How to Use Remote Desktop on the Raspberry Pi with VNC

Contributors: Shawn Hymel
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Flashing the OS

The Raspberry Pi has several operating systems available for use, and beginners are often encouraged to use NOOBS to install the default Raspbian image. This guide will show you how to configure a headless version of Raspbian to be used with VNC. To do so, we'll be following along with parts of the Headless Raspberry Pi Setup tutorial, but note that we'll be using full Raspbian instead of Raspbian Lite, as we need the Linux X server that comes installed on the full version.

To start, download the latest version of Raspbian.

Note: This tutorial was created with Raspbian Stretch (version: June 2018). Using a different version may require performing different steps than what's shown in this tutorial. If you would like to download the June 2018 version of Raspbian, it can be found below.

Raspbian Stretch (version: June 2018) Download (ZIP)

To flash the image to your SD card, we recommend the program Etcher. Download and install it. Plug your SD card into your computer (using a microSD USB Reader if necessary), and run Etcher. Select your OS image file (no need to unzip it! just select your downloaded .zip file in Etcher), select your SD card reader, and click the Flash! button.

Using Etcher to flash an SD card