How to Use Your Laptop as a Monitor for Raspberry Pi

Using external displays is a bit of a norm now if you’re in the tech sector playing your part. Not just the tech area. The reason we’ve mentioned the tech area is because today’s guide for you has a lot of tech involved. Especially users of Raspberry Pi. That might’ve gotten a lot of ears raised like it should because since a very long time many Raspberry Pi users have wanted to know how to connect it to their laptop.

This guide is exactly what is going to answer that query of theirs and if you’re one of those users then you should rejoice because the solution we have for you in this guide is going to solve your problem of using your laptop as a display for your Raspberry Pi. Just sit back and relax and read this guide till the end and we promise you we will deliver the solution for your problem.

What is Raspberry Pi?

For those of you who might not know what Raspberry Pi is let us give us a detailed introduction but one which doesn’t drift us away from our topic of discussion today. Raspberry Pi is a series of single-board computers developed by Raspberry Pi Foundation as they partnered up with Broadcom. This miniature computer systems were made in order to teach children in school how to use computers the right way.

Even the developers of Raspberry Pi did not think it would be this big of a hit but it managed to sell in so many areas around the world. It is used in a number of functions such as robotics, weather monitoring and basic programming. The reason the use of Raspberry Pi is so common is because it comes at a low cost, open design, and its modularity is like no other.

The most convenient feature of Raspberry Pi is that it supports connectivity of USB and HDMI so that is another plus for students who would like to learn the basics of computers. This is one of the reasons why teachers prefer to show its functions to students on a larger display and this is why we are going to tell you how to use your laptop as a monitor for Raspberry Pi today.

Use Laptop as Monitor for Raspberry Pi

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is setup your Raspberry Pi which you can do using an Ethernet cable whose port is also present in the Raspberry Pi connectivity slots. The server we will be using to connect your Raspberry Pi to your laptop is the VNC Server software. This will allow you to see the Raspberry Pi’s desktop remotely and this is going to massively help the students who are being taught.

Before proceeding to connect the Raspberry Pi to your laptop’s display, you will need an SD Card which is going to have the operating system preinstalled. You will manage to find a number of tutorials about preparing your SD card for the Raspberry Pi. After you’ve set up your SD Card you can then insert it into the Raspberry Pi.

Step 2

The next step is to power the Pi by connecting your micro USB cable into it. You can connect your Raspberry Pi to your laptop using an Ethernet cable. You can also connect the mouse and keyboard to the Raspberry Pi because of the USB ports that are given. Now connect the HDMI display to Raspberry Pi.

Step 3

Next, you scan share your laptop’s internet with the Raspberry Pi using the Ethernet cable. Since you’re using Windows, you will go to the Network and Sharing Center after which you will go to the WiFi network option.

Step 4

Click on Properties (shown below), then go to Sharing and click on “Allow other network users to connect”. Make sure that networking connection is changed to “Local Area Connection”: This is going to provide a dynamic IP to the Ethernet Port of your laptop and other devices that will be connected to your laptop. In order to check the IP which is assigned to your laptop, click on the new created link.

Then you will ping on a broadcast address of your IP and then stop the ping after 5 seconds.

Step 5

The next step is to setup the VNC server in order to connect your Raspberry Pi to your laptop as a display. You will need to have an HDMI cable for this. Use the HDMI display on your Pi and this will be made possible due to the VNC server we installed earlier. Type the following commands in the LX-Terminal to install VNC:

$ sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get install tightvncserver

AS the VNC server install, you will then type the following command in SSH terminal in order to start VNC:

$ vncserver :1

Step 6

For the next step, you will be told to enter a password and then confirm it but this will only be asked from you for the first time while you setup the entire thing. You will then be asked to put in this password later on to connect to the Raspberry Pi remotely. The VNC Server is now successfully running on your Pi and now the easy part is left, which is to connect it to the laptop in order to display it.

Step 7

Then you will need to download the VNC client on your laptop and enter the IP address of your Raspberry Pi which was given to you. After you connect it, you will get a warning message which you will ignore as you press ‘Continue’. You will now enter the 8-digit password which you entered in the VNC server installation on Raspberry Pi.

Now the Raspberry Pi desktop should appear itself on the VNC Window and finally you will have your laptop as a monitor because it will be displaying everything that you do on the Raspberry Pi.

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