How to install Raspbian OS on Your Raspberry Pi 3 without a monitor, setup WiFi and connect to it via VNC Viewer

How to install Raspbian OS on Your Raspberry Pi 3 without a monitor, setup WiFi and connect to it via VNC Viewer

… now that’s what you call a title!

It’s really not as difficult as the title makes it sound; just follow along and before you know it, you will be controlling your Pi over the internet…

Impressive right!

First thing to do is head over to and download the Raspbian .img file

Extract the .img file to a folder on your computer, where you can find it.

USB SD CARD Reader/Writer

Download and install BelenaEtcher; insert your blank SD card into your SD USB Reader/Writer and open Etcher. Select the .img file you downloaded in the previous step.

Etcher ready to Flash our .img file.

The above screen will display, simply click the “Flash” button and wait for Etcher to flash and verify the transfer to your SD Card.

I like to eject the USB reader writer (safely) and then re-plug it into your PC. You don’t need to do this, but it is a good way to ensure it refreshes the data.

In file explorer go to the boot folder

We need to create a file in this directory called wpa_supplicant.conf; then insert the following code and click save.

country=US # Your 2-digit country code
ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
You can see the file, NOTE it will not be there after first boot.

While we are here, add a file called SSH with no extension, to this folder. This is to enable us to use SSH via PUTTY.

SSH file created in Notepad++

Now eject the SD Card, insert it into your Raspberry Pi and wait for it to boot.

To find the IP address of our Raspberry Pi use Advanced IP Scanner.

With out Pi booted we see it’s IP is

I will be using PUTTY to connect via SSH to my Raspberry Pi

You can download it here ..

Open Putty

Enter the IP address, in my case, leave the port at 22 and hit open.

If all goes well you will be asked for a User Name, which, if you haven’t changed anything, should be ‘pi’and a password, which should be ‘raspberry’

When you get the pi@raspberrypi: prompt type the text vncserver and then hit enter

Again if all went well you will be presented with the IP address and port of a new desktop for your WiFi Raspberry Pi. You need to remember this new IP address and Port; in my case – (note the 🙂 (no, that’s not a smiley face)

Next step is to download and install VNC Viewer on your pc… the link is here

Once you have it installed VNC Viewer and you are signed in, we can connect to our remote Raspberry Pi. Make sure your Raspberry Pi is powered up , use Putty to connect via SSH, run the vncserver command, note the IP address and port.

Type the IP address and port into the VNC connect address bar and hit enter.

You should be asked to enter a username and password… the same User Name and Password as before, then click OK.

ta da! Raspberry Pi desktop remote, ain’t it pretty. This is what you should now see…

When you shut down the Raspberry PI in the VNC Viewer the connection will be remain ready for next time, as long as everything stays the same.

There are many things that can be done to improve this method…

We can make it auto start on boot, battery powered, connect sensors, code in various languages, etc.

This Raspberry PI Remote Desktop tutorial is a simple project to get you started. So c’mon, have a go and join us “makers”. I’m sure will become addicted…

Cheer’s Al