SSH is a protocol used to communicate with headless systems but when there is pxe and bios problems it becomes too difficult to handle specially if we don't use serial console , kvm and other currently available (afaik) out of band management procedures. All headless systems almost always have a serial , vga and a ethernet outlet, in which serial and ethernet will need drivers which are initialized post boot through OS. Now my question :
Do we have some protocol for vga to ethernet or crossover rj45 or something similar for communication in such cases since ethernet port is almost always available in desktop and laptops. Seeing its importance in critical systems and conditions, should we not have a driver and communication console package similar to minicom available as a library or (kernel?) module? If not why?

  • Intel vPro solves this complete problem as the vPro chip provides a complete VNC-style KVM-over-Ethernet relying only on the computer having power and and Ethernet connection. – Kinnectus Jul 28 '16 at 10:00
  • well its still hardware ( intel ) specific and out of band . my question is why not build a flow from vga to commonplace ports. – Raaj Jul 28 '16 at 10:06
  • Probably because of the lack of storage for drivers, libraries and the potential requirement for a kernel of some sort... I appreciate vPro is manufacturer specific but it is probably the best solution as it doesn't require any VGA, USB or other peripherals. I don't know the answer to your question, but I know vPro already negates the need for a solution. – Kinnectus Jul 28 '16 at 10:09
  • I don’t understand. What you ask about (OS-independent remote administration) is the very definition of out-of-band management. It obviously exists. If it has to be independent, it cannot be in-band. – Daniel B Jul 28 '16 at 10:26
  • true. theoretically we can call it out of band. but current OOB techniques require additional hardware. – Raaj Jul 28 '16 at 11:00

I suppose you mean Cat5.. the cable. Rather than the ethernet protocol.

If you wanted ethernet the protocol then maybe you'd want some kind of ethernet over IP with KVM Extenders. I haven't really tried that.. So, ethernet aside.

Yeah.. Any KVM Extender.

Or if you google for VGA over Cat5 then you'll see that specifically for VGA. e.g. I see a company called startech do one but ridiculously expensive.


enter image description here

So, Their one there looks ridiculously expensive.

However, with these kind of things you can often find things on ebay quite cheaply, even the best makes sometimes, or cheaper makes that do just as good, but try to check reviews first e.g. newegg might have reviews of this/that product.

My point though is they exist.. Look for keywords of USB, VGA, Cat5 extend. and "vga extender" and "kvm extender"


As @barlop noted there are video extenders that transmit video over cat5 or better. Most of these are not Ethernet based and must have all pares connected not just pars two and three. That said there in also what are called kvm over ip (which normally uses Ethernet). Unlike the extenders which are sold in pairs, these use a computer to display the video. Also note if you thought the extenders were expensive, you were wrong, these are expensive.

  • Commentary submitted as an isn't an acceptable answer – Ramhound Aug 18 '17 at 1:54
  • @Ramhound, What do you mean? – hildred Aug 18 '17 at 1:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.