Using with TightVNC and the Raspberry Pi

These instructions explain how to view and control your Raspberry Pi’s graphical desktop from a remote location using TightVNC Viewer.  TightVNC Viewer is free and can be installed on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux computers.

Summary: Install tightvncserver on your Raspberry Pi to allow a network connection to the Pi's graphical desktop from a Windows, Mac, or Linux PC running TightVNC Viewer.  Next, you’ll learn how to configure a Service that is compatible with tightvncserver so that you can easily connect to your Pi from outside of your local network.

Before you start:  Create a free account.  Then install onto your Raspberry Pi.

Works With:

  • Devices: Raspberry Pi running the Raspbian operating system.
  • Clients: Windows, Mac OS/X or Linux running TightVNC Viewer.

Installing the tightvncserver Virtual Network Console service on your Raspberry Pi

In a terminal window on your Raspberry Pi, run the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tightvncserver

Next, launch tightvncserver with the command:

tightvncserver :1

tightvncserver will launch and ask you for a password, which you will use later for connection.  You may also enter a different read-only password which will let you view the Raspberry Pi’s graphical desktop but not interact with it.

Next, confirm that tightvncserver is in fact running with the command:

ps ax | grep tightvnc

Next, check which port tightvncserver is listening on with the command:

sudo netstat -apn | grep tcp | grep LISTEN

This command will show all currently active tcp listeners (servers) running on your Raspberry Pi.  Look for Xtightvnc in the list.  There may be more than one entry.  If so, choose the one with the lowest port number.  In the example shown below, that is port 5901.  Make note of this port number as you will need it in the next section where you will be adding the Service Attachment.


Adding a Service Attachment for tightvncserver

Run the configuration script:

sudo weavedinstaller

At the Main Menu, install a new Service Attachment for VNC using the default port of 5901.  If the actual port in use is not 5901, you will have the opportunity to change this during the installation. 

When you’ve successfully installed tightvncserver and the tightvncserver Service Attachment, the Main Menu will include an entry for Xtightvnc as shown above.

Making a VNC connection using

To connect, sign in to your account and locate the device.  Click on the highlighted Device Name to open the Device Services dialog:

Now click on the name of the Service you just installed in the Device Services List.


Click on the service name to initiate the connection.  In a few seconds you’ll see a dialog box similar to this:


Start the TightVNC viewer application, then copy and paste the address from the Weaved dialog option #3 (highlighted above) to the “Remote Host” field as shown below.  You’ll need to add another colon “:” before the port number.  Now, click on “Connect”.


When you see the VNC Authentication dialog, enter your VNC password and click on “Ok” to continue.


Now you are controlling your Raspberry Pi’s GUI!

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