We have developed a prototype of a compact imaging system for gas electron multiplier (GEM) detectors, which we applied to thermal neutron imaging. The developed system consists of three devices: a detector, an Ethernet hub, and a PC. The readout electronics are integrated into the detector. Ethernet is used to communicate between the detector and the PC. The detector is directly connected to the PC with Ethernet. This system is simple and cost-effective, and provides high flexibility for system design. We have measured system performance and tested the system with a thermal neutron beam. This system enables use of an imaging system in various fields where it has not previously been possible to use such systems.