Install Raspbian Buster Desktop in your Raspberry Pi (with optional Remote Desktop)

Raspberry Pi boards can be used in a number of interesting ways for electronics projects. Some of these can be found at this page. But they can be also used as very very small computers with complete desktop environment.

Microsoft has not still published a Windows version working on Arm processors (Windows IoT is something different from a desktop environment). But Raspbian offers a very stable and useful desktop version. Comparison between Desktop and Lite version can be found in this article.

Now, we are going to install Raspbian Buster Desktop. I’ll use the version withOUT recommended software, because I will choose later what software to install.

What do you need

HARDWARE

You can find in Amazon or other e-commerce vendors many offers related to starter kits which includes part of above component. I strongly suggest to evaluate to buy a case with cooling system (fans) if you are thinking to use your raspberry for resources intensive applications.
You also need a PC (notebook or desktop) with an SD card reader

SOFTWARE

  • Raspbian Buster with Desktop disk image (you can download it from here, I used kernel version 4.19)
  • an image flashing software like, for example, Etcher

Step-by-step guide

Download and install in your PC Etcher (if not available).
Download Raspbian Buster with Desktop disk image (ZIP version).
Insert your SD card in your PC/SD card reader.
Run Etcher in you PC. Click “Select Image” and select Raspbian disk image previously downloaded.

Etcher select OS raspbian buster desktop

Now Etcher should also have recognised your SD card. Otherwise, click “Change” and select correct SD card.

Click “Flash!” button and wait for operation to be completed:

Etcher_3

If you want to use your RPI as Desktop PC with a monitor, then you can insert SD card inside Raspberry Pi, connect your monitor and connect power supply. You will logon your desktop with default user (user: pi; password:raspberry). If you want to use your RPI with remote desktop, please see following steps.

OPTIONAL: Enabling Remote Desktop

In my case, I don’t want to use an HDMI connection to my TV in order to finalize system setup (my Raspberry will be connected only via WiFi).

Preconfiguring WiFi and enabling SSH

So, before using it and after having flashed its SD, let’s configure WiFi and SSH connection directly modifying files inside SD card.

Extract SD card and re-insert it in your PC. From our File explorer, in “This Computer” we can see 2 SD partitions:
etcher_raspbian_setup_02
We will create a connection configuration file under boot partition.
Open your notepad and paste following lines:

ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
update_config=1
country=«your_ISO-3166-1_two-letter_country_code»
network={
     ssid="«your_SSID»"
     psk="«your_PSK»"
     key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
}

Replace «your_ISO-3166-1_two-letter_country_code» with your ISO Country Code (such as CA for Canada), «your_SSID» with your wireless access point name and «your_PSK» with your wifi password.
Save this file under boot partition, naming it as “wpa_supplicant.conf”.
In addition, we will create a new file named “ssh” (without extension) under boot partition also to enable SSH in our raspberry. It is not important what is contained in this file: when Pi boots, it looks for the “ssh” file and if it is found, SSH is enabled and then the file is deleted.
So, let’s open a new Notepad window:
Notepad_WindowNotepad_Window

Go to : File -> Save as

change-default-save-location-windows7.pngchange-default-save-location-windows7.png

Select boot partition in left column.

Insert in “File name” field value “ssh” and click “Save”. Be aware that notepad sometimes saves files adding “.txt” extension. So, control saved file and be sure that its extension is NOT included.

Extract SD card from your SD reader and insert it in your raspberry.

Enable Remote Desktop

Power the Raspberry on, wait a few minutes for first boot, check its IP address in your router and connect to it from Putty (or whatever connection program you are using for ssh) using default ssh port (22).

Default user: pi
Default password: raspberry

Make the OS up-to-date:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Install xrdp service to enable remote desktop protocol server:

sudo apt-get install xrdp

Connect remotely with RDP

If you are a Windows PC, open Remote Desktop application and insert you RPI IP address in Computer input box, ten press Connect button. After RSA confirmation window, you should see Raspbian login page:

Raspbian Desktop RDP login

Insert defaul Raspbian username (pi) and password (raspberry).

Enjoy!

Please, share with your friends in your social network if you like this article!

Please follow and like us:
error