I have a non-WiFi RPi Zero and no monitor, but I have a laptop. I saw on YouTube only for WiFi versions. Are there methods to connect it to laptop for that?

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    Welcome -- I removed the "cheap displays" bit because shopping requests are explicitly off-topic here. Also, the Pi Zero has a (mini-) HDMI output. With a mini-HDMI to HDMI adapter you can plug it into any HDMI display, and you can hunt for cheap HDMI displays easily yourself. The adapters are < $5 and also easy to find. Beware there is a micro HDMI that is not the same! – goldilocks Jul 3 '18 at 15:03
  • Also beware you cannot connect it to your laptop via the HDMI jack, because your laptop's HDMI jack (if it has one) is an output, not an input. – goldilocks Jul 3 '18 at 15:06
  • Yeah! Good! So I will search for very very cheap display. So... Write this answer! – machinetosh Jul 3 '18 at 15:06
  • If you add a network adaptor, then there a several protocols to do it over the network. – ctrl-alt-delor Jul 4 '18 at 11:12

How to connect laptop as monitor to RPi Zero

You can't, unless you have an unusual laptop. You cannot connect a normal laptop as a monitor to anything, because a normal laptop only has video outputs, not inputs.

Note that the Pi Zero has a (mini-) HDMI output. With a mini-HDMI to HDMI adapter cable you can plug it into any HDMI display. The adapter cables are < $5 and should be easy to find.

Beware there is a micro HDMI that is not the same!

You could connect it to the laptop using a USB ethernet adapter and a cable, but if you are going to do that you might as well get a wifi adapter.


The RPi Zero is slightly different from the other pis in that it doesn't have a Display Serial Interface. So when choosing a screen you need to make sure that those are not required for the monitor you choose.

https://www.sainsmart.com/products/3-2-tft-lcd-touch-screen-with-sd-slot is a good example of one that could work. It uses SPI and some GPIO pins though, so you may need to solder the headers onto the board.

Also, if you do choose to go with this screen, this link has some info on setup: https://www.element14.com/community/message/136013/l/re-sainsmart-lcd-tft-pi-32#136013

  1. HDMI to USB capture converter.

There is "video capture devices" that captures the HDMI signal and give you a video stream in your laptop. They are some times also called "Video recorders"

Use a search engine and search for "HDMI usb converter capture"

  1. VNC.

If you have VNC server running on the Raspberry Pi Zero and a VNC client on your Laptop, then you can remotely control the Raspberry Pi over IP/WiFi from your laptop.

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