using cockpit with a raspberry pi 4b

I’ve placed several Raspberry Pies around my house, and they’re all headless. That means no attached screen, keyboard, or mouse. In the past when I set up a headless system that meant logging into them via SSH. That was OK, but there were times when I wished for some bit of a graphical desktop. Then along came Cockpit.

Cockpit ( ) is a web-based graphical interface for remote system management, whether it’s sitting somewhere else with a screen, keyboard, and mouse, or else it’s a headless system away from you. Cockpit is an installable package for just about every Linux distribution under the sun, including Raspian. You can follow the setup and operational directions at the Cockpit home page.

Cockpit’s very complete and is capable of giving you, the remote user, complete insight into a remote system all within your browser of choice. I can’t speak to all browsers, but I’ve tested it with Firefox (this example is running on macOS Catalina and a 2012 Mac Mini Server), Chrome, Safari, and Vivaldi. When I do use Cockpit I always leave it open on the terminal.

The terminal page in Cockpit is a full-blown terminal. I haven’t found an ASCII application or tool yet that I couldn’t run within that terminal. That includes complex tools such as htop and btop. Since I’ve been using Cockpit, I’ve had no need to ssh into the system.