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Old 01-30-2007, 12:55 AM   #1
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: arch linux .7
Posts: 30

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running a headless, file server box with no video card?

Alright, so I've searched all over and I can't find complete, concrete, recent instructions on how to run a linux box without a video card. All the instructions are either difficult to follow, not relevant, incomplete, for another type of system, or outdated.

The box is running gentoo with an ASUS motherboard without on board video. When I remove the video card and try to boot up, I get an error on the boot system check (or whatever the technical name is) and, consequently, the system won't boot up. At least I'm pretty sure, but the weird thing is that I've changed the bios to "halt on no errors," and so I'm confused as to what the problem is that keeps the system from booting up without a card. When I put the PCI-E card back, the system boots up just fine. There must be a way to do this as surely no professional servers have a video card installed?

The box is bare minimal, I have nothing installed that requires a display. I removed the graphical grub boot screen...

If you need any information about my system, I'll supply it. Please help, I need to remove this card so as to have a spare card and save on power costs.

Old 01-30-2007, 01:12 AM   #2
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Registered: May 2004
Location: In the DC 'burbs
Distribution: Arch, Scientific Linux, Debian, Ubuntu
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Actually, particularly in the x86 space, most servers do have video cards. There's only one I have at work (a HP PA-RISC machine) that doesn't.

Most BIOSes that aren't designed for server operation assume they are going to be booted with a video card and even "don't stop on error" won't keep them from not working because of this. The best thing I can think to do is if your BIOS supports input and output via a serial console you try to boot with one attached (use something like Minicom on Linux or HyperTerm on Windows) and see what the exact error code is or if there's a way to get around it.


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