Raspberry remote access

On this page I will show you how to access the Raspberry Pi in a Windows environment.

– Acces the home directory on the Pi with sftp.
– How to access Windows machines by name.
– access via PuTTY.
– access via Remote desktop client XRDP.
– Setting up a CIFS shared folder on the Raspberry Pi via Samba.
– Accessing a shared folder on the network via Samba
– Use Zeroconf/Bonjour to resolve names

Get the IP address assigned to the Pi



and note the IP address assigned to the RPi

Enable SSH

sudo raspi-config

Accessing the home directory on the Pi with sftp

First get Filezilla, the free ftp client which has served me so well for years (if you note the security risks!). The website is https://filezilla-project.org/, be careful with alternative names!

Accessing the home directory on the Pi, /home/pi, is easy:
Start Filezilla and use quickconnect with the following information:

  • Host = ip address of your Pi
  • Username = pi
  • Password = raspberry (but you should have changed that!)
  • Port= 22
  • Press the quickconnect button

Now you get access on the richt panel to your Pi /pi/home directory, on the right you can have any folder on your PC. Upload, downlaod as you wish!

Port 22 means you are using sftp. This file transfer protocol is available and enabled once you enable SSH.


Filezilla is a great program but is has a big security risk by design: the Site manager. Never use that feature, there are many many known examples of ftp sites hacked because Filezilla stores passwords unencrypted. If you want to store usernames and passwords, us something like Keepass.

filezilla screenshot


To use ssh terminal access to your Raspberry Pi, use the excellent PuTTY program.
It requires SSH access via raspi-config as shown above.

PuTTY allows access to the Raspberry Pi by IP number, or hostname once you have added a Samba share.

Install XRDP for Remote Desktop Client from Windows

sudo apt-get install xrdp

You can access the remote desktop with iP number, the hostname with Samba installed (and that can be changed with raspi-config), or hostname.local thanks to Zeroconf.

On Windows use the Remote Desktop Client. On Android use aFreeRDP.

On Jessie the cursor is X-shaped. Make it an arrow with this recipe:

1) create the file .xsessionrc in the home directory (note the dot at the beginning)
2) make it executable with chmod ugo+x .xsessionrc
3) put the following content into this file:
xsetroot -cursor_name left_ptr&

Open a command window and type

$ nano .xsessionrc

Type in the fullscreen editor that opens just this line:

xsetroot -cursor_name left_ptr&

Answer ‘Y’ and the editor closes


$ chmod ugo+x .xsessionrc
$ exit

For PIXEL remove realvnc!

sudo apt-get purge real-vnc-server

How to reach Windows machines by name

Quite often, working with non-Windows machines, you need the IP number of another machine in your network.
With DHCP active this means quite a lot of trouble finding this out over and over again.

From Windows you can use names for other machines, and browse in your workgroup if all machines belong to the same workgroup, via NETBIOS/WINS name resolution.
Apart form setting up you own DNS/DHCP server (the ultimate solution, one I will implement on my Synology NAS one day), Samba has made it much easier in the meantime for Linux also.

Get some software first

sudo apt-get install winbind
sudo apt-get install samba samba-common-bin

Add WINS as name provider

sudo nano /etc/nsswitch.conf

Change the line:

hosts:          files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] mdns4 dns


hosts:          files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] mdns4 dns wins

Adjust some parameters for Samba

sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf
  • Change the  line containing “wins support =no” into “wins support = yes”
  • “workgroup = WORKGROUP” to match the name of your workgroup.

Setting up a Shared Folder on you Raspberry Pi

Here I setup a shared folder in /usr/shared.

sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

Above the line saying “[homes]“, enter the following:

comment= Shared Folder
path = /usr/shared
browseable = Yes
writeable = Yes
only guest = no
create mask = 0777
directory mask = 0777
public = no
force user = root
Now press Ctrl+X, followed by Enter to return to the Terminal.

Change share password

smbpasswd -a pi

Create the shared directory

mkdir /usr/shared
chown pi /usr/shared 

Access this share as usual in Windows as: \\\shared, where ‘hostname is the name you gave to this machine in raspi-config.

When asked for credentials, enter the username pi and the password you just specified.

Accessing a shared folder on the network

Windows and NAS systems offer shares to other WIndows machines in my network. Also to Raspberry Pi when you follow these steps.

Create a mount point, where you access the files in the share

mkdir /media/share

Find out your user uid’s, type

id <username>

On Raspbian for example the user pi has uid=1000, gid=1000

Now mount the remote share folder with this mount command:

Read only:

sudo mount -t cifs -o user=<share username>,password=<share username>,sec=ntlm,uid=<id of user>,gid=<id of usergroup>,  //<ip of share or hostname>/sharedfolder /media/share/


sudo mount -t cifs -o user=<share username>,password=<share username>,sec=ntlm,rw,file_mode=0777,dir_mode=0777,uid-1000,gid=1000 //<ip of host or hostname>/sharedfolder /media/share/

Somehow I can not write as user pi in the share, but a sudo helps 😉

Unmount with

sudo umount /media/share

Mounting the share permanent

Auto-mounting a password-protected share edit /etc/fstab (with root privileges) can be accomplished by adding this line:

//servername/sharename /media/windowsshare cifs username=msusername,password=mspassword,iocharset=utf8,sec=ntlm 0 0

This is not a good idea however: /etc/fstab is readable by everyone and so is your Windows password in it. The way around this is to use a credentials file. This is a file that contains just the username and password.

Using a text editor, create a file for your remote servers logon credential:

sudo nano ~/.smbcredentials

Enter your Windows username and password in the file:


Change the permissions of the file to prevent unwanted access to your credentials:

chmod 600 ~/.smbcredentials

Then edit your /etc/fstab file (with root privileges) to add this line (replacing the insecure line in the example above, if you added it):

//servername/sharename /media/windowsshare cifs credentials=/home/pi/.smbcredentials,iocharset=utf8,sec=ntlm 0 0

Finally, test the fstab entry by issuing:

sudo mount -a

If there are no errors, you should test how it works after a reboot. Your remote share should mount automatically.

Special permissions

If you need special permission (like chmod etc.), you’ll need to add a uid (short for ‘user id’) or gid (for ‘group id’) parameter to the share’s mount options.

//servername/sharename /media/windowsshare cifs uid=username,credentials=/home/pi/.smbcredentials,iocharset=utf8,

Bonjour, Zeroconf

sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon

Now you can access the Pi with name.local from Windows, with Bonjour installed.