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I have a home server running headless (i.e. without a monitor), using ssh for remote access.

This works fine most of the time, but I still need a graphics card and still need to drag out a monitor whenever I have to access BIOS, (re-)install the OS and similar.

I know that there are business servers that let you control everything remotely (over Ethernet), including power up and BIOS access.

Is this type of functionality available for "prosumer" class hardware? If so, where does it sit - should I look for motherboard support, a PCI-e card or an external device?

And does this type of functionality have a name, so I know what to google for?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's called "Out-of-band management", or "lights-out management".

Out-of-band management

In computing, out-of-band management (sometimes called lights-out management or LOM) involves the use of a dedicated management channel for device maintenance. It allows a system administrator to monitor and manage servers and other network equipment by remote control regardless of whether the machine is powered on.

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Thanks. IPMI seems to be what I am looking for. – j-g-faustus Dec 31 '10 at 15:06

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