Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'd like to use the GUI environment on a spare box I have headless, not just ssh into it.

Is it possible to setup a remote desktop service even when there's no screen attached to the remote host?

I'm intending to use Debian Linux on the host.

share|improve this question
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes you can, the only thing to be aware of is if you do not have a monitor you also may not have a mouse or keyboard. Some BIOS's will throw a error if it detects no keyboard connected but that can usually be disabled. It is just something you need to be aware of.

The Unix Stack Exchange site has a good question and answer on SSH X forwarding that may help you get started.

share|improve this answer

Yes, you can still run a GUI with no monitor attached. Additionally, you can X forward or VNC share or whatever from it.

share|improve this answer

Xvnc is a virtual X server that provides VNC remote desktop service. No monitor (or even video card) is required for it to run.

share|improve this answer

If you use VNC, you will need a graphics card, but no monitor or keyboard.

share|improve this answer
    
With a graphics card it's easiest to set up, but you could also use Xvfb which can run X without a graphics card at all. (But computers without any graphics capability are very, very rare these days). – Joachim Sauer Jan 18 '13 at 9:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .