booting ubuntu without a monitor

kyle.smith kyle.smith at
Wed Apr 29 02:55:16 UTC 2009

-----Original Message-----
From: ubuntu-users-bounces at
[mailto:ubuntu-users-bounces at] On Behalf Of Brian McKee
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 10:46 PM
To: Ubuntu user technical support,not for general discussions
Subject: Re: booting ubuntu without a monitor

On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 10:04 PM, Councill, David
<dcouncill at> wrote:
> I am trying to set up a remote Linux computer, no monitor, accessible 
> by vnc.
>  Any suggestions? I hate to go back to XP but I've already spent a 
> number of hours trying to get this to work and I can have XP on the 
> same computer doing what I need it to do in about an hour (security 
> wise I like the idea of a non-windows computer doing monitoring in an 
> AD domain).

Now now, no need to drag the 'I can do this in Windows' troll to get an
answer here.

Your real problem is you are starting X on boot up, which you just don't
need or want.
In Debian and Ubuntu that translates into you want to stop the 'gdm'
service and keep it from starting automatically.   I'd do it this way
(there are others)

in a terminal - 'sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude install
sysvconfig ; sudo sysvconfig'
and use the menus to disable gdm

'sudo service gdm stop'

reboot to prove it works && profit.

Extra info

- Had you installed from the server or minimal cd's you could have
chosen to not install X at all...
- if you need X and have a monitor on it, then you can simply type
'startx' after logging in and you'll get your GUI
- If you generated an Xorg.conf with the monitor attached you X wouldn't
overwrite that, so it would boot up fine...
- There's an ignore edid option in there somewhere that would likely
also do what you need


Brian I'm confused by your answer.  Your instructions are telling him
how to stop gdm at boot.  He's asking about making a system remotely
accessible via VNC.  He needs to install the vnc server package which, I
think, is vnc4server.

sudo apt-get install vnc4server

Then you need to run the vncserver command as the user you'd like to log
in as by typing vncserver.

It'll ask for a password to secure the session, and you're in.

I hope this helps.

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