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How to make a server turn on when it gets mains power?

I have an electricity timer and when it turns on, I want the server to turn on. My BIOS doesn't support the wake up at time function so this is probably my only other way.

I'm using Ubuntu Server 12.04.

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Be careful with this as there may be a spike in the current when it turns on which could damage the PSU. – ChrisF May 3 '12 at 21:35
@ChrisF can you cite a source for that? – Mr.Wizard May 3 '12 at 22:10
@Mr.Wizard - no, which is why it's a comment rather than an answer :) Obviously if you have good wiring you any spikes (if present at all) will be minimal. – ChrisF May 3 '12 at 22:11
@ChrisF thanks. I hope that modern PSU's of decent quality will gracefully handle the power-on transient, but frankly I don't know. – Mr.Wizard May 3 '12 at 22:14
@Mr.Wizard - agreed, but I wouldn't like to find out my PSU couldn't handle it the first time I tried this. – ChrisF May 3 '12 at 22:16

Check if your BIOS has feature called PWR-ON After PWR-Fail or something similar. Turn it on.

These features allow you to control what the board does when it receives power. Possible values usually include:

  • Power On, as soon as power is received
  • Power On, if the device was powered on when the power went off
  • Stay Off

The specific settings differs depending on what BIOS is used.

Some boards will respect this setting only if there was an actual power failure (and not if you correctly shut down the machine). Others will apply this setting in either case. And some (especially server) boards even offer both options.

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This can also be called "Last State" – BloodyIron May 3 '12 at 22:16

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