[ubuntu-uk] Server won't start without screen

Paul Willis paul.willis at me.com
Wed Oct 27 12:24:33 BST 2010

On 26 Oct 2010, at 23:35, Grant Sewell wrote:

> On Tue, 26 Oct 2010 23:28:35 +0100
> Rob Beard wrote:
>> On 26/10/10 22:41, Glen Mehn wrote:
>>> Do you get to see what happens when the screen is plugged in? i.e,.
>>> is it stuck before grub or after? I kind of assume you aren't
>>> running X on the server (stock ubuntu server, right?)
>>> I know of a hosting company who uses mac minis (though I can't
>>> think of who they are at the moment... grumble...) as a server that
>>> sits between dedicated machines and virtual servers. Obviously only
>>> good for low-intensity i/o tasks. You might try to find them to see
>>> if there's something mac-specific that's going on.
>>> I would easily put £20 on it being a mac thing that has to be
>>> disabled in the mac prom, but I've no idea how to do that (I don't
>>> think that apple opens up their firmwares to outside people)
>>> Aha! Here's the company. The short version suggests not using boot
>>> camp (I'm not sure what else you might use)
>>> http://www.mythic-beasts.com/support/macminicolo_howto.html
>> Doing some more reading on 
>> http://forums.macnn.com/104/alternative-operating-systems/296206/headless-mac-mini-server-using-bootcamp/ 
>> it looks like a couple of pins need to be connected together with a 
>> resistor on the DVI port.  Details are on the thread a bit further
>> down (there is a link from the link to the Macnn.com forum but it's a
>> broken link).  It appears to be something to do with Bootcamp.
>> Rob
> I have not looked into this, but is there no way of installing Ubuntu
> natively without resorting to bootcamp's fake BIOS environment?  If it
> is bootcamp's VGA issue that is causing this problem, and Ubuntu can be
> installed natively sans bootcamp, then surely there's the answer right
> there.
> (BTW, I do not have an EFI IntelliMac... mine is a nice old OF G3
> iBook.)
> Grant.

Thanks everyone for all the great suggestions and things to explore.

I do remember now that some older Mac G4 towers we used (running Mac OS X server) had a similar headless problem and plugging the DVI to VGA adapter in the back sorted it. I had forgotten about that so it might be the answer as the discussions on those links suggest.

As far as what happened at the point where the Mac Mini was on but not visible on the network I'm not sure what stage it was at. As I mentioned this is in a remote office so I'm troubleshooting it via email and phone with a non technical person but I'll check if they actually plugged the screen in at that point and what they saw if they did.

I'm new to Ubuntu on a Mac that isn't running in VMWare to be honest. I'm not sure if I'm using Bootcamp. We booted from an Ubuntu CD we had downloaded and chose the option to overwrite the whole disk. I don't believe there is any Apple software on the disk but I must admit I'm not really sure how the installer does it.


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