Connect Raspberry Pi To Tablet Display

To beginning using Raspberry Pi, you volition demand many accessories to arrive work properly. The screen is probably the most expensive accessory if yous’re starting from scratch.
If yous have an iPad at abode, you may wonder if at that place is a way to connect both and use the iPad as your Raspberry Pi monitor.
Y’all’re at the right spot, there are several solutions, and I’ll show you the easiest i today!

The Raspberry Pi tin be continued to an iPad to utilize it as an external monitor. A wireless solution is to use an app like VNC to remotely control the Pi. No estimator is required, everything can be set up up from the iPad.

I will introduce other solutions at the end of this tutorial. But first, I’ll show you how to use this method. Y’all tin practice almost everything from the iPad, so if y’all merely have a Raspberry Pi and an iPad, you can set this upwardly easily.
If yous accept an Android smartphone or tablet, I recommend checking this article instead.

If you need assistance getting started on Raspberry Pi, I have an unabridged form to guide you through your first steps. I’ll help you lot use the perfect hardware, plug everything in and install your first system. You’ll also do your start projection with me, but to make certain you are ready for the next level. Get all the information on this page if you are interested.

Raspberry Pi Installation

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I’ll start with the Raspberry Pi installation, including a few tips to do virtually of the steps from the iPad.
Obviously, if your Raspberry Pi is already installed, you can skip this part and get directly to the iPad connectedness.


We’ll use the Wi-Fi to connect the iPad and the Raspberry Pi, so you don’t demand anything special for this installation, but as a reminder here is what I’m using:

  • A Raspberry Pi four iv GB: Any Raspberry Pi model should be ok, this is just the i I’m using, and it’southward perfect for desktop usage.
  • A decent SD carte: I’yard using the SanDisk Farthermost Pro for meliorate functioning, just yous don’t need anything fancy here. Just avoid something as well small (32 GB is fine).
    If y’all are interested in performance comparing, y’all tin can check my benchmark of seven popular SD cards here.
  • The Flirc case: Not mandatory at all, only it’s what I’grand currently using (you can read my review of the Flirc Case hither)
  • An iPad: I’m not really an Apple fanboy, simply for a tablet, I nonetheless prefer the iPad over Android alternatives. And manifestly, you need ane because that the goal of this tutorial 🙂
    Any model will exist fine, I’chiliad using this one currently, it’s the classic model.

A figurer is non mandatory only volition be useful, especially if yous need to prepare a new SD card.
I’ll use the iPad directly for all the steps, but if you lot have a computer, experience complimentary to utilise it, information technology should be more comfortable.

Install Raspberry Pi OS

The first step is to install an operating organisation on your Raspberry Pi.
Almost any distribution should exist ok, every bit we’ll utilise a popular app you can install it on whatever system. But for this tutorial, I’ll bear witness you how to do this with Raspberry Pi OS.

No computer?

If y’all don’t have a calculator this is the nearly complicated stride. As you probably know, we generally download the Raspberry Pi image and flash information technology on a SD card to install the system. This is not possible if yous don’t have a calculator.

The first solution will be to borrow a computer from a friend at work/school
and flash your SD card past post-obit the standard procedure from here.

Merely I have another alternative for you if that’s not possible.
You lot can also employ an Android telephone and create your SD carte du jour on it.

This video shows you how to do this:

With a computer

If yous have a calculator you can follow these steps:

  • Download the Raspberry Pi OS image
    from the official website
  • Download and install Balena Etcher

    You tin also use Raspberry Pi Imager, it’s the aforementioned thing.
  • Flash the SD card
    by using Etcher
  • That’s it 🙂

If you need detailed instructions to do this, you can check out my full guide hither on how to install Raspberry Pi OS Desktop.

Enable SSH

Before going further, we’ll configure the organisation to start SSH directly on the first boot. This way nosotros can access the Raspberry Pi remotely and continue this tutorial.

  • Insert the SD card in your computer once more
    (Etcher will squirt it automatically)
  • Go to the SD card files with your file explorer app
    On Windows, you should have a new disk, mayhap something similar Eastward:
    If you are using an Android telephone, you can too browse the files on the SD carte
  • Create a new file named “ssh” in the root folder
    Exist careful if you are on Windows, your system is not showing the file extension by default, and nosotros don’t desire any extension.
    Yous have to cheque the box “File name extensions” in the “View” tab to run into it
  • That’s information technology, you can
    safely eject the SD card
    and insert into in your Raspberry Pi to boot your system.
    This file will tell Raspberry Pi OS to automatically start SSH on kicking so that we can directly connect to it.

If you want more details about this, or if you need to use a Wi-Fi connectedness on the Raspberry Pi, you tin can check this tutorial on the topic.

Find your Raspberry Pi IP address

Raspad 3

Acquire & program in Mins

A tablet that gives you access to all the Raspberry Pi ports you lot need, with a elementary interface to commencement programming easily.

After a few minutes, your Raspberry Pi should take completed its first boot. Before accessing it remotely, nosotros need to find its IP address.

Most networks are using a DHCP server to classify IP addresses, so you might get a different one each time.
There are many means to find the Raspberry Pi IP Address, but today we’ll endeavour to do it on the iPad.

