How To Connect Raspberry Pi To A Laptop Via WiFi?

Last updated Aug 16, 2020

Raspberry Pi is a relatively inexpensive computer which is as small as the credit card. You can plug it into your computer monitor and TV and operate it by using the standard keyboard and mouse. It is a very useful little device.

It gives people of all ages an opportunity to explore the world of computing. You can also use it to learn how to program in languages such as Python and Scratch. In fact, it can basically do everything a standard desktop computer can do. You can play high definition video games, browse the internet, make spreadsheets, and so on.

Moreover, the Raspberry Pi gives you the ability to interact with the outside world. It has been used in many digital maker projects such as parent detectors, music machines, weather stations, and even the birdhouses that have infrared cameras and can tweet. Raspberry Pi can be used by children and adults all over the world to learn how computers work and learn about programming. 

After you buy Raspberry Pi and an SD card, you may not want to buy a display, mouse, and keyboard separately just to create a project. Do not worry. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection. Here is how to do it.

  • Make sure to install the OS on the SD card.
  • If you have a blank SD card, you can download and install the Raspberry Pi operating system quite easily. In some cases, it has already been installed. You will need to have the OS on the card to proceed with the tutorial. 

Configuring the Wi-Fi connection on the SD card

You need to configure the SD card so that the Raspberry Pi connects to the Wi-Fi after boot. After the Raspberry Pi has been connected, you will be able to access the terminal via SSH.

First, insert the SD card into the laptop. When the “boot” file shows up, create a file called wpa_supplicant.conf in the folder. In this text file, you can store the information, such as the preconfigured network keys and accepted networks. Creating this file will configure the Raspberry Pi’s internet connection. The “ssid” in the file is the name of your Wi-Fi network, and the “psk” is your Wi-Fi password (at least this is how it should appear in the file).

After you create and update the file, create the empty SSH file in “boot.” Make sure that the file does not have any extensions. Having this file will give you the opportunity to access the Raspberry Pi terminal when you are connected to the local network. 

Connecting to the Raspberry Pi with SSH

After all of these steps, you can turn on your Raspberry Pi. Make sure that the laptop and your Raspberry Pi are on the same network. What you need to do next is get the IP address of your Raspberry Pi on the network.

Running arp -a will show you the IP addresses of the devices on your network, you should be able to see the Raspberry Pi listed there with its IP address. You can then run ssh [email protected][the Pi’s IP Address] to connect to your Raspberry Pi. This should give you access to the Raspberry Pi command line. If this is your first login, then “raspberry” should be your default password. Your own custom password can be configured after the first login. 

Installing the VNC server

If you have completed all of the aforementioned steps, then you should have access to the Raspberry Pi terminal. The next step is gaining access to the Raspberry Pi desktop. In order to do that, you will need to install the VNC server. When you run the VNC server on the Raspberry Pi, you can control the desktop remotely on the laptop (VNC viewer). Real-vnc-server tends to work well in this situation. 

After you have finished with the installation, you should enable the VNC server. There are several steps you will need to follow to achieve that. Firstly, type sudo raspi-config into the terminal. After you do that, a pop-up window will appear, and you will need to navigate to the “interfacing options.” Afterward, navigate to “P3 VNC” and choose “yes.” 

Installing the VNC viewer on your laptop

You can install the VNC viewer from the RealVNC. After you have installed the viewer, you will need to launch it. Once it has been launched, type in your Raspberry Pi’s IP address as the VNC server address. You may have forgotten the IP address by now. No problem. Just run the arp -a again.

After this, you will be prompted for the Raspberry Pi default credentials by your VNC viewer. If you have not configured them yet, then the default password is “raspberry” and the default username is “pi”.

And that is it. After all of this, you should be able to see your Raspberry Pi desktop. 

You can use your Raspberry Pi for a variety of great projects. For example, you can use it to print. If you have a printer at home that cannot be accessed wirelessly, then you can breathe new life into it by using the Raspberry Pi that is connected to the home network and the print server software.

One of the most popular ways in which people use this machine is gaming. Retro gaming, to be exact. In fact, the device works almost ideally as a retro gaming machine.

Another perk of the device is that its default operating system comes with the pre-installed Minecraft, and it can be used as the game server as well.  There are many more ways your Raspberry Pi can entertain and educate you. 



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