I tried to set up a home network the other day, and wanted to set my old computer up as a file server. So, I installed ubuntu server on it. Once installed and logged in, I realsied that some of the keys are not working. Mainly the forward slash and right arrow key. The forward slash is a real pain as I can't type in file paths. So, if I can quickly set it up enough on the network, install whatever I can, then login to it from the other computer (which has a fully working keyboard) then I can do all operations from that keyboard. The problem is I'm very new to setting networks and servers let alone trying to do this. If someone could advise what tool(s) I may need to do this, maybe even steps required, from fresh installation I'd be most grateful. Thanks


First you should assign the server a fixed IP address. Log in to your DSL modem (router) and find the DHCP leases page. You should be able to then find your server in the list of leases, and do something to make it permanent depending on which modem you have.

Once you know your server's IP address won't change, you can then log into it from another machine, with one of these options:

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  • Can I assign a fixed IP address for the laptop with the broken keyboard (server - freshly installed Ubuntu Server) from my good laptop (client - working Ubuntu 12.04)? If I can do as much as possible without having to rely on the faulty laptop, the better. If so, I'll certainly read up more about the tools you posted. Thanks – Martyn Apr 15 '14 at 3:48
  • Yep, you totally can log into your DSL modem from the good laptop, and whatever IP address it's given the one with the broken keyboard, you can tell it to assign that permanently. What sort of DSL modem do you have? – Alastair Irvine Apr 15 '14 at 15:03

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