RaspberryPi Connect is a new Service by RaspberryPi to securely remotely access your Raspberry Pi from anywhere using a web browser.

 Since the first Raspberry Pi's where released in 2012, if you wanted to use VNC (Virtual Network Computing)  desktop sharing then you just used it within your local network.

Though you can use VNC across the internet it's a security risk, so you will need to configure a firewall and other security features to make sure nobody else on the internet can gain access to your Network. Not that they would, because everybody on the Internet are kind and honest. 

With the PiOS moving to Bookworm at the end of 2023, the RaspberryPi Foundation has created the RaspberryPi Connect service for VNC (though the name is similar, it has no relationship to this website in any way).

The RaspberryPi Connect service securely links to the Rpi-Connect software running on your Pi5, Pi4 or Pi400 running in your home and a Web browser located anywhere in the world for Desktop sharing.

How it Works

  • A Pi5, Pi4 or Pi400 using PiOS 12 Bookworm 64 bit version and the standard Wayland display server, runs the Rpi-Connect Software. This automatically starts at boot time.
  •  At any location, using a compatible web browser, log into your account at https://connect.raspberrypi.com and select  "Connect" for the Pi you want to use.
  • A direct encrypted connection will be setup between the Web Browser and your Raspberry Pi.
  • View and use your Pi's Desktop in the web browser window.

If your Web Browser and RaspberryPi are having trouble setting up a direct connection then a secure link maybe setup via the connect.raspberrypi server instead. This will probably cause a slower connection.

 Currently the system is in Beta testing (May 2024) so there may be some issues until it is officially released.

Raspberry Pi ID

To use rpi-connect you will need a Raspberry Pi ID which can be setup at https://connect.raspberrypi.com

RPI- Connect Raspberry Pi ID account Login

You can setup two factor authorisation which is a good idea being that anybody who can access your Pi through your account, will also have access to your home network.

Now install the rpi-connect onto your RaspberryPi with the commands

sudo apt update

sudo apt upgrade

sudo apt install rpi-connect

After a reboot you will see the connect Icon by the clock.

rpi connect sign in

Use the Sign in option to link the Pi to your ID. You will be given a Verification link to follow.

Then create a name for your Pi that will be shown in your ID account. So i'm calling this connection Pi5.

rpi connect name your Raspberry Pi Device

Once complete your Pi will be listed in your ID account.

So I now have a Pi4 with a Camera called Cam64 and a Pi5 setup. The Pi5 is currently switched on so it is the only one with an available Connect button.

rpi connect device connection names

When you select connect, after a brief wait, the Raspberry Pi's desktop shows in the web browser.

RPI Connect Desktop Sharing in a Web Browser

At the bottom of the screen are some icons of keyboard keys. These can be used when the web browsers shortcut keys don't allow you to use esc, ctrl, alt or tab while using your Pi's shared desktop.

rpi connect stop sharing

If you don't want your Pi to be available for sharing for a period of time then it can unselect the "Allow Screen Sharing" option in the rpi-connect menu option.

 

The full documentation for rpi-connect is here https://www.raspberrypi.com/documentation/services/connect.html 

 

 Limitations

This is not available on PiOS 32bit versions.

On the Pi5, Pi4 or Pi400, if you have changed your window server to X Windows from Wayland in the Raspberry Pi Configuration, then this will also not work for you.

The Raspberry Pi 3B+, RPI2, RPI and PiZeros will not be able to use rpi-connect because when using PiOS Bookworm from the Raspberry Pi Imager, they will be setup to use X windows as Wayland need more resources and will slow these devices down.

As this is desktop sharing this will not work on a RPi setup for headerless use, which does not have a desktop. It looks like this service will be extended to ssh at some point in the future which is good news for headerless users.

 


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