I have an old AMD Athlon II X2 system that I was thinking of installing Linux (not decided on distro) onto to use as a server (e.g. Minecraft), but it does not have a display output, the Athlons don't have integrated graphics, neither does the 870 (IIRC) motherboard chipset.

So for this purpose I really don't have much use for a display at all, I will just SSH into it from other locations, so I do not really want to have to buy even a low end graphics card (the only spares I could locate were AGP).

Is it possible to run a system with no display output, e.g. some way of installing Linux that immediately makes SSH available to run through the installation with? Failing that I might be able to borrow one of those USB display adapters (does that work without a proper primary and installed OS?) or possibly a full graphics card, but then after installation would need to hand those back.

  • So you have no budget for even a $10 PCI card? Running headless is fine, but good luck booting to install an OS without a video card... Dec 22, 2013 at 17:45
  • Well if I can install and then run without a GPU, then that works. I did look at buying a GPU, but the cheapest I quickly found was a HD 5450 that comes to £23 after postage.
    – Will
    Dec 23, 2013 at 10:40

1 Answer 1


Your keywords / search expressions are "headless workstation" and "linux installation"



also: https://serverfault.com/questions/21255/headless-linux-install

  • Welcome to SU. While you give some helpful clues, you should avoid link-only answers (links may get offline and render your answer useless). Instead give a summary and include the links only as a reference.
    – mpy
    Dec 22, 2013 at 16:32
  • Thanks! Good to know. But if the same question is already answered to, what is the purpose of having another thread with detailed answers? Aren't the original posters spoiled? :)
    – Laser
    Dec 22, 2013 at 16:49
  • The audience of Superuser and Serverfault is different, so good answers at SF might be overkill here. (The community decides by voting). Concerning quoting of other answers, I found this post at Meta.SU, where you can discuss about SU.
    – mpy
    Dec 22, 2013 at 17:39
  • Id agree with that, if I went to Serverfault putting "headless" as the correct technical term is probably an expectation, and not something Google told me on my attempt at a search for this.
    – Will
    Dec 23, 2013 at 10:37

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