Connecting to a headless Raspberry Pi w. VNC

[Update 2018/12/16 For more current instructions see Headless Raspberry Pi and macOS Screen Sharing].

Rather than dedicate a keyboard, mouse and display to my Raspberry Pi I'd prefer to access it over the network. ssh access is usually good enough, but sometimes I'd also like to use its graphical desktop, via VNC.

This post at My Raspberry Pi Experience provides all the required info in one place. Many thanks!

To recap the article: with the Pi connected to my network, and with its IP address reserved on the router, log in via ssh. Then install tightvncserver:

$ sudo apt-get install tightvncserver

Create a script, somewhere on the path, to start the VNC server manually:

# start_vnc_server
# Starts a VNC server listening on port 1, with a 16-bit pixel depth.
vncserver :1 -geometry 1024x768 -depth 16

Run the script (natch).

When you're done, either unplug the Pi or shut down the server. If you're as forgetful as I am, you'll need a script for that, too:

# stop_vnc_server
vncserver -kill :1

I use Jolly's Fast VNC as my vnc client. The Pi's server doesn't seem to advertise its presence via ZeroConf/Bonjour, but it's pretty easy to configure:

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And there it is:

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Coincidentally, it's curious that all of my iOS devices show up in the server list. Someday when time is free I should investigate how to view them via VNC...