I'm wondering how people develop Raspberry Pi applications for small TFT displays. The environment does not seem to support dual displays. A 2 or 3 inch display is too small to be useful for development. I want to develop an application that will use a 2 or 3 inch display but I don't want to do the code development on such a small display. I've got VNC setup but the screen size will mimic whatever physical display you've got attached.

Is there a way to setup a development environment for a Raspberry Pi with a 2 or 3 inch 320x200 TFT display but using a high res monitor (via VNC or something else) to run the development environment from a larger screen. I'm planning on using either C or Python.

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    Welcome to Raspberry Pi! Please take the tour and visit the helpcenter to see how things work here. If VNC is not doing what you want, it is worth investigating X11 forwarding with ssh as that will not be limited to the screen resolution of the remote system. Check unix.stackexchange.com for some good and in-depth answers on the topic. – Ghanima Nov 5 '18 at 20:34
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    Why not just develop your app to run in a window specified as 320x200, then run fullscreen when on the TfT display. – CoderMike Nov 5 '18 at 21:58
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    Is there a reason you develop it on the Pi directly instead of a PC and copying the result over? – John Keates Nov 6 '18 at 2:44

I use sshfs to do this.

I have a small bash script in my ~/scripts directory on my Linux Mint workstation that contains the following (in fact, I have several of these scripts, but I digress):


sudo sshfs -o allow_other pi@pi-dev:/home/pi/repos /mnt/pi-dev

When I want to do development on my "pi-dev" system, I simply run that script and the remote "repos" directory on the Pi is mounted into the /mnt/pi-dev directory on the local file system.

In my IDE, I simply open the repository I want as if it were local. It does not allow me to use the IDE to actually run the code directly, but my IDE has a built-in terminal so I just create another SSH session to the Pi from within the IDE, and do my run and debug stuff through that instead.

  • I suppose an SSH session and a remotely mounted FS will work okay. I would really like to be able to run the PI's GUI to take advantage of the Python IDE for example. – Jeff Wahaus Nov 7 '18 at 17:44

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