TinyPilot Voyager Review Using Raspberry Pi to Disrupt the Establishment



Is the TinyPilot Voyager ready to take on the flock of Lantronix Spiders already in data centers? For servers, probably not. The Lantronix units have largely already been purchased and integrated into operations.

Lantronix Spider And TinyPilot Voyager 1
Lantronix Spider And TinyPilot Voyager 1

For the majority of servers with VGA output, the TinyPilot solution requires an adapter and another cable. Cables are important since the fixed Lantronix Spider cables do not fall out. The TinyPilot Voyager has nine connection points for a basic HDMI setup, and the VGA adapter adds another four for thirteen total. That is too many connection points to check in colocation operations. If one fails, the solution breaks and a customer is upset.

TinyPilot Voyager Apple Mac Mini M1
TinyPilot Voyager Apple Mac Mini M1 9 connection points for the solution

For devices that natively support HDMI or DisplayPort (we use another cable for DP devices) the TinyPilot Voyager works great and often better than having to go through a VGA to HDMI conversion step. Also, the ability to use this solution to setup development platforms like the Xilinx Kria this week and the Jetson Nano makes the process easier than having to plug a monitor in.

At $299, the pricing is higher than a used Lantronix Spider which has more server management features built-in (as of this review) but less than a new unit.

TinyPilot KVM Pricing
TinyPilot KVM Pricing as of Review Date

This certainly seems like it is on the right path, but perhaps it will have a bigger role in its current form with those trying to manage non-traditional servers.

Final Words

In the data center, we mostly just use onboard BMC’s in servers. There is little reason to use anything else. We have serial console solutions for switches and firewalls when needed. That is a big shift in the market over the past decade. It was not uncommon to find a server without a BMC ten years ago, but it is highly unusual today. Solid BMCs make external KVM devices often less useful (except when someone does not has neither OS, nor BMC access these can be used as a purposeful backdoor.)

TinyPilot Voyager 3D Printed Case Label
TinyPilot Voyager 3D Printed Case Label

Then again, there is a new era of lower-power computing being led by client devices and edge devices that do not have VGA connectivity. The new era of computing devices often has HDMI ports since they can connect directly to millions (or more?) of televisions. To us, that is where the TinyPilot Voyager is more impactful. Perhaps the evidence of this is the experiment I have been running for the past six months. I had a Lantronix Spider and a TinyPilot KVM. The TinyPilot has been used for our Project TinyMiniMicro series, QNAP TVS-h1288X 12-bay NASODROID-H2+ with H2 Net Card Cheap 6x 2.5GbE, and several upcoming pieces. The Lantronix Spider has not been used at all except to take some footage for the video portion of this review. To me, that is clear evidence of which I prefer having access to both side-by-side for those use cases.

TinyPilot Voyager The Cable Nest
TinyPilot Voyager The Cable Nest

Still, I cannot wait until there is a version without 9-13 connections that need to be checked to ensure proper operation. Michael and team, my challenge is to “deconstruct the nest.”


  1. This is a very interesting solution for IP-based OOB remote management for CoLoc/Start-up/SOHO/Home/DIY for servers or systems without BMC/IPIMI. I did not know about the TinyPilot Voyager. Great review Patrick, you made my Saturday 🙂 TYVM.

  2. As @domih stated, “I did not know about the TinyPilot Voyager”, I have to say likewise…. 25+ years and I too didn’t realize this was out in the field… Great info and review. As always! Thanks for all your hard work.

  3. Pikvm is in a different class compared to this. It has a mature and well designed code base, no features behind paywalls, and handles all kinds of hardware quirks. It also offers options for power cycling the controlled device, along with vnc support too.

  4. i wondering how do perform power down and reset thought this unit ?! i mean it’s basically function as VNC (without bios part)

  5. Not obviously present in the article, at least to me, though it might be buried somewhere or in a link: What is the cost of this TinyPilot gizmo with the gee-wiz 3D printed case (cuz that is all the rage for NerdZ)?

    It was funny to read the Lantronix Spider KVM review by STH where they commented about saving $100 on the Dell iKVM feature via the Dell iDRAC thingie…by spending $280 on the Lantronix Spider. LOL LOL LOL LOL

  6. Couldn’t they put the data/power splitter inside the case in some way? That would significantly reduce the cable nest.

  7. This could also work in the SMB space where KVM’s may already exist but they are java-based or local only. Replace the local console with tinypilot to modernize old hardware.

  8. I have an inexpensive TRENDnet 8-port VGA/USB KVM switch (TR-803R) that I can switch between the 8 ports using keyboard shortcuts.

    Does anyone know if I can hook the monitor/keyboard output of this TRENDnet switch to the TinyPilot Voyager for remote console access to the eight computers connected to the TRENDnet switch?

  9. This project seems to be a less technical version of PiKVM.org

    Judging by your thoughts on this product, you should try Pi-KVM out. They are on the verge of releasing dedicated hardware HAT.

  10. Already in-touch with the Pi-KVM folks. Please also remember TinyPilot has been out for 2-3 quarters so this is a review of hardware that has been running for 6+ months while Pi-KVM hardware is still not out (and sounds like it will be in tight supply when it first arrives.)

  11. Noted! I was unaware. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on PiKVM, with or without the dedicated HAT.

  12. Only 299$ for a Pi4 (35$) + Extra chip and a custom case ( few dollars at best )… Am i missing something?

  13. Benny I think you’re missing the time to put it together, research the right parts, the power splitter, the adapters, the SD card, the cables and so forth. I don’t think anyone is saying there isn’t margin. I think you’re paying for convenience.


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