Geek Software of the Week: TinyPilot!
Do you want to be able to control your home lab servers via a real IP KVM? Concerned that “off-the-shelf” KVM systems are prohibitively expensive for your home lab? Then check out TinyPilot, designed for Raspberry Pi 4 system. It is Open Source (the software,) and you can build your own, or you can just buy it built and ready to go. This is awesome! You can access your servers over your LAN, and get right into the BIOS, with what amounts to a “bare-metal” connection! Just what I am looking to do myself! (Yes, you can use TightVNC [or, any other VNC] that you like, BUT, not down to the BIOS level!)
If you need to access it from outside your LAN, over HTTPS, to manage your systems over the Internet, there is a “Pro” version of the software that you can buy for $99.99 (you still have to use your own Raspberry Pi) or, you can buy the “turn-key” system (hardware and Pro software) for $299.99. The “Pro” version also enable’s password protection. Compare THAT to the “big boys” (big price) systems! Kudos to Michael Lynch for developing such a system, and providing the software on GitHub for the home hobbyist/maker community!
“An easy-to-use, low-cost device for managing your bare-metal servers
Access your server before it even boots
TinyPilot plugs directly into your bare-metal server, giving you a virtual console during BIOS and boot.
Debug boot failures, install a new OS, and adjust your BIOS settings, all without ever connecting a keyboard and monitor.
Keystroke forwarding that’s so fast, you’ll think you’re directly connected
TinyPilot captures all keyboard input right from the browser and forwards it to your server.
Using lightweight websockets channels, performance is almost as fast as if your keyboard were plugged directly into your server.
Fast, high-quality video capture
TinyPilot captures video HDMI output from your server and displays it conveniently in your browser.
Capture at 30 frames per second at 1280×720 resolution with ~200 ms of latency.
Plug ‘n play
TinyPilot requires no software to install. Access everything you need right from your browser.
Just plug TinyPilot into your server’s HDMI and USB ports, and start controlling it through your web browser.
TinyPilot is an open-source project, and its code is available under the permissive MIT license.
What isn’t supported?
TinyPilot lacks support for the following functionality:
- Power management
- You can shut down the TinyPilot device through its web interface, but TinyPilot does not manage the target machine’s power
- Audio forwarding
- VNC/RDP compatibility
And, Coming Soon!
- Mount virtual drives: Dynamically mount storage volumes on your target system right through the web browser. Add any file or boot image you want, and the target system will see it as a USB storage device.
- Manage power: Connect TinyPilot directly to a power strip so that it can cycle power when the machine becomes unresponsive.
TinyPilot was created by Michael Lynch in 2020.
For any questions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org “