Headless Server Configuration

I was surprised that I had to do this. 

Having configured SSH, VNC and Apache and confirmed that my web pages were making it out to t’interweb I thought that I would be able to unplug the monitor and keyboard from the BRIX and it would continue to serve happily on the the corner of my desk. 

And so it did .. until I rebooted, at which point the BRIX hung until I reattached a monitor and then it booted up normally.

This one I had to figure out for myself. There was a lot of literature saying that the latest desktop versions of SUsE and Ubuntu didn’t like headless boot and work rounds changing / creating the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and the grub file but those solutions just screwed up my server’s ability to see it’s own monitor which makes debugging even harder!

After I’d put everything back the way it was and had a good look at the BRIX BIOS (which you get into be repeatedly pressing the delete key quickly during the reboot sequence) and found nothing there I sat down and had a good look at the bootloader file /etc/default/grub

It’s not a big file and it sets some basic properties from the Linux bootloader. One, however was

GRUB_TERMINAL=“gfxterm"

gfxterm stands for graphics-mode output and based on the fact that this was the only property that sounded monitor related and out of kilter with my text based requirements I changed it to:

GRUB_TERMINAL=“console

and rebuild the bootloader with

grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

And that did the trick. The little box now rebooted lightning quick and completely without a head.

© Charles Webster 2016