. Open start menu and open Remote Desktop Connection on your computer.

11. Insert your IP Address into Remote Desktop Connection and click connect.

12. The screen will appear like this if you success to access your Raspberry Pi. Default login is Pi and password is raspberry.

13. Click ok and we will start go to Remote Desktop Connection interface for Raspberry Pi. It bit slow and lag to open depends on your internet connection.

14. You can start program Raspberry Pi using LX Terminal in Remote Desktop Connection. PuTTY can be off and UC00A can be remove from Raspberry Pi. Once you set the WiFi on Raspberry Pi, you can freely enjoy program the Raspberry Pi in wireless.

Ok, that’s all. If you have any question, feel free to ask in our technical forum as we seldom check the tutorial’s comment section. Thank you.

References

Credit to:

  1. Raspberry Pi GUI with a Remote Desktop Connection by circuitbasics.com
  2. Set Up WiFi on the Raspberry Pi by circuitbasics.com

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