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I am new in servers. I have an old PC. I want to install Ubuntu Server on that PC and keep it on my home network. The problem is that I can't keep the monitor and the keyboard. So the questions are:

  • How can I have the server without monitor/keyboard and access it with my laptop through my home network?

  • How can I boot the machine without monitor/keyboard anytime I want? (I think that without monitor/keyboard the BIOS would throw errors.)

Can anyone explain the process to me? I have searched the internet but got confused.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Usually administrators use SSH to access servers remotely. Install on Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install ssh

It will install the OpenSSH daemon. Then use any SSH client (just ssh on Linux/Mac, PuTTY on Windows) to connect to your remote machine over the network. It will also provide SFTP/SCP for file transfers. Just make sure your network is configured properly before making it headless.

For booting the machine headless, it is probably only required to configure your BIOS to continue booting without a keyboard. It is common for consumer hardware mainboards to stop booting without a keyboard as a default setting, but can be changed usually.

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I run several headless Linux systems here. After initial install with monitor and keyboard to get everything set up as server with CLI only, enable and lock down SSH for access. Disable keyboard errors in bios. Remove junk, run. If you're a GUI type, then you'll have to work something else out. Access from now on is an SSH session using something like Putty on another system. – Fiasco Labs Sep 11 '12 at 15:42
@FiascoLabs yes i think my bios support disabling halt on keyboard error. i set the parameter to halt on no errors. now the problem is that i can't find a way to connect to my wireless home network so as to set up the openssh. any idea would be helpful. – tioschi Sep 12 '12 at 8:29
@miako I recommend avoiding network managers on a server. Instead, try configuring it using /etc/network/interfaces like any other network interface. Read this for example or open a new question. – gertvdijk Sep 12 '12 at 8:33
@gertvdijk I read the link that you provided but now the problem is that when i run the command iwconfig and ifconfig -a there is no wlanX anywhere. I have problem with the driver of my wireless card (netgear wg311v3).But i think i have to make a new post for this problem right? – tioschi Sep 15 '12 at 12:09
@miako Yes, disconnecting a keyboard and mouse or using SSH does not relate to a wireless networking card not being detected. – gertvdijk Sep 15 '12 at 12:11

There are many ways to get remotelly unreachable on a head-less station. If you look at the perspective that without properly booting a system a device can become severelly bricked, even if it would be a silly press enter on the boot time.

You can grab this two fixes if you havent seen it before, but there may be another several hacks to your distro become complete 100% bootable. Looking for them.

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