Orange Pi – Remote Access via Linux

In the past I did tutorial:

Raspberry Pi Synth – Remote Access

This was aimed at getting GUI access via a Windows PC. In this post I will tell you how to get it working under Linux.

I use Linux under from virtual box, but the steps shouldn’t make any difference.

  1. Create a new display on the Host PC
  2. Connected via SSH to the Orange Pi passing the DISPLAY and -X parameter
  3. Start xfce4-session

Create a new display on the Host PC

Once you have booted up your Linux Host, Press Ctrl + Alt + F1 to get to tty1. Login using your credentials.

You might be inclined to use ‘startx’ or ‘xinit’, but I find these bring with it wallpapers, and in the case of xinit, xterm.

startx — :1 vt8 &
xinit — :1 vt8 &

What we really want is a blank screen. Instead, use this command:

(sudo) Xorg :1 vt8 &

This tells the host to setup a new X display with index ‘1’ and assign it to VT8. Virtual Terminal 8 is accessible by pressing Ctrl + Alt + F8.

What you also want to do is to add the ‘&’ at the end so we maintain control of the terminal. Depending who you login as, you might need to add sudo.

If you Ctrl + Alt + F8 to VT8, you’ll be greeted with a blank screen.

Connected via SSH to the Orange Pi passing the DISPLAY and -X parameter

Now you want to connect to the target via SSH. Make sure to Ctrl+Alt+F1 back to tty1.

DISPLAY=:1 ssh <targetIP> -l <user> -X

The DISPLAY=:1 sets the env variable so when ssh is started, it knows to forward it to the display we set up previously.

Be sure to include the -X in the ssh command as this will enable X forwarding.


Start xfce4-session

Once we have ssh’ed into the host we are free to start our X session, you could try startx or xinit, or even xterm, but if you want the desktop, use xfce4-session.

You’ll then need to Ctrl + Alt + F8 to VT8 to see the GUI. An there we have our GUI.