FlightAware Discussions

PIXEL desktop on PiAware

I have the standard SD card image install of PiAware on my RasPi and so far have been using terminal commands through SSH and PuTTY.

Is it possible to install the PIXEL GUI desktop environment on the RasPi and then use that desktop environment though Xrdp?

The command line utility works fine for common commands like sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade, but it would be nice to have a full desktop environment to use on the Pi as well. Please advise, thank you.

An alternative way to do this is to install standard Raspbian and install PiAware as a package install instead of using the SD card image. Raspbian comes with a free VNC license courtesy of RealVNC.

You simply enable VNC Server in Raspbian and log in to your RealVNC account with it. You can then use VNC Viewer to access your Pi desktop from anywhere. It doesn’t even need ports opening so is great for remote access behind a NAT router. RealVNC’s Viewer also has an iOS and Android app and the way they’ve designed the UI is quite clever; they’ve done a great job of making remote desktop control from a mobile device pretty painless.

1 Like

Thanks for the info. That setup sounds very enticing, especially the easy to use mobile app.

However, I really have no need to manage my Pi from anywhere but home, so connecting to the desktop from my home PC would be plenty sufficient.

I’m still hoping for a solution that allows the use of a GUI desktop with the SD card image.

This short video shows the basic of what is possible as long as a GUI desktop can be installed first: https://youtu.be/WAFaw2Mbnko

This came up first when I googled “RPI install pixel desktop”
You can install rdp too or use VNC.

1 Like

It works!

If anyone else is interested in using the standard Raspbian desktop you need to install:

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends xserver-xorg xinit

sudo apt-get install raspberrypi-ui-mods

sudo apt-get install lightdm

sudo apt-get install xrdp

Then it’s as simple as opening the Remote Desktop Connection app on your Windows machine, entering the local IP of you Pi, and logging into Xrdp with the standard Pi and password (“flightaware” by default). Then you’re taken to your Raspbian desktop environment.