Headless Pi

I’ve been frustrated and squinting angrily at the Raspberry Pi Model B several times in the last few weeks for its awkwardness-to-size ratio.

Yes it is delightfully tiny, low cost and lovely, but this tiny ornate filigree of metal and plastic offers plenty of cable chaos. The ports and power are distributed on four of the six sides, five if you count gpio. Consequently when plugged in to monitor, keyboard, mouse, power, the Pi seems to take up an awful lot of space. No coiling and tying seems to make it more manageable, I’ve found that all I can do is stuff the cables behind the monitor, multiplug and desk and try to ignore them.

One way to deal with this insanity is to limit the number of cables needed to plug the Pi. I decided to run it “headless”, just attached to LAN and no peripherals. Then the teeny tiny box can be tucked away somewhere, and I can  log in remotely to view and do what I need to do.

Well, I set it up last night, and after a few false starts it all is working beautifully.

First off you need to set the Raspberry Pi up with a static IP address so that other computers could know where it was on the network 🙂

I used tightVNC to start on boot-up so the Pi is ready to use  whenever I plug in the power. It will automatically vnc with the the default user pi’s desktop, not root, which is great. I had a false start with some other instructions that needed the root user to set up, and that’s just too much power to destroy as a base-line.

As for a vnc viewer on my windows laptop, I’ve historically used realvnc, however I have changed my allegiance to tightvnc. They’ve got an app to work on an android tablet, I am looking forward to having a go with it some time soon.

It’s working really well right now, very discreet. and I can now play around with my pi when I am lolling around in the sitting room with my laptop.

I am now getting ideas about getting a wifi dongle instead of a physical LAN connection. Mobile pi!  Whooo, combined with the camera and a battery pack that could be really fun!