rspitz
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"Full Pi experience" with headless Pi?

Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:15 pm

Hello Forum,

my son wants to start playing around with the Pi, but has no room on his desk for an extra keyboard/mouse for this. Plugging in and out repeatedly is not an option.

What is the best solution to get the "Full Pi experience" (graphic desktop and all) accessed from his Win-PC? I know there are VNC, RemoteDesktop, X11 with XMing etc., what would you recommend so it "feels like" being directly connected? If it helps, we could set up a direct HDMI connection, there is an extra input on his monitor.

Regards, Richard

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Re: "Full Pi experience" with headless Pi?

Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:23 pm

Easiest from a windows pc is to use remotedesktop.

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install xrdp
Then just put the pi's ip address in remote desktop connection on the PC.
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rspitz
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Re: "Full Pi experience" with headless Pi?

Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:13 pm

Thanks for the quick reply, sounds easy enough.

Just for my understanding: With RemoteDesktop, the Pi will utilize its own graphics resources, so I have to allocate memory accordingly?

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Re: "Full Pi experience" with headless Pi?

Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:15 pm

You can make do with things like remote desktop, but it will never be the full experience, unfortunately. You just can't get close to the GPU's capabilities over the network using tools like this.

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Re: "Full Pi experience" with headless Pi?

Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:23 pm

If you can give it an HDMI conection, then you can get a fuller experience with GPU etc,
and use synergy to share keyboard/mouse:

https://learn.adafruit.com/synergy-on-r ... is-synergy
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Re: "Full Pi experience" with headless Pi?

Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:11 pm

I use remote desktop with my Pi's all the time - it is very gratifying to have a full desktop on by robots, accessible over WiFi :)

Having said that, your son will not get the "full experience" as remote desktop is pretty useless for video and games on the Pi, or any high speed animation.

I suggest getting an inexpensive LCD TV for him, with an inexpensive wireless keyboard / mouse combination.
rspitz wrote:Hello Forum,

my son wants to start playing around with the Pi, but has no room on his desk for an extra keyboard/mouse for this. Plugging in and out repeatedly is not an option.

What is the best solution to get the "Full Pi experience" (graphic desktop and all) accessed from his Win-PC? I know there are VNC, RemoteDesktop, X11 with XMing etc., what would you recommend so it "feels like" being directly connected? If it helps, we could set up a direct HDMI connection, there is an extra input on his monitor.

Regards, Richard
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rspitz
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Re: "Full Pi experience" with headless Pi?

Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:55 pm

Thanks for pointing out the significant loss of graphics performance over RDP, I wasn't aware that the impact might be so relevant. I use RDP for office/admin stuff at work all the time, where this doesn't matter.

Synergy + direct HDMI connection seem like the way to go then. Is there significant lag of mouse movement with this solution? Also, does WiFi vs. LAN make a difference? I'd have to install a local switch to get a LAN connection for the Pi, since his PC occupies the only LAN port in the room.

Experimenting with Minecraft on the Pi will be one of the starting points. If my ploy is successful, getting him into more serious involvement with programming or electronics, a dedicated desk might be a future option. At the moment there just isn't any space to setup a separate keyboard/mouse and monitor.

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Re: "Full Pi experience" with headless Pi?

Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:44 am

Have you considered getting a 2 port KVM switch that will allow you to connect the keyboard / mouse / monitor to both the Pi and the PC?
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rspitz
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Re: "Full Pi experience" with headless Pi?

Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:21 am

I've thought about a KVM switch, but that would be a significant investment because I'd need one that can handle DVI, not just VGA.

We'll go the RemoteDesktop route first, being well aware of its limitations. We'll reconsider our options as we go along.

Thanks for all your input, I'll let you know how it goes.

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Re: "Full Pi experience" with headless Pi?

Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:51 am

rspitz wrote:I've thought about a KVM switch, but that would be a significant investment because I'd need one that can handle DVI, not just VGA.

We'll go the RemoteDesktop route first, being well aware of its limitations. We'll reconsider our options as we go along.

Thanks for all your input, I'll let you know how it goes.
You stated in original post the TV/Monitor had a spare input, therefore you would only need to use a USB KVM for the keyboad and mouse http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-Port-USB-2- ... 1317525417
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Re: "Full Pi experience" with headless Pi?

Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:58 am

Synergy would be fine YMMV
not real lag
wifi is slower and more prone to problems a switch will help something like
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NetGear-Fast- ... 540fb6889f
will be fine
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Re: "Full Pi experience" with headless Pi?

Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:04 pm

rspitz wrote:Experimenting with Minecraft on the Pi will be one of the starting points. If my ploy is successful, getting him into more serious involvement with programming or electronics, a dedicated desk might be a future option. At the moment there just isn't any space to setup a separate keyboard/mouse and monitor.
This definitely requires a direct video connection - it won't work over RDP.
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rspitz
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Re: "Full Pi experience" with headless Pi?

Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:29 am

fruitoftheloom wrote:You stated in original post the TV/Monitor had a spare input, therefore you would only need to use a USB KVM for the keyboad and mouse
Thanks for the suggestion. I had thought that such a cheap KVM switch might not work without video connected.
Rattus wrote:wifi is slower and more prone to problems a switch will help
Yeah, I usually always prefer LAN over WiFi. If I buy a switch, it'll definitely be a GBit type. I already have a Netgear GS108E distributing the LAN cabling from my basement, probably would get another managed one like the GS105E.

The new Pi is due to arrive later today. I'll keep you updated on how it develops.

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