Connecting to your Raspberry Pi

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This is a collection of advice on how to connect to and work on your Raspberry Pi at Hack Manhattan.

As we can't accommodate a large number of displays and don't have many spare keyboards, mice and cables, we would prefer most people to bring a laptop and connect to their Pi by ethernet cable, either via our network or directly.

Preparing Your Pi

To facilitate connection to our network or your laptop, please give your Pi a host name. This can be done on the Pi (running official Debian) by editing the file:


edit the line with the command send host-name commented out, changing it to:

send host-name "YourRPiName";

You'll also need to enable ssh on your Pi if it isn't already enabled.

(If you don't have any other way to connect to your Pi, these steps can be done from your regular PC by putting the SD card into your regular PC and editing the files there).

Connecting to a router

If you connect your Pi to our network, just ask a staff member for the IP address assigned to your Pi's hostname after you connect.

Then you can use ssh to connect to the Pi. In Windows, you can use PuTTY for this ( On Mac OS, see For Linux, ssh is likely installed already and available from the command line.

Connecting Directly to your Laptop

You may prefer to connect your Pi directly to your laptop, to avoid using our network or your own when you return home. This can be done by sharing your laptop's existing internet connection over an ethernet cable. You don't need a special cable, a normal ethernet cable will do.

You will need to turn on some kind of Internet Connection Sharing on your laptop, plug in the Pi, find out your Pi's new IP address, then use that to access the Pi from the laptop.

In Windows 7, open (or search for) the Network and Sharing Center, and pick 'change adapter settings' on the left bar. Right-click your current connection, choose Properties and go to the Sharing tab. Check the box. Plug in your Pi, then open a command line (type cmd from the Start Menu) and run the command 'arp -a'. Your Pi's MAC address and new IP should be listed in the results.

In Linux, you can install a DHCP server like so.

In MacOS, try this method.

Accessing the Raspberry Pi desktop

If you prefer to use the Pi's desktop, you will need to connect and obtain an IP address as above, then use ssh to install a remote desktop server on the PI. tightvncserver works perfectly. Instructions are here.

Then use your OS's favorite Remote Desktop Client or VNC viewer and point it at the Pi's IP address.