I've not tried it on a pi, but one reasonable way is to run an 'X Server' on your laptop.
There are a few X servers available for free, but some are flaky. Maybe try the Cygwin one.
Once the server is running (it sounds counter-intuitive, but the laptop client is actually
running the X server) then the pi will be able to communicate to the laptop's X Server
via the network connection.
If you meant to do just a 'screen capture' style of thing, then you could use the
composite analog video out with a 'capture card' type of thing, but this is not the same
experience as an X server.
If your use-case is to be able to see video-related content (e.g. images and video) from your
pi on your laptop, then I'd suggest some alternate method, for example video streaming over
If the use-case is to be able to write software for the pi, then you don't really need to see the
desktop of the pi. You could just write the code on your laptop, and use secure file transfer
and secure shell to transfer it to the pi and execute it.
You can also use VNC. I run my pi's headless, but on the odd occasion I want to see a screen I just start the vncserver.
I ssh'd and and did
sudo apt-get install tightvncserver
followed the prompts,
the first time you run it it will ask you to set a password - enter what you want, but remember it
it will respond with something like
New 'X' desktop is <your raspi hostname>:<display number>
then on your vncclient
tell it to connect to either
<your raspi hostname>:<display number>
if it says it can't find that, then just
<your raspi hostname>
but change the port to
5900 + <display number>
so if <display number> is 1
so the port would be 5901 not the default 5900
the password will be the password you entered when you started the server
I hope this makes sense to you
I really urge you to install an x11vnc server on your Pi, and not the tightvncserver package. The main reason is that probably as most of us you expect seeing on your remote PC the same screen that you see when sitting in front of the Pi (i.e. the HDMI screen = DISPLAY 0: ). X11vnc installs this "out of the box".
After installing by >sudo apt-get update and then >sudo apt-get install x11vnc by sure to run x11vnc once by >x11vnc -storepasswd.
If you want to have it starting automatically when your X desktop comes up, you have to create an autostart directory in your hidden .config directory and add a file x11vnc.desktop :
Here a file that shows this all and ***is working***
Installing x11vnc on Raspberry Pi
with autoload in X at boot time
30 March 2013-03-31
- Why x11vnc ?
X11vnc enables to access the default desktop out of the box (i.e. the desktop is the same as that of the user pi sitting in front of the computer)
- Installing and configuring x11vnc
- sudo apt-get update (just in case)
- sudo apt-get install x11vnc
- run once > x11vnc –storepasswd
This creates a directory .vnc (in users /home/pi ) with the file passwd
- create a directory autostart in .config (it it does not exist) and in /autostart the file x11vnc.desktop with the following lines
Comment=starts x11vnc server with X