VNC and Teamviewer to RaspPI4 withouth a monitor


I just bought a new Pi4 with 8GB of RAM. I run raspbian on it… It should serve as a teamviewer remote pc, but with any hardware periphery like monitor, keyboard, etc… just connected to LAN cable.

I just discovered that vnc and teamviewer work as long as the pi is connected to a monitor; when having plugged off the monitor, vnc and teamviewer do not work anymore, only ssh…

Somebody on the irc channel of raspbian said I should by a hdmi-emulator on amazon… I never heard of that hardware, but I surely can imagine what this does in theory… emulating as if a monitor would be connected.

My issues and questions to your are the following:

  1. I can only find HDMI (normal HDMI) emulators on amazon… but not Mini-HDMI (as both ports on the new Pi4 are now “mini”)… or am I just too blind to find these?

  2. Could I be really sure that this is the issue and it will just work when I put such an emulator on the pi?

  3. Isnt there a software workaround for this? I remember that my pi2 and pi3 COULD serve as vnc and teamviewer servers, without having to emulate an output signal… I this case the pi4 is “worse” than 2 or 3… right?

Do you have any advice for me? I really would appreciate it and be very thankful for any help.

Kind regards


The keyword you want is an EDID Emulator. It doesn’t matter if it has pass-through (an HDMI out), it’ll work either way.

I didn’t see any mini-hdmi versions either but they’ll work fine with an adapter. I’d assume your problem is with a power saving feature though i’m not sure how it’s possible to turn off.

As a dirty hack you could SSH in, check if xrandr shows the monitor is off and turn it back on. If that works you could add a script to do that on startup.

What you are looking for is called an HDMI dummy.

What it does is it tells the system that a monitor is connected.

There are software workarounds, but they can be pretty hard to set up. Here’s how it can be up with Arch:

Manjaro ARM post for something similar:


I have a rpi4 running as a server and I connect to it without an HDMI dummy using nomachine, it uses dbus to start a session every time you connect to the pi and it closes on disconnect. It works really well, although 2 problems could be, that it is not a completely open source solution and that the build for the rpi4 that I am using is the arm64 alpha build. I have personally had a good experience using it this way and it is very convenient.
Alternatively I also use tightvncserver which can be set up to start a x “desktop” session every time you are going to vnc connect to the pi with something like remmina for added security you can also connect with a ssh port tunnel to vnc.

I would suggest checking out “barrier”:


I found out, that I can edit the file


There I have uncommented this line:

Now it works , both, Teamviewer and VNC.

So it wasnt a hard thing to do. The only issue I still have: The highest resolution I can set is 1024x768 :frowning:

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So… the “workaround” wasnt that hard for beeing able to get vnc-connection.
Does anyone now additionally know about getting a higher resolution?

I think the best way would be setting the resolution you want in the /boot/config.txt although adding the parameter -Geometry 1920x1080 to the script starting the VNC server might do it.
Word search: hdmi_mode defines screen resolution

I found this solution for myself working, sharing it in case it helps someone else.
I created a script, that is run on autostart, that does this:

xrandr --newmode “1920x1080_60.00” 173.00 1920 2048 2248 2576 1080 1083 1088 1120 -hsync +vsync
xrandr --addmode HDMI-1 1920x1080_60.00
xrandr --output HDMI-1 --mode 1920x1080_60.00

Thanks for your help, and kind regards.

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If anyone wants the expansion on how to get the numbers for --newmode:

#Get the paramaters for your desired resolution/refresh:
#Example: cvt 1920 1080 60

#Copy everything after "Modeline " and paste as the <PARAMETERS>:
xrandr --newmode <PARAMETERS>
#Example: xrandr --newmode "1920x1080_60.00" 173.00 1920 2048 2248 2576 1080 1083 1088 1120 -hsync +vsync
#The value of --newmode will be used later as <MODE_NAME>, example: 1920x1080_60.00

#Get the name of the screen to apply the new resolution to:
#Example: Virtual-1

#Add the mode to the screen
xrandr --addmode <SCREEN_NAME> <MODE_NAME>
#Example: xrandr --addmode Virtual-1 1920x1080_60.00

#Switch to the new mode:
xrandr --output <SCREEN_NAME> <MODE_NAME>
#Example: xrandr --output Virtual-1 --mode 1920x1080_60.00

Glad you got it solved!