I have a PI that has no keyboard/mouse connected to it. I am controlling it through xrdp. Sometimes I need to output what I see on my remote session screen to the TV that I have connected to the PIs HDMI port. How can I do that?

PS: I am using ubuntu mate


Lets say I am using the PI as a media player and want to play a video file with VLC. I would like that video to be displayed on the TV, not just on my laptop where I remote my PI. Basically, I am hoping there is a command that can tell the system "I want this session to be displayed on screen"

3 Answers 3


I am using Raspbian and export DISPLAY=':0.0' command allows from a ssh terminal keyboard session to run a command like gpicview /etc/alternatives/start-here-256.png and display a picture in the monitor connected via HDMI port on the Raspberry Pi.


If you are using RDP on your laptop to connect to a headless Pi you're off to a bad start I think. You really do not want to watch video through RDP. If you want to use the Pi as a Media Centre it needs to be connected to the TV. There are probably some network streaming softwares but that still means that you need a device connected to the TV to accept the stream and deliver it via HDMI.

RDP is probably the wrong tool as it will open a new session but not on screen.

TeamViewer or, better still VNC, seems to do what you are asking for which is basically piggy back on an existing session.

  • I do not want to watch the stream on the RDP. I want to watch it on the TV, but control the PI through the laptop where I have the RDP. So, while watching I should be able to pause or stop from the RDP and see that happening on the TV.
    – Midas
    Oct 26, 2016 at 5:26
  • @wayjo This isn't a discussion forum; please take the tour to understand better how the site works. Do not post multiple answers as replies to comments, either reply with a comment, or edit your answer, or both. Also, do not use signatures ("HTH cheers wayjo" etc. -- your username is already indicated).
    – goldilocks
    Oct 26, 2016 at 12:53
  • Also: Not sure but I believe Teamviewer is not available on the Pi because it is proprietary and distributed only as x86(-64) binaries, which won't run on an ARM processor. Be sure to check that before you try it.
    – goldilocks
    Oct 26, 2016 at 13:03

Few days ago the people at http://linux-projects published their last "creation" for Raspbian which allows to control the Raspberry Pi from within the browser in real time absolutely plug-in free. There is a demo which shows this software (UV4L) in action by logging in the Rpi from a PC keyboard and playing a video clip. Latency is few ms. This solution does not require any X server on the Rpi. To install it just follows the instructions in the documentation.

  • Let me try it and I will get back asap. :)
    – Midas
    Oct 29, 2016 at 18:05
  • Ok, I followed the installation instructions but I got the following error in the end: uv4l-raspicam : Depends: libraspberrypi0 (>= 1.20160315-1) but 1.20160315-1~xenial1.0 is to be installed Remember, I use ubuntu mate in this case.
    – Midas
    Oct 29, 2016 at 19:06
  • it seems the official Raspbian is supported only, but you always try to force the installation and hope it works.
    – sminkiom
    Oct 30, 2016 at 23:57
  • uv4l-raspicam is for the raspberry camera, I am not sure what is has to do with your question... you need the uv4l-raspidisp driver instead, although I am not sure it does not depend on the same library
    – sminkiom
    Oct 31, 2016 at 0:00

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