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Old 04-09-2013, 01:07 AM   #1
Ra5cal
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Linux w/o a graphics card


Hi. Does anyone know if I can run Linux without a graphics card?

I have an old XP machine with a stiffy drive and a bunky CD-Rom. But it has + 2 gb of RAM and it's still serviceable. Can I run linux on it without the gfx card (it died)?

In XP I can boot it up and run one non-graphic app (foobar) without the machine crashing. Aside from that it's kinda sitting there. Any thoughts? What if I run the distro entirely from RAM, will that bypass the need to use a graphic card?

If you have any thoughts on this please let me know.

Thanks

Ra5cal
 
Old 04-09-2013, 02:18 AM   #2
pan64
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in general if you can boot it can work. linux does not need graphic display, but the bios may need a graphic card (to be able to boot)
 
Old 04-09-2013, 02:57 AM   #3
tailinlinux
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Do your computer having built in video/ graphic card, if yes you can run any linux flavors you want but i suggested best distro is lubuntu.
 
Old 04-09-2013, 04:20 AM   #4
Ra5cal
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pan64: It can boot; no problem, so I will give it a go, tnx.

Tailinlinux: no, the card was separate, but I will give Lubuntu a try. I also have cruchbang, bohdi
 
Old 04-09-2013, 04:40 AM   #5
tailinlinux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ra5cal View Post
pan64: It can boot; no problem, so I will give it a go, tnx.

Tailinlinux: no, the card was separate, but I will give Lubuntu a try. I also have cruchbang, bohdi
So you are using pci video card, am i right.
 
Old 04-09-2013, 05:25 AM   #6
pan64
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and also you can try to buy a cheap, old, simple but working card.
 
Old 04-09-2013, 09:19 AM   #7
Ra5cal
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Yep, it was an old PCI card. I could look on ebay etc but I'd rather try the install 1st; then decide if I want to keep it or just buy a new PC - if only to run Lightroom while dual booting Linux
 
Old 04-09-2013, 10:48 AM   #8
snowpine
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Kmandla's blog has some good advice for old busted computers: http://kmandla.wordpress.com/2007/09...-old-computer/
 
Old 04-09-2013, 11:52 AM   #9
DavidMcCann
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This computer has no graphics card. On many (most?) motherboards, the Northbridge chip can handle graphics.
 
Old 04-09-2013, 12:02 PM   #10
TobiSGD
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Please tell us the exact model and maker of the motherboard. Most consumer motherboards that do not come with onboard graphics won't start without a videocard, this is different for server motherboards, so we need more information here.
 
Old 04-09-2013, 01:58 PM   #11
guyonearth
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What a bunch of odd answers. All PC-type computers have/need a graphics section, whether it is discrete or integrated is irrelevant. Every x86 server board I've seen also has a graphics adapter, even if it's a very basic one. Just how do you plan to install Linux with no graphics/monitor? That's going to be quite a trick for a neophyte. Just how do you intend to communicate/input data with this computer assuming you do get Linux installed? A remote terminal? Easily done, but unless you install the Linux to the hard drive on another compter, or use a live CD, I fail to see how you're going to get it running. As was pointed out, consumer boards generally won't boot without a graphics adapter, it's the first thing they look for.
 
Old 04-09-2013, 02:31 PM   #12
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyonearth View Post
What a bunch of odd answers. All PC-type computers have/need a graphics section, whether it is discrete or integrated is irrelevant. Every x86 server board I've seen also has a graphics adapter, even if it's a very basic one.
http://www.supermicro.com/Aplus/supe...A-7142G-T4.cfm

Many boards meant for rackservers or blades come without graphics and don't need one, many embedded boards that are used as industrial controllers also. There is nothing in the x86 architecture that specifically defines a need for video-hardware.

Quote:
Just how do you plan to install Linux with no graphics/monitor?
Actually that is pretty easy, you can either use interfaces like IPMI, PXE or use a local installation media that automatically starts an SSH server (even the Slackware installer can do that). Do you really think that in large datacenters someone physically goes to a machine to install an OS?

Quote:
Just how do you intend to communicate/input data with this computer assuming you do get Linux installed? A remote terminal?
Serial consoles, telnet, SSH, X over SSH, VNC, any of the other protocols specifically meant for communication over network.
Quote:
Easily done, but unless you install the Linux to the hard drive on another compter, or use a live CD, I fail to see how you're going to get it running.
Already answered above.
Quote:
As was pointed out, consumer boards generally won't boot without a graphics adapter, it's the first thing they look for.
That is the reason why I asked for model/maker.

Last edited by TobiSGD; 04-09-2013 at 02:33 PM.
 
Old 04-09-2013, 03:24 PM   #13
guyonearth
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No need to be snide. I'm well aware of all those things. He has an old XP PC, not a blade server. I assume it needs a video card to boot, matter of fact, I guarantee it does. A $10 ebay video card would make more sense than trying to do a headless install, but that's just me. I manage several headless NAS devices via remote shells, by the way.

Last edited by guyonearth; 04-09-2013 at 03:31 PM.
 
Old 04-09-2013, 04:29 PM   #14
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyonearth View Post
He has an old XP PC, not a blade server. I assume it needs a video card to boot, matter of fact, I guarantee it does.
You should be cautious with such guarantees. For example, the MSI 865PE Neo3 mainboard, a desktop mainboard from the Pentium 4 era with onboard video, is able to boot just fine without video card.
Quote:
I manage several headless NAS devices via remote shells, by the way.
Then your previous question how to communicate/input data to such a system doesn't make much sense.
 
Old 04-09-2013, 09:02 PM   #15
guyonearth
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Not sure what you mean by that. The systems still have video cards. It's nice to be able to plug in a monitor if desired. Unless you're not installing a desktop at all, I'd assume you'd want a video device available.
 
  


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