Is there a way to boot a Raspberry Pi directly to an RDP or VNC session?

I don't want to boot to a full OS with a display manager and THEN RDP or VNC. I'd like to have the Pi boot and only do network, mouse, keyboard, sound and video... pulling everything from an RDP or VNC session.

The thought is to use the Pi's processing for those things and all the other processing is done on the RPD/VNC server.... only passing video, mouse keyboard and sound over the network.

I don't want a full raspian or pidora OS... just a kernel and the absolute minimum to get a RDP/VNC session.

2 Answers 2


I would download a minimal version of Raspbian for your SD card, and then run TightVNC from a script at startup.

  • does accomplish what was asked. It seems you'd still be booting into a Display manager/X session.
    – jag7720
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 19:11

I wanted to do something similar, see:-

Detect if a Pi is running headless

Unfortunately tightvncserver doesn't seem to run if you aren't logged in. There may be ways around this, but in the end I ssh into the Pi, login, then start tightvncserver

  • It seems that would be for accessing the Pi remotely... I want to access a remote VNC server from the Pi... so there is almost nothing running on the Pi.
    – jag7720
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 19:14

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