I'm working with unique headless PI that has USB-HID hardware attached to it. On boot, the device stays in terminal mode (does not startx).

I'd like to be able to interact with the programming running on the terminal over the network. A simply SSH won't work because if data comes in through the HID device, I won't see it. Similar problem would exist with sending command inputs to the terminal via SSH.

In Summary: How do you interact with exactly the same tty terminal as the one displayed on HDMI output?

I feel like there should be a screen or tmux option that would do this. So long as I can see the input coming from a device like USB keyboard attached to the PI over the network and HDMI output display the keys I type over the network.

  • If you don't need network, you could just the serial console.
    – someonr
    Mar 25, 2015 at 18:40
  • I think you can use tmux. It supports attaching from multiple clients. Just attach one time locally and one time over the network (though ssh).
    – someonr
    Mar 25, 2015 at 20:13
  • I assume you're thinking about a software solution, but if that's not available, there's a possibility to do this via a hardware solution: HDMI splitter and HDMI extender over cat5
    – EDP
    Jul 26, 2015 at 11:07

3 Answers 3


I would suggest that you use the serial console broken out on the pi's UART pins. Here is an example of how to use it. http://elinux.org/RPi_Serial_Connection If you don't have 5 volt ttl uart, I would suggest that you get a CP2102 usb adapter.

  • thanks for the answer. I asked for "over the network". because there is no physical access to the pi (it's inside a cabinet that we keep locked). I suppose I could rig up a wireless uart but that just seems too much.
    – MandoMando
    Mar 27, 2015 at 13:58
  • I guess I'm not exactly understanding what you need here. Do you need to see system kernel messages? Does this help? superuser.com/questions/30123/…
    – benathon
    Mar 27, 2015 at 19:31
  • If the serial console IS what you want, you could always loop back the serial console with a usb serial or something else. This is a hack but It would work
    – benathon
    Mar 27, 2015 at 19:31

I think screen will do what you want. I can log in on the RPi console and open a login session. Fire up screen to launch a shell session, get things started, then background it. Everything I started keeps running.

Later, I can ssh in and resume the session using screen and pick up where I left off. I can background the session again and pick up from another location.

Screen also has options to share a terminal session, which is what I think youre after.

The suggestion to use tmux is essentially the same thing, although I personally use screen.


UV4L was awesome. It brought your HDMI output up on any webbrowser on your network. Fully interactive too - https://www.linux-projects.org/uv4l/installation/

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