Remote control, Even if it Can’t Boot to an Operating System - Raspberry Pi Projects, Tutorials, Learning DIY Electronics - Makergenix

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Remote control, Even if it Can’t Boot to an Operating System

 You've definitely used VPN or other remote access tools like TeamViewer if you've ever needed remote access to a PC. This type of software, on the other hand, can only work within the remote machine's operating system, which means it can't access the BIOS, reboot, install an operating system, or turn on the computer. There are a number of ways to remotely manage a PC regardless of its operating system, but utilising a KVM over IP is one of the most easy and cost-effective options.

Remote control, Even if it Can’t Boot to an Operating System

While a store-bought KVM over IP device might cost hundreds of dollars, you can make your own using a Raspberry Pi. Maxim Devaev, a developer, created his own system dubbed Pi-KVM, which he plans to offer as a $130 kit. If you have the proper parts, though, you can utilise the software he's created and your Pi to put it together for a lot less. 

How to Make a Raspberry Pi KVM Over IP

We'll show you how to make a Raspberry Pi-powered KVM over IP that can output full HD video, manage GPIO ports and USB relays, and set server power using ATX functions, among other things. You'll be able to operate the entire system from a web browser on another device on your local network or over the internet through TailScale VPN.

Pico 2G/ 4G Expansion

What You'll Need to Make a Raspberry Pi KVM Over IP

  1. Raspberry Pi 4 or Raspberry Pi Zero 
  2. A microSD card with a capacity of 16 GB or more is required. (Genuine microSD cards for Raspberry Pi.)
  3. A HDMI-to-CSI bridge, or a USB HDMI capture dongle are also options. 
  4. Type-A female to Type-B male USB cable
  5. Type-A to USB C cable
  6. Power supply with USB Type-A output, 5V, 3 amps. Because you'll be using a type-A connection, the official Raspberry Pi power supply won't suffice.

Setting Up the SD Card for KVM Over IP on the Raspberry Pi

You'll need to download and burn a custom disc image on a microSD card to get all of the software you'll need for the Raspberry Pi. You can do it using Raspberry Pi Imager, but you can also use balenaEtcher or other burning tools.
Setting Up the SD Card for KVM Over IP on the Raspberry Pi
  1. Save the Pi-KVM disc image to your computer. The first thing we'll need to do is go to pikvm.org and get the ready-made image. There are several versions depending on the Pi you're using and if you're using an HDMI-to-CSI bridge or an HDMI-to-USB capture dongle. You'll need to uncompress the picture file because it's in BZ2 format. 
  2. Open the BZ2 file you obtained and extract the IMG file. BZ2 support isn't built-in to Windows, but you can use 7Zip to get it.
  3. Open the Raspberry Pi Imager application. You can get it from the Raspberry Pi Foundation's website if you don't already have it installed.
  4. Go to "Choose OS" -> "Use Custom" and search for the Pi-KVM image. By choosing Choose SD Card, you may select your microSD card. Now we'll "Choose SD Card." Make sure you're selecting the proper one.
  5. Press the "Write" button.
Pico 4G Expansion

KVM Over IP Configuration on the Raspberry Pi

We may now install the HDMI-to-CSI-2 bridge or USB-to-HDMI dongle and prepare the OTG USB-c connection when we've done burning the microSD Card. 
  1. Connect the HDMI-to-CSI-2 bridge's CSI ribbon wire to the Raspberry Pi's CSI camera port. Check to see if the blue marker is facing the black clamp. If you're using an HDMI-to-USB adapter, plug it into a USB port on your Pi instead. You'll need a microUSB to USB Type-A hub if you're using a Pi Zero. 
  2. Disable the 5V pin on one of your splitter's USB Type-A male connections. The best method to achieve this is to cover the connector's right-most pin with a tiny piece of Kapton tape. You may also try cutting the wires that lead to that pin, although it would be more difficult. This is the cable that connects to a USB port on the computer you want to manage. If you don't deactivate the 5V pin, your PC will get electricity from your wall outlet, perhaps damaging its USB port.
  3. Connect the USB C-to-A cable to the splitter's Type-A female connection. The Pi will be powered by this. Your cables should resemble the illustration below.
    Connect the USB C-to-A cable to the Type-A female connector on the splitter
  4. Plug the USB-C cable into the USB-C port on the Raspberry Pi 4.
  5. Connect your power source to the unaltered Type-A male.
  6. Connect the USB Type-A connection and HDMI cable to the PC you want to operate with the remote.
  7. Insert the microSD card we made into the Raspberry Pi and turn it on.

