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The 100 best digital picture frames on amazon

Screen shar­ing with a Rasp­berry Pi 4 (Buster) and a macOS com­put­er (Catali­na)

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Many Rasp­berry Pi instal­la­tions run as remote sys­tems, which means that you don't have access to their screens. But some­times, it may become use­ful or nec­es­sary to see what comes up on the dis­play. This is what screen shar­ing is for.

It used to work with­out a hitch a few years ago, but then some changes were intro­duced either on the Rasp­bian or the macOS side, and it stopped work­ing for me.

In this arti­cle, I will show you how you can see your Rasp­berry Pi's screen from your macOS com­put­er with­out installing any extra soft­ware.

Prepa­ra­tion

I have test­ed this set­up with a Rasp­berry Pi Mod­el 4 and the lat­est Buster release.

Sev­er­al arti­cles on the Inter­net talk about the need to install extra VNC soft­ware, but this is not nec­es­sary. Both the Rasp­berry Pi and the Mac are shipped with all it takes.

Two impor­tant points upfront:

First, you can only see the screen of your Rasp­berry Pi if there is a screen con­nect­ed to it. The mon­i­tor may be turned off but, the pow­er sup­ply of the mon­i­tor may even be unplugged, but you still need the nor­mal HDMI con­nec­tion between your Rasp­berry Pi and the mon­i­tor.

And sec­ond, your Rasp­berry Pi must boot into the desk­top, not the con­sole.

To check this boot set­ting, enter

sudo raspi-config

in the Ter­mi­nal win­dow and select (3) Boot Options > B1 Desktop/CLI and then B4 Desk­top Autolo­gin.

Con­fig­u­ra­tion

While you are in the con­fig­u­ra­tion mod­ule, select (7) Inter­fac­ing Options > P3 VNC and enable the VNC Serv­er. Close the con­fig­u­ra­tion and reboot.

The VNC pro­gram of the Rasp­berry Pi requires a bit of a con­fig­u­ra­tion before you can con­nect. I will describe how to do this remote­ly when you are ssh'ed into your Pi via Ter­mi­nal.

If you don't enter the com­mands below, you will get a mes­sage that "The soft­ware on the remote com­put­er appears to be incom­pat­i­ble with this ver­sion of Screen Shar­ing".

This is a tad con­fus­ing and may lead peo­ple to think that a spe­cial VNC view­er must be installed. But the fix is very easy.

Open a Ter­mi­nal win­dow and con­nect to your Pi. Gen­er­ate a pass­word for your con­nec­tion. I believe it must have a min­i­mum of six let­ters.

sudo vncpasswd -service

Open this file

sudo nano /etc/vnc/config.d/common.custom

and add this line:

Authentication=VncAuth

Now restart the VNC ser­vice.

sudo systemctl restart vncserver-x11-serviced

Open­ing Screen Shar­ing on your Mac

Open the "Screen Shar­ing" app on your Mac. You won't find it in the Appli­ca­tions fold­er but if you enter "screen shar­ing" in the search box, then the app will come up.

Enter the IP (or the host­name) of your Rasp­berry Pi, enter your pass­word and voilà!