Running a headless system

Headless is not GUI less.

Thank you

Have you used this with Kivy?

I this combination - no. This is a question of remote access. I have used combinations of this on over 100,000 connections world wide over 2 decades and more than 30 technicians. I have installed software this way in Egypt even though I’ve never been there. To be complete I just tested it with GC and it is working. :slight_smile:

Thank you


I’ve used remote access too, but hadn’t gotten Kivy to work over it. You were using RDP, yes? What distro of Linux?

I will test it on the PI when I can. I used VNC to OSX. Are you using a touch screen? Are you using KivyPi?

Thank you

I see, yes I’ve done remote to Kivy on OSX (VNC) and Windows (RDP), but never to a Linux running Kivy. Kivypie or any other. It would make using a Pi a much better proposition.

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CDo you guys have any interest in running the little 7” touch screen you can get for the raspberry pi’s that are out now for like $60 or are they not worth it? Also, has anyone been able to run ground control and all that on of of these (not nescicarly a headless but a r.p.) ? Anything special or any upgrades that need to be done to a 3? (I hope I’m not super off topic here)


Yes - GC will run with KivyPi on the PI Foundation Display. The issue is this, as stated in the original thread that started this one. You can get a refurbished laptop for ~$120 based on an I3 or I5 cpu. The cost of a PI3 is ~$50 before the display, you are getting less computing power and less reliability. What I mean is the laptop runs on battery if the power drops out, it will keep power to the Arduino. With the PI3 there is no battery, you are running it towards it’s limits. Also the laptop has a high res 15 inch display. I am not affiliated with New Egg, but that is where I picked up a Lenovo T420 laptop for a good price. A friend that dose high end CAD work got a refurbished machine through them too and they seem to be solid machines. We broke this thread out from a different one discussing the Pros and Cons of low end processing and reliability of connections and OS freezing. The question here was about running with no display on the pc directly connected to the Maslow. Hence the term Headless. Then remoting to that machine for local control.

I in the future may recommend a specific PI setup for the Maslow. A set of hardware for a specific experience. In cost it will not be a good choice, meaning it will run $80 -$90 to setup the PI. But it will be a configuration with specific features that because of the PI will have more people supporting it.

My daily driver is Windows 10 on a refurbished T420 with an I5 as a general CNC controller.

The PI config I’m working on would allow a dedicated machine to the Maslow and include a UPS system.

If I seem like I’m upset or short , I’m not. I just wanted to catch you up on the conversation.

BTW - I have seen a " controller" running a PI touchscreen and power distribution that is a awesome build here. If you already have the parts to make a PI touchscreen system it may work well for you.

To sum up - the status of RPI - KivyPI works well with a Pi foundation touchscreen. Running it on a standard display is challenging.

I have a good experience running a PI3 on Ubuntu Mate desktop with a 720p display.

So yes you can make the Pi work for Ground Control.

Thank you


@Bee is right. I have an RPI setup on my 2x4 foot cnc mill, but it is running bcnc and chili pepper. I wanted to go down the same path for the maslow, but it just didn’t make sense. I was able to buy a used amd x970 desktop and a monitor for less then a RPI and screen and that included a windows 10 license ($10 on ebay). GC was easier to install, and I can run geode and cad software at the same time. So while I’m baby sitting a cut I can work on other designs. Not something you can do on an RPI.


You could even save the $10 for that Micro$oft license by installing Ubuntu instead.

But if you never used Ubuntu before then $10 ain’t a bad deal for microsoft…

I’m planning to use a laptop to run the Maslow. I’ve got a little business-grade Toughbook (not the mil-spec ones) that I picked up as a refurb for about $160. It’s an i5, has decent batteries, came with Windows 7, has a touchscreen, solid WiFi performance, and it can be twisted and folded into tablet mode. The “built in UPS” aspect of it is appealing, as was the price.

I use RPi3s for a LOT of things (including running my brewery, my other CNCs and my 3D printers). Once I evaluated the costs and the complexity of running a Maslow on a Pi, I decided that running the Maslow wouldn’t be one of them.

Maybe someday, as the software matures and my understanding grows. For now, I want to be able to cut things, so I punched the easy button and chose to use a laptop.


Thats a nice find $160 for an i5! And that in a somewhat rugged box. + touchscreen :open_mouth:

And indeed the UPS aspect is a +. A RPi can’t beat that in any way

For smartphone fans it could be nice to have someknd of VNC client

Then the phone could be the touchscreen…

And what about Slapping Ubuntu Touch on a google nexus phone and install GC on that.
And use the Nexus as Maslow controller those Nexus phones should already be dirt cheap by now!!

Or Samsung S4 with Replicant OS (not sure if this can run Kivy in some way or form)

With a USB OTG cable this should be no problem

better to use a tablet, you need the screen size


does kivy run on phone hardware allready? (other then Pi?)

replicant would make a nice remote control for a headless

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Has anyone had success with RPi headless? Kivy seems to even be causing some grief with a display, although next is to try it with X rather than without, no mouse, no response ctrl-c or reboot.

I’my trying to keep my machines out of the shop, next stage may be a remote USB if headless is problematic.

@loucksg Welcome to the group.

Yes - I’m using the Pi3 & new Pi3+, using ubuntu 16.04 mate over a remote desktop with a file upload server. The new + unit caused a snag in needing a new image. I made a new blank image yesterday but haven’t had a chance to test it, then I’d need to up load everything into the new image. I’ve built 2 images of it so far. it takes some time to get it done. I’m trying to down size the image to 8gb card. We’ll see if I can get it all to fit.

There are some post on Kivy work arounds for the pi as well. I’ll try to find then in a bit I’m a little tided up ATM.

Edit - See this thread

Raspberry Pi Cursor

Thank you

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Are you using the PI as the head or the client? Just checking, I’m trying to have the Pi as the server running the Kivy software. Most of the posts on RDP / screen capture are great for the remote, however not directing the Kivy output, one of the disadvantages of this framework :frowning:
Downloading Mate now will try and update on the RDP access, this is a Pi2 however just purchased some new 3+s…

The Pi is the Head. It is directly connected to the shield with no monitor -(Headless) I remote into the desktop from what ever I want in my network. Phone, Tablet or Computer.

Checkout the Dev shots from here:

Thank you

I’ve got a Raspi3 connected to the Arduino controller and running CNCJS - A web-based CNC tool. I’ve not had a chance to actually cut anything with it (was hacking on a sled), but it should work. I still direct-connect a laptop to do calibration and firmware updates, though I should be able to VNC into the Pi and do that as well.

I’d like to print some kind of enclosure for both of the boards somewhere along the line. Hopefully this weekend I can try it all out.