How to remote desktop onto the Raspberry Pi using Xming

For a lot of implementations of a Raspberry Pi having a physical monitor isn't necessary, so being able to remote desktop onto it makes it easier to manage everything from your primary computer. This post gives a step-by-step guide of how to do this.

Step by step instructions

There's several methods of remote desktoping on to a Raspberry Pi, in this tutorial we'll be using some software called Xming.

  • On your primary computer go to download the setup file and install with the default configuration
  • Launch the program once it's complete
  • Download putty and open the exe file 
  • Set the 'Connection Type' to SSH
  • Get your RPi's IP address, you can do this on a Pi running Debian by opening a terminal and typing 'ifconfig', this will show an IP similar to
  • Back on your primary computer, type the IP address into the 'Host Name' in putty, the port will usually be 22
  • On the left hand side options tree, select Connection > SSH > X11 and check 'Enable X11 forwarding', this enables you to run software on linux in a windows style with graphical windowing
  • Go back to 'Session' in the left hand tree options, enter a name in 'Saved Sessions' and click 'Save' so you can use these settings again later
  • Lastly, click 'Open' at the bottom, you may get a fingerprint warning, just click yes
  • Login with your username and password (if you need to change this, go to a terminal on your RPi and type passwd to change the password)
  • Back on your primary computer in the putty window, type startlxde to load the Raspberry Pi desktop

If you find the remote desktop window is split or not the best size for your screen, see the tips section.


Loading window

If you're running on smaller monitors or find that the RDP window is loading to large, right click on the Xming icon (usually on your desktop or in the start menu) and go to 'Properties', in the 'Target' box add the following to the end:

-screen 0 800x600@1

This will load RD into a 800 x 600 windows, you can adjust this to suit your needs. You may also find it runs better if you remove the -multiwindow option. Here are my full property target options:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Xming\Xming.exe" :0 -clipboard -screen 0 800x600@1

Reboot / Shutdown

You can reboot or shut down the raspberry Pi remotely using:

shutdown -r now

Remove -r for shutdown only.

Running Commands

Note that you can't run other commands in putty while you've got a RD window open. 


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NEXT: Introduction to the raspberry pi

An introduction to the Rasberry Pi and it's uses.

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