Using the recommended VNC viewer for the Raspberry Pi 5 

 VNC is using a computers desktop from the display of a different computer. For most users both computers will be in the same building and on the same network rather than over the internet. Additional computer settings and security is required for that. 

With the release of the Raspberry Pi 5 there is also a new PiOS (operating system), 12 Bookworm.
Bookworm has a few changes to previous versions to be more compatible with other Linux distributions.
One of those changes is to the VNC software.
Previously RealVNC was used but this currently will not work on Bookworm so WayVNC is used which has limited compatability with VNC viewers so TigerVNC Viewer is recommended.

For the slower Raspberry Pi's such as Pi3B+ and lower will still be using X Window enviroment with Bookworm so Real VNC will still work. This change is required when Bookworm is using Wayland on the Pi4 and Pi5.

VNC can be activated in the Raspberry Pi Configuration option

RaspberryConfig Option for VNC

or from the terminal window using: sudo raspi-config

raspi config VNC options

VNC Viewer

To view the Raspberry Pi's Desktop from another computer or mobile device you will need a VNC Viewer installed.
In this case TigerVNC Viewer can be used or you can continue to use the RealVNC viewer even though the RealVNC server is not being used on the PiOS Bookworm desktop.

I have tried the TigerVNC Viewer on Linux Ubuntu 23.04 and it worked perfectly. I then tried it on Windows 11 and ran into an issue with the configuration but eventually got it to work. See below.

On Android the RealVNC  viewer can be  used to view the pi. There is no TigerVNC Viewer on Android and others i tried didn't work.

Using the Tiger VNC Viewer

The TigerVNC viewer is available from SourceForge

If you are using a Linux distro then it will also be available from your Package Manager.

On opening the Viewer you are asked to enter the sever details.
This is either the Raspberry Pi's Hostname or it's IP address on your network.

TigerVNC Viewer Server option

On the Raspberry Pi the hostname is usually the name that is shown by the prompt in the terminal window username@hostname You can also check you hostname by typing "hostname" in the terminal window.

If you need to use the ip address then that can be found using the commands 'hostname -I' (capital I) or 'ip a'

VNC Finding the IP Address on the Raspberry Pi

Now back on the device running the TigerVNC Viewer. Enter the Hostname or IP Address in "VNC Server"
and then Connect

TigerVNC login

You will be prompted for a Username and Password.
These are the ones you use to log into the Raspberry Pi.
Then select OK.

You will see the Raspberry Pi desktop appear on your screen. You can now control of your Pi as if you are in front of it.

There are additional options available by pressing F8.
Options such as enlarging or reducing the size of the screen of displaying full screen.

You can also use copy and paste between the two machines.

New Raspberry Pi Worldwide Desktop Sharing service:

RaspberryPi have a peer to peer Desktop sharing option called rpi-connect for free worldwide access to your Rpi using just a web browser. Find out more RaspberryPi Connect - Worldwide Access to your RPi5 RPi4 or RPI400


Windows 11 Connection Issue

UPDATE: the issue highlighted here has been fixed in the PiOS Bookworm update of 5th Dec 2023. Windows will work with the "Tight" encoding. 


When using the TigerVNC viewer on Windows 11 I got the error

Invalid Pixel Format

TigerVNC PixelError Windows

when trying to connect.
This was resolved by going into Options first and changing the Compression - Preferred encoding
to Hextile from Tight.

TigerVNC PixelError Options Windows

Once this is done the Raspberry Pi's Desktop worked as normal.

On Ubuntu it worked fine with the default option of Tight.


I have not been able to test this with the Mac OS. 

See the comments below from Mac users. Confirming TigerVNC works on the Mac and The MacOS Remote Desktop software can be used if encryption is disabled


Add comment

as of 22 FEB I could not make it work on Mac, using the built in Screen Sharing... or from the finder --> Cmd-K ( connect to server ) and selecting VNC://IPaddress, where tigerVNC works ... so interesting and thank you for writing this.
Hi Sean You are welcome. Thanks for highlighting the VNC situation on the Mac.
it works on mac
disable any encryption and it will work
it works on Mac
Thanks billg I take it that refers to the built in Mac VNC software?
How can I disable encryption
It is nice that you told us that we have to disable encryption, but how do I disable that?
How to Disable encryption
Hi Marcel

That line is from billg in the comments. I don't own a Mac so I am unable to check how it works.

This link references the Remote Desktop preferences for encryption. Though it also states.
"Important: If you use Remote Desktop to control a computer running non-Apple VNC software, nothing is encrypted."

Hopefully that is some help.