Configure Raspberry Pi Remote Desktop To Windows 11/10, Mac & Linux

Connect to your Raspberry Pi with remote desktop on Windows, Linux and Mac devices.


Configure Raspberry Pi Remote Desktop To Windows 11/10, Mac & Linux

Raspberry Pi is a low-cost, credit-card-sized system that gets plugged into a system, TV, or monitor. It uses the very same standardized mouse and keyboard. OR, it can be its own computer because why not? It has the power and specifications to do so. Now, the problem is that what if you want to access your Raspberry Pi remotely from Windows 10, 11, Linux or Windows machine?

By default remote connections are turned off, in this article, we cover how you can configure your Raspberry Pi to be able to connect over remote desktop protocol (RDP).

With its help, you can explore computing and also learn how to program in various languages such as Scratch and Python.

Before you continue make sure to have the following:

  1. Raspberry Pi 3 or 4.
  2. A mouse and keyboard
  3. A 16 GB Micro SD card, preferably from SanDisk or Kingston.
  4. An internet connection (needed for the remote connection).

Why do people use and don’t use a Raspberry Pi

A Raspberry Pi Computer

They use it because:

  1. It carries multiple sensors.
  2. Can be used as a portable system.
  3. Fast processor.
  4. It is a cheap mini-computer.
  5. Very light in weight and can be carried
  6. Provides support to different kinds of codes.

Why they don’t:

  1. It does not run Windows by default (Yet).
  2. It is impractical as Desktop Computer.
  3. It misses Graphics Processor.
  4. It misses eMMC internal storage and needs a micro SD card.

5 Benefits to RDP to your Raspberry Pi

The benefits are endless with the abilities it opens with having the remote desktop connection protocol enabled on the Pi. Below are some of the best advantages you get by doing so:

  1. You don’t need a physical cable connection.
  2. You can connect over your wireless or wired network.
  3. Connect to your Raspberry Pi computer from anywhere in the world.
  4. Use it as a secure server on which you can run services including a VPN.
  5. Access blocked sites or apps by connecting remotely over a censored network.

Configure Raspberry Pi Remote Desktop for Windows 11, 10, Mac and Linux

It is a proprietary protocol that has been designed to make use of low bandwidth connections to provide your desktop with access.

To allow usage of RDP on this we shall be using software which is known as xrdp.

This software would take both your screen and formats into RDP implementation.

It has many benefits over a VNC server or Teamviewer, the biggest being the low bandwidth needed to use it.

For this, you need X windows implementation installed to display the desktop otherwise you shall see a blank screen.

The tmate software shall work if you are only looking for terminal sharing.

First things first we need to be sure that everything is up to date, for this run the following commands:

[email protected]:~# sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

After this, you need to install “xrdp package” to the Raspberry pi which shall allow remote raspberry to it.

If you are not aware then this is an open-source implementation of Microsoft’s proprietary RDP server which is the very same protocol to which many windows installations can be connected to and from.

Moreover, it also works with Microsoft’s own client which is built there within Windows.

[email protected]:~# apt-get install xrdp

As it gets installed there is nothing much left to do.

It will get installed with the best configuration automatically and work great.

To go back to its local IP address using the following command:

[email protected]:~# Hostname –I

SEE ALSO: How To Create Your Own Bluetooth Jammer with Python on Raspberry Pi.

Setup VNC Server and PiTunnel

VNC is also another method that you can use to connect to your Pi device. The only downside is that it works on local networks and not over the public internet.

To configure VNC for remote desktop, follow the below instructions:

  1. Run the software configuration utility, don’t forget to “sudo”.
[email protected]:~# raspi-config

2. Now choose “interfacing Options – Option #5” and select it.

VNC Interfacing Options

3. Now choose “VNC – Enable/Disable graphical remote access to your Pi using RealVNC“.

Enable RealVNC

4. In the prompt window on next screen, choose “yes” to go ahead.

5. Finally hit “Ok” and your remote access is now enabled and running.

ALSO SEE: How to Activate Python Virtual Environment in Windows 11.

Words of advise: The default RDP port 3389 is commonly known and is always brute-forced. It is recommend you change it to something much random.

How To Connect to your Raspberry Pi with Remote Desktop Protocol

For this, you need to have a remote desktop application on your system and Pi’s local IP address.

First things first, you need to launch the “Remote Desktop Connection App” on your PC.

Click on the search bar, type the above term and open the icon that looks like a desktop.

There next to “My Computer” simply enter its local IP address or Public IP address then press the “connect” option.

Once the connection has been established you need to enter in username and passcode for Raspberry’s existing account.

If you are using the default one then for the username use “pi” and for a password use “raspberry”.

Xrdp remote desktop to Raspberry Pi

You shall now be able to have to access it by using the remote desktop tool on the PC.

If there are any issues then check to see if you are utilizing the correct IP address or not, else you can also use another method like TeamViewer or TightVNC software.

ALSO SEE: Ninja IDE for Raspberry Pi 3 and 4 Python Programming (Free).

4 Remote Desktop Client Alternative Choices

Royal TS

It is designed to provide both support for RDP and others including VNC, SSH, FTP and SFTP and connection via web-based interfaces. It has many features like credential management and sharing features which mean there is no need to log in again and again.

Raspberry Pi Remote Desktop Mac Client

Out of many features, one great is that it is able to create command tasks and key sequence tasks through which you can create your very own tasks as well as automate troubleshooting processes part.

It carries a “lite” version which can be downloaded for free and allows up to 10 connections and credentials.

Download Royal TS


Terminals Raspberry Pi Remote Connection

This is free and open-source. It aims to manage the issue which controls different connections at the same time. Along with providing support to RDP, it works with VNC, VMRC, SSH, HTTP and HTTPS.

It is rich in features like a multi-tab interface, resizable windows, toolbars which can be customized, connection history and many more.

Download Terminals

Screens for Mac

If you are a Mac user and looking for an alternative then this is your call. Moreover, for users of the iPhone, it comes with Screen iOS that shall help you to control other systems from your phone or iPad simply by using an SSH connection.

It carries a free trial of screens MAC called Screens Express but with limited use for certain situations.

Download Screens for Mac


This one is a toolbox for remote computing. It shall provide you with many functions that to in a single windows app that is tailored for programmers, IT administrators, webmasters and other users who need to deal with their remote job in a simple manner.

Download MobaXterm


This article touched on various aspects on the Raspberry Pi remote desktop configuration on Windows, Linux and Mac. We have used the two primary methods which involve xrdp and using VNC which is the most preferred one. We ended up showing you alternative RDP clients that you could install for wider flexibility.

Other tutorials you will find interesting to read:


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