What would be the best option (If there is one), of accessing raspberry pis in the cloud?

Looking to do this open source if possible.

Potential units = +100

Solution needs to be cloud based, with no port forwarding, etc needed on the remote side. Usage would basically be plugging in the pi, and being able to access it from a central server without anything more than a basic configuration starting out on the pi.

Any fingers pointing in the right direction would be most helpful.

Solutions I have looked at :

RealVNC : Ridiculous costs at enterprise levels TightVNC : Works great, but requires port forwarding, cannot just plug&play Teamviewer : Works great, but you need to pay a subscription daily

Thanks ahead of time!


Option 1: no port forwarding via apf-server and ssh

If you have a server with public IP address - configure apf-client (Debian package) on Raspberry Pi and apf-server on the server with public IP address.

This will forward local ports from Raspberry Pi (behind NAT) to server with public IP address and allow you to connect to the Pi via public IP server.

Then, depending on your configuration:

  • use one Raspberry Pi as a gateway to your target network (via ssh);
  • configure each Raspberry Pi separately;

If you have access to Pi network - look for:

  • ssh port forwarding (ssh -L;
  • ssh agent forwarding (ssh -A);
  • x11vnc package to connect to Raspberry Pi X11 screen.

Option 2: port forwarding to Apache Guacamole(TM) server

Install Apache Guacamole (TM) server on your Raspberry Pi network and configure port forwarding just for this application and use it to connect to your hosts via browser.

From Apache Guacamole(TM) website:

Apache Guacamole is a clientless remote desktop gateway. It supports standard protocols like VNC, RDP, and SSH.

We call it clientless because no plugins or client software are required.

Thanks to HTML5, once Guacamole is installed on a server, all you need to access your desktops is a web browser.

| improve this answer | |
  • so apf-client and apf-server will work behind a double nat environment, or not? If so, how secure is this method? – Steven Feb 6 '18 at 13:32
  • It will work as long as your Raspberry Pi network can access the Internet (and your public IP server) freely. Regarding security, I think apf-client and apf-server are using RSA to encrypt transmitted data: see cerfile, keyfile and storefile options. – szel Feb 7 '18 at 17:38
  • Wouldnt you still have to port forward via your first option : ssh agent forwarding? – Steven Mar 15 '18 at 23:10

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