Raspberry Pi Connect Gets an SSH-Like Remote Console, Expands Support to All Models

Older devices can now enjoy a secure remote shell session, even on the 32-bit version of Raspberry Pi OS.

Gareth Halfacree
22 days agoSecurity / Productivity

Raspberry Pi has announced a major update to Raspberry Pi Connect, its in-house browser-based remote access solution — adding support for 32-bit operating systems and older hardware, along with a Secure Shell (SSH)-style console interface.

"The new remote shell feature in Raspberry Pi Connect enables you to launch a shell on your Raspberry Pi device from a web browser, over a secure connection," writes Raspberry Pi's Chris Lowder.

"This provides access to your Raspberry Pi without a desktop environment, extending support to older devices as well as devices running Raspberry Pi OS Lite. Remote shell access also works much better over low-bandwidth connections than screen sharing, making it a handy option to have."

The first public version of Raspberry Pi Connect launched back in May, offering an alternative to third-party remote access solutions or the risks and complexities of forwarding ports from the public internet to your private device. At the time, it only offered a mirroring of the device's desktop from hardware supporting Wayland — meaning the Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi 5.

Today's update brings a second string to its bow: an in-browser equivalent to a Secure Shell (SSH) session, only without the need to install an SSH client. In doing so, it dramatically broadens its support: the SSH-style console access is available across all Raspberry Pi devices running Raspberry Pi OS Bookworm, including the older 32-bit models — going right back to the original Raspberry Pi Model B, which launched to great fanfare 12 years ago.

"All devices get remote shell out-of-the-box, and if you use a Wayland compositor, such as Wayfire, you can also share your screen," Lowder explains of the update. "In practice, this means you can use screen sharing with Raspberry Pi 4 and later models, and remote shell with all models of Raspberry Pi, even the oldest.

"We hope this will make it a little bit easier for people to keep older Raspberry Pis in service doing useful stuff. Plenty of remote headless applications, for example, don’t need the performance of Raspberry Pi 4 and 5, but still benefit from straightforward remote access."

Documentation on using Raspberry Pi connect is available on the company's website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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