Raspberry Pi Os configuration

We are nigh done with the Raspberry Pi OS function.
We’ll employ VNC to connect the iPad to the Raspberry Pi desktop.

This volition allow you to see the entire Raspberry Pi screen from the iPad and control information technology.

VNC is not enabled past default, and nosotros need to set the access countersign before using it.
We’ll configure this with SSH:

Now, the Raspberry Pi is ready to utilise, we just demand to install VNC on the iPad.
you tin can do the same affair on your computer past using “Putty” or any other SSH client.

Are you a bit lost in the Linux command line? Bank check this article outset, for the nearly important commands to recall, and a free downloadable cheat sheet and then you can have the commands at your fingertips.

Use your iPad as a Raspberry Pi Monitor

Install the app on iPad

Now that everything is ready on the Raspberry Pi, the last step is to install a VNC Viewer app on the iPad:

You might need to adjust the zoom (with two fingers) if the display doesn’t fit perfectly (mine was besides zoomed in at the first connection).

If it is working pretty well, and the display quality is good, you tin can do nearly anything with information technology. Mouse control may not come naturally, you might need a few minutes to handle information technology correctly.

You can motion the VNC menu wherever you want. By default, information technology’s in the top-left corner, exactly on the Raspberry Pi master menu, and so not the best location. Touch information technology and keep information technology pressed to move it to another spot.

Onscreen virtual keyboard

If you lot really want to use your iPad as a monitor, you will need a keyboard. There are ii ways to do this.

The first way is to use the VNC keyboard, which yous tin can access in the “…” bill of fare nosotros moved previously.
It’south the virtually natural way to practise this, as it’ll apply your iPad keyboard and add a few other features (like the keys shortcuts y’all can see on top).

It works pretty well, but it takes up too much space on the screen, and the Raspberry Pi brandish volition not auto-resize to fit the first half of the iPad screen, so information technology’southward helpful, merely not perfect.

Y’all can also use a virtual keyboard, direct on the Raspberry Pi Os (you can bank check this post to know how to install information technology).
This interface volition be slightly ameliorate, but the VNC mouse get in difficult to utilize.

And if you want to use a physical keyboard, check my recommendations here: Tested: The Best Keyboards For Raspberry Pi

My thoughts well-nigh this solution

As you might already understand by reading the previous steps,
using an iPad is a expert temporary solution if y’all are traveling and only have your iPad and Raspberry Pi.

Yous tin can use this solution to do something apace on your Pi (mayhap save your photos and upload them somewhere in the cloud), but information technology doesn’t seem to exist a skillful solution for a daily usage.

The PiHelper app is excellent if you need something to control the Raspberry Pi and blazon a few commands.

The VNC app can be used to set up the Raspberry Pi at the beginning of a project if you don’t need the screen anymore afterwards that, but non for desktop usage.

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Other solutions

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If you are looking for something better, here are a few other solutions yous can endeavour to improve your Raspberry Pi monitor without spending as well much money (most of them are almost free).

iPad Pro

If y’all have an iPad Pro, yous can try the same solution, simply there is a ameliorate way.
The iPad Pro comes with a USB-C port that you lot can plug into your Raspberry Pi
to power it AND control it without a network connexion.

So, it’s a fiddling easier, as y’all don’t demand a Wi-Fi network to use VNC and command your Raspberry Pi, just it’s non revolutionary.
I don’t have an iPad Pro to examination this, but I don’t think the USB-C connection will help set up our issues.

A pretty adept solution will be to utilize the Magic Keyboard with information technology. The keyboard issue will be stock-still (but non the mouse). For part use or for coding, the Magic Keyboard should be enough.

Raspberry Pi Screen

The best mode to command a Raspberry Pi is to employ a touch screen made for it, rather than using an iPad.

As yous may already know, I’ve been using the SunFounder 7″ touch screen for a few months, and I’m loving it (yous tin read my review here).
It’s a bit modest for desktop usage, merely it’south much amend than using an iPad .

Android tablet

Information technology’due south non really an culling, merely
if you don’t have an iPad, you tin can utilize your Android tablet (or phone) and do the aforementioned thing.

VNC is available on the Play Store.
I tested it and I had the same upshot with the mouse. So, no improve, no worse.

VNC alternatives

Another strategy can exist to supersede the VNC app with something else.
On Windows, RDP, NoMachine, and TeamViewer are good alternatives to VNC, and they are available on iPad/Android.

I tried with RDP, only I had the same issues equally with VNC.
The only 1 that is working equally I expected is NoMachine. It really clicks on the Raspberry Pi and not where the cursor is. Then, the mouse is stock-still with NoMachine, and you can actually apply the virtual keyboard, so it’s pretty good.

I would say,
VNC is the quickest solution to make it work almost immediately afterwards the installation, if you don’t need a monitor all the time. But NoMachine is probably the best solution overall if you want decent condolement and regular desktop usage.

If you want to endeavor this, y’all can check out my tutorial hither, to know how to install it on your Raspberry Pi. Everything tin can exist washed in SSH, and so yous tin can continue with your iPad.
I as well made a video about this choice, you can find it on my YouTube channel here:

Feel gratis to get out a annotate in the customs if you take any questions or suggestions to improve this!

Additional Resources

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