VNC / Remote Desktop

If you want a remote desktop, the most universal way is to create a Virtual Network Computing interface. With a VNC server on the Raspberry Pi and a VNC Viewer on a PC, Mac or other Linux/Unix computer you can now create additional displays on the X-Windows server running on the Pi

Installing a VNC Server on the Raspberry Pi

Install the tightvnc package on the Raspberry Pi:

sudo apt-get install tightvncserver

After this, configure the server running the command:

vncserver :0 -geometry 1920x1080 -depth 24 -dpi 96

You are asked to enter a password. After this, you can open an additional display (aka desktop) on any computer running a VNC Viewer. To open the new display, you must specify the display number. This is the number that is given after the IP number that you connect to (e.g.
I use "Real VNC Viewer" (see, this was the first viewer I tried that is very easy to install and use.

Running VNC server at startup

If you want to run VNC Server at startup, create a new file in /etc/init.d, call it something logical (e.g. vncboot) and add the following text:

# Provides: vncboot
# Required-Start: $remote_fs $syslog
# Required-Stop: $remote_fs $syslog
# Default-Start: 2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 6
# Short-Description: Start VNC Server at boot time
# Description: Start VNC Server at boot time.

export USER HOME

case "$1" in
   echo "Starting VNC Server"
   #Insert your favoured settings for a VNC session
   /usr/bin/vncserver :0 -geometry 1280x800 -depth 16 -pixelformat rgb565

   echo "Stopping VNC Server"
   /usr/bin/vncserver -kill :0

   echo "Usage: /etc/init.d/vncboot {start|stop}"
   exit 1

exit 0

Modify the file permissions such that the file is executable:

chmod 755 /etc/init.d/vncboot

and enable dependency based boot sequencing to start at boot-time:

update-rc.d /etc/init.d/vncboot defaults

Note that the USER and HOME specified in the script determine to which user and home directory this display belongs. You may want to change this to USER=pi and HOME=/home/pi