Configuring the Pi-KVM Software

At this stage, the Pi-KVM is ready to be used. Due to the initial process of expanding the microSD card, the first boot will take longer than planned. Please be patient and it will boot.
  • Find the IP address of your Raspberry Pi. You may accomplish this by checking via your router's control panel to see what devices are connected, or by utilising a technique called ARP, which I like to use.
To use this approach to determine the Pi's IP, open Windows PowerShell and type "arp -a" to view a list of devices on your local network. A Raspberry Pi is anything that starts with b8:27:eb: or dc:a6:32:.
  • Open a browser on your client computer and go to the Pi's IP address (the one you are using to control the other PC). You will be sent to your account login page.
  • Log in to your account. Admin is the default username, and admin is also the default password.
  • Select the KVM icon from the drop-down menu.
    Setting Up the Pi-KVM Software
You should now be provided with a screen similar to the one below, which gives you access to the remote PC as well as several additional options. I have more choices than others, and you can find out how to unlock them by visiting the pikvm github page.

Keep in mind that the more space on your SD card you have, the more ISO pictures you may save and utilise for future PC installations.

You may connect the PI-KVM to an HDMI 4 port switch with USB control to enhance its functionality and allow for extra display inputs.

Pi-KVM is being updated to the latest version.

Pi-KVM is always being updated with new features, therefore it's critical to maintain the software up to date. Fortunately, the microSD card does not need to be reflashed. To bring up to date:
Pi-KVM is being updated to the latest version.
  1. From the Pi-KVM main menu, select the Terminal icon. A command-line interface (CLI) shell will emerge.
  2. Type "su" and then "root" as the password to become a super user.
  3. To make the file system read/write, type “rw.”
  4. To obtain updates, type "pacman -Syu" and "Y."
When you're finished, type "ro" on the command line to return the file system to ReadOnly mode.

Pi-KVM may be accessed over the internet.

Tailscale may be used to connect to Pi-KVM via the internet. This is a simple and free (for personal use) utility for putting together a small VPN network.
  • Sign up for a Tailscale account and select the Solo Plan. This plan is free for personal usage only.
  • From the Pi-KVM main menu, select the Terminal icon.
  • Type "su" and then "root" as the password to become a super user.
  • To make the file system read/write, use “rw.”
  • To install tailscale VPN service on PI-KVM, type "pacman -S tailscale-pikvm."
  • To do a gentle reboot on the Pi-KVM, type "reboot."
  • We'll need to get access to the terminal after the reboot, so go through steps 1-4 again.
  • To enable the service, type “systemctl enable —now tailscaled.”
  • To begin the commencement procedure, type "tailscale up."
  • To authorise this installation, click the link.
  • The terminal will display "Success" once you have successfully connected.
  • To see the IP address given by tailscale VPN, go to https://login.tailscale.com/admin/machines.

From the client's perspective

This tutorial will teach you how to set up tailscale on your workstation. Most operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, are supported by Tailscale.
  1. Go to https://tailscale.com/download and download tailscale for your operating system.
  2. To see the IP address given by tailscale VPN, go to https://login.tailscale.com/admin/machines.
  3. Using your browser to navigate to the IP address provided by tailscale. It will establish a connection to your PI-KVM (https://tailscale IP).
This is a highly cost-effective approach to construct a very contemporary, extremely fast KVM over IP system. You may also get this programme for free. There are other capabilities not covered in this guide, such as VPN, sharing your PI's network with your PC, VNC, and many others; if you want to learn more, go to the Pi-KVM github page.

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