Using a Raspberry Pi headless

I have used several different systems that connect to a tethered mobile connection for ministry related activities that shouldn’t be tied to the shared internet connection that I use for most other things, out of respect for the people who own that internet connection and whose IP address is tagged to every activity. What one needs is a system that has both wired and wireless connections. This could be a laptop, or it could be a NUC, or a Raspberry Pi as they all have this capability built in. The second thing is that it can be run headless, because for occasional use we simply can’t justify the space needed for a separate display, keyboard and mouse. 
As it happens I have all three types of device here and have experimented with them. The laptop and the NUC were able to be set up with Lubuntu which worked well with all the drivers involved, but I did try Debian with LXQt which I did refer to earlier and which was a bit more difficult to set up, so Lubuntu which now includes LXQt was a whole lot easier with this system and I will keep using Lubuntu on that computer. Both these computers were set up with X11VNC to begin with. That is quite an easy to install and configure type of VNC, but does inherently have a lag of a few seconds that can be annoying to work with when doing stuff on the VNC session with the computer.
At this point I have remembered that I have this Raspberry Pi and that I had trialled it in this use before. So I decided this would be the simplest step at this point to flash its microSD card with the latest version of Raspbian, which was released in April. It still uses LXDE, but it seems likely they will go over to LXQt because that is where the LXDE project has gone to. Hence that Lubuntu now installs LXQt by default. As I have made clear in previous posts I now have a preference of LXQt over XFCE because the latter is slow in development (they are just about to release version 4.14, when they really should be looking at 5.0 version) and I have lost the patience to assume they will keep up. This new version of Raspbian comes with RealVNC server built in, so it didn’t need any additional installation to run headless with VNC once a few settings were done.
So the Raspberry Pi is now the ideal headless system that I can tether to my phone, for the ministry related activities or when the main internet connection is down, as does happen from time to time. It is connected to a spare input of the TV, but most of the time the TV is not set to display from it. The reason for having it connected is to enable the Pi to detect the screen, which it can do without the input being selected to it, and it will come up with VNC running and I can just connect to it from my regular computer and work on it. The best part is that with this VNC setup there is no lag at all. The Pi is set up with the wired ethernet connection being only usable on the LAN and no access to the internet, so VNC runs over that cable, and the Pi’s wireless networking is used to connect to the shared connection from the phone. It all adds up to a very good use of resources with the very small cost that it takes to buy a Pi and that it is in its element doing this straightforward task that would be hard to do on a virtual machine which would still require a wireless connection in the host computer that most desktops would not have.