I've so far been able to connect to the pi by hooking it up to my laptop through an ethernet cable and following the tightvncserver process that allowed me to use the desktop environment from my laptop screen.

I have been able to connect to pi to wifi, while the ethernet cable is plugged in. However I can only connect when an ethernet cable is plugged into the pi from my laptop.

I have no idea how I can use a vnc over the wifi, without needing the ethernet cable. MOst tutorials on this are incredibly confusing, at the moment I can't find a tutorial that seems to be relevant to this problem and that is also clear and not too advanced.

  • So you have got a VNC server running on the Pi? In which case open VNC viewer on you computer and enter the IP address of the Pi.
    – Darth Vader
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


If you want to connect to your PI through vnc do the following:

  1. sudo apt-get update (update your PI to the latest)
  2. sudo install tightvncserver (install vnc server so you can connect to PI)
  3. tightvncserver (run vnc server so you can connect through your laptop)

Once you've done the above and have vnc on your laptop enter the ipaddress of the PI followed by :1 example:

You can get your PI ipaddress by using:sudo ifconfig.

Here's an easy to follow tutorial: VNC Setup In the tutorial it shows you have to set up tightvncserver at startup so you don't have to run it each time you want to connect through vnc.

  • vnc has already been set up and I had it working fine (it has since completely stopped, now I'm getting no lights on my ethernet port on the pi when hooked up and can't even access the terminal. My question however was how can I use vnc without an ethernet cable, just wifi. I now have bigger problems than this.
    – Maitiu
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 13:51
  • @Maitiu Have you got the PI working through wifi? If so then following the above you can connect to your PI with the need of ethernet as you'll be doing it all through wifi. If you have no access to terminal have you tried to reboot the PI?
    – Jason
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 14:16
  • I honestly can't say for sure. The wifi was working, this I can confirm as I saw it in the desktop environment, but without the Ethernet I don't think it was working. This is probably what has happened, I think I've pulled the ethernet out while I was using it to connect to the pi. Because one moment it was fine, the next it is not working and I cannot access it.
    – Maitiu
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 15:14
  • The wifi should be working without the need for the ethernet cable. Take the wifi dongle out and plug it back in. If the wifi still not working reboot the PI without the ethernet cable and just the dongle in.
    – Jason
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 16:14

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