RasPi Series {3} – Remote Desktop (RDP) on the Raspberry Pi

What you need to do to install the Remote Desktop Server on your Raspberry Pi and connect to it.

In the last post, we’ve learned what an SSH connection is and what that it is good for. We’ve also learned what an RSA key is and have configured our Raspberry Pi so only we can connect to the Pi with our RSA key.

We now have a connection that allows us to communicate with our Pi at the text level from our network. However, many people are more for a graphical user interface and that’s why we’re going to enable a Remote Desktop connection on our Pi.

When the new one comes, the old has to go

The Raspbian operating system is delivered automatically with the Microsoft Remote Desktop Alternative, VNC server. We have to remove that first so we can install the Remote Desktop Server. Hereinafter called RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol).

RDP is semantic. The RDP is aware of controls, fonts, and other similar graphical primitives. This means that when rendering a screen across a network, this information is used to compress the data stream significantly.

For instance, if you know that this region of the screen if occupied by a button, with the color grey, then you don’t need to send an image of the button across the network, but merely information such as location of this button, size and color.

VNC is “dumb” in this respect, and largely functions by sending the actual images across the network.

RDP is tightly coupled to the Windows platform whereas VNC is available for most platforms. RDP is also seen as far more performant than VNC, due to the semantic advantage.

Carlez Araguz – What’s the difference between RDP vs VNC?

In order to remove VNC completely, you have to enter the following command:

sudo apt-get purge realvnc-vnc-server

During an installation as well as an uninstall you will always be asked for a confirmation. Here and in future in this tutorial series, you should confirm all inquiries of the computer.

Install RDP

After uninstalling, please enter the following to start the installation of RDP:

sudo apt-get install xrdp

Once the installation is done, you should reboot your Raspberry Pi. Restarting the Pi is very easy with the following command:

sudo reboot

Connect via Remote Desktop

After your Raspberry Pi has restarted, you can start immediately. Either you click on Start and enter Remote Desktop Connection and start the software:

or you press the key combination WIN + R and type mstsc and confirm the entry with Enter. You will be asked to enter the IP address of the Raspberry Pi. If you want to use more often the Remote Desktop connection, it is recommended to click on Display Options and to read through the various options and possibilities before you connect.

Now enter the IP address of your Raspberry Pi in the Remote Desktop client and confirm the connection with a click on Connect. Once the connection is established, you will see the following:

Here you log in with your Pi credentials and will be forwarded directly to the Raspberry Pi Desktop.

It should be noted that you will not get a clone from the Raspberry Pi Desktop. For the Remote Desktop connection, a new session is created and you are in a separate environment. 

If you have your Raspberry Pi connected to a monitor, you will not see if one has connected to the Pi via Remote Desktop.


DIY Linux Raspberry Pi RDP Remote Desktop technology Tips VNC

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