This tutorial will demonstrate how to setup and connect to a Raspberry Pi over VNC from Ubuntu. This process is easier if you have a display connected to the Raspberry Pi, but will also show the steps to connect with only Ethernet and power connected. It assumes you have Debian for Raspberry Pi installed on an SD card. If not, see RPi Easy SD card setup

Getting the IP address of the Raspberry Pi

The first step is to locate the Raspberry Pi on your network. If you have access to a display for your Raspberry Pi, this task is simple, in a terminal simply type:


All the network interface configurations will be displayed, including the IP address. However, if you don’t have a display for your Raspberry Pi, this isn’t an option. For this task, we can use the Linux nmap (Network Mapper) utility.

sudo apt-get install nmap

Then run a scan on your local network. Be change to the specifics of your own network.

nmap -sV -p 22

The results will display every machine that could be identified on port 22. The Raspberry Pi (running Debian) looks something like this:

Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.033s latency).
22/tcp open ssh OpenSSH 5.5p1 Debian 6+squeeze2 (protocol 2.0)
Service Info: OS: Linux

Connecting over SSH

So we know that the Raspberry Pi has IP address: Now we can ssh to it:

ssh [email protected]

And you should receive a message like this:

The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?

Type yes at the prompt, then enter the password for the user pi, ‘raspberry’ by default. You should get a prompt that looks like this:


Configuring VNC

Now that we have logged in to the Raspberry Pi, we can setup VNC for remote access. First we need to install the VNC server:

sudo apt-get install tightvncserver

Next, start the VNC server on the Raspberry Pi. Adjust the geometry paramater to your desired display size.

vncserver :1 -geometry 1024x600 -depth 16 -pixelformat rgb565

You will be prompted to create a password for VNC login. Once you do, you should see a line looking something like this:

New 'X' desktop is raspberrypi:1

Now, we can finally connect to the Pi with VNC. Back on the Ubuntu machine, install the VNC viewer client:

sudo apt-get install xtightvncviewer

Then connect to the running VNC server:


To stop the VNC viewer, just close the application. To stop the VNC server, issue the following command (on the Raspberry Pi):

vncserver -kill :1

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