Use Your Tablet As Raspberry Pi Screen





Introduction: Use Your Tablet As Raspberry Pi Screen

You need a certain type of monitor to use Raspberry Pi. Most of people do not have a monitor specifically for his/her Raspberry Pi. By taking this method, you can make your tablet or smartphone a screen for your Raspberry Pi. This will increase your productivity when you work with Raspberry Pi since you don't have to connect it with a PC screen.

Note that this technique works only when your Raspberry Pi and tablet/smartphone are connected to a same WiFi network.

For the detailed procedure, please refer to my blog.

Step 1: Check Raspberry Pi IP Address

You will be required IP of your Raspberry Pi in the following steps. You have to connect Raspberry Pi with screen and open the command line to In order to check the IP. Enter ifconfig or hostname -I. Keep the IP!

Step 2: SSH Client Setting - 1

SSH (Secure Socket Shell) client needs to be installed on your device. For example, Serverauditor is available both for Android and iOS devices. As an example, check my blog to set up SSH client, Serverauditor.

Step 3: VNC Server Installation and Setting

You can do this either on your tablet as now your SSH is available. Of course, you can do this on your Raspberry Pi connected with a PC monitor. Open a console line and enter the command by referring my blog.

Step 4: Install & Set Up VNC Viewer App on Your Tablet

Now you need to install VNC viewer app on your device. Many similar apps are available. The most famous one is the app by Real VNC. Once you install a VNC app, you need to set it up. You will need to enter Raspberry Pi IP followed by ":1" which is a display number. Also you will required VNC server password that you create in the previous step.



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    56 Discussions

    this seems more like an ad for your website than an instructable geez


    1 year ago


    I encountered the following error at step 2.

    Please advise.

    Thank you.

    Screenshot (373).png


    If you have proper network routing set up on both
    devices, this should be possible even over the Internet. It'd be too
    entailed to describe the steps here, and since I don't have an rPi to
    work with, I can't create an instructable to show you how. However,
    what you will need to do is to add a forwarding rule to your home
    Internet gateway/router, to point incoming traffic to your rPi.

    Ports to open:

    vnc-server 5900/tcp # VNC Server
    vnc-server 5900/udp # VNC Server

    ssh 22/tcp # The Secure Shell (SSH) Protocol

    1) permanently assign an IP address to your rPi, on the gateway/router.

    Create forwarding rule to allow incoming addresses asking for port 5900
    to be redirected to that permanent IP address and same ports. Note:
    This allows any monkey on the internet to poke your VNC services, so
    make sure you have passwords set up. You may have to do the same for
    port 22, or SSH. Again,if someone gets that password, they can take
    over your rPi, and try attacking everything on your home network too.
    You can tighten security by only allowing specific IPs to "come in", so
    make sure to learn how to do that once you have a working connection.

    3) From your rPi, Go to
    to see what IP address from the "outside" you'd need to use on the
    "outside computer." When you are "inside" you would use the IP from
    step 1.


    In regards to the IP
    address details in the configuration of VNC, this interface is looking
    for IP:Display# , not IP:port number. VNC is a tool to allow multiple
    people to have separate virtual "displays" to interact with the VNC
    server. Each user has a definition, which includes the display numbers,
    in the example, it's display 1. Additionally, VNC can be changed to
    unique ports per connection.

    8 replies

    Is it possible assign a fixed ip?
    Your mobile connected to internet by a provider, you find ip by whatsmyip if you hit that ip with any other device, do you think request will come to your mobile ? You sure ?

    No, no no... No. Do not do this. This is extremely dangerous, opening your network up to LOTS of bad things for zero gain.

    I will say again: DO NOT OPEN UP PORT 5900 TO OUTSIDE TRAFFIC.

    Because there is no need to do so, when you are connecting to SSH anyway. Just use a SSH tunnel to connect to port 5900 through the SSH connection. Then all your traffic for both SSH and VNC is encrypted (Which most VNC connections are NOT by default) and you only have to open a single port.

    Final warning: Do not open 5900 to outside traffic.

    Yes, It is the clever way to encrypt the communication using ssh tunnel !

    Thanks. Your comment is definitely a good addition for this post. It's roughly mentioned,
    But I didn't know what to do. As you advise, setting password is must for security, I think. Also thank you for pointing out wrong description. I corrected "port#" as "display#".

    Rather than opening ports (which is inherently insecure) you can set up a free VPN service using Weave. See Raspberry Pi instructions at

    Or use proper port redirection. Pick a random public side port that maps to the standard private port.

    Using a different port than standard is nearly as insecure as using standard port is. Port sniffing is so easy to do nowadays that using non-standard ports is only useful if the attacker is using IP range discovery to hunt for low hanging fruit (people with open common ports) that he might gloss over you and pick someone else. If it's your specific system he is after using non-standard port is useless.

    The onyl proper solution is to use secure/encrypted networking. Besides, NX/X2go are better for latency and speed in most cases than VNC and are inherently more secure because they're built atop of ssh -x and promote best practices (certificate based auth etc.)


    1 year ago

    Another method is set a static IP on the Pi, update to PIXEL(which has inbuilt VNC, has to be enabled in raspi-config), install VNC client in play store or app store, give the IP and get started.

    Optionally,you could use RDP. It works surprisingly well compared to VNC.

    1 reply

    It's possible to use the TCP/IP over USB, where you connect RasPi and
    the tablet by a USB cable; which of course takes care of charging the
    tablet battery. Caveat: I did it on a Beaglebone, but it should work on
    RasPi as well.By the way, VNC is one way to do it, and you
    can also install and run an X server on the tablet and display remote
    X11 protocol.


    1 year ago

    nice! will the tablet get asleep if viewing long time?

    1 reply

    It's up to your tablet. I didn't test how long battery lasted. But it doesn't consume battery so much, I feel.

    Don't stop with the Raspberry Pi.

    You can use VNC on any Linux based or Windows based computer. Install "tightvncserver" on either, configure(make sure to give it a password) and start.

    Set the VNCserver to be either view-only or complete control.

    Once you get it running, you will install it on anything you want to remotely access.

    !Security Warning! VNC has little or NO security. do NOT VNC on an open network as 100% of your keystrokes can be captured and logged.

    If you need more security, try tunnelling VNC thru SSH, google instructions.

    I agree, NEVER open port 5900(VNC) to the wider network, that is just asking for trouble. Even SSH will be targeted with 100s of login attempts ever minute. Anything that is internet facing WILL be probed/attack and you will quickly find out how nefarious and ingenious the rest of the world is.

    use "ifconfig" to get the IP address (or addresses).

    "hostname -l" may return, the localhost IP address.

    ifconfig will list all active network interfaces.

    So, if you have a small USB-to-WiFi adapter, you will have two-2 real network interface: eth0=Wired Ethernet, wlan0=WiFi (and lo=loopback, the internal network)

    You could use the simple shell script with grep to get just the ip address(es):

    ifconfig | grep "inet addr:"