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  #1  
Old 31st December 2007, 01:39 AM
blatzblitz Offline
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Fedora 8 - Configure Headless Server

Hi All,
I am new to the forum, forgive me if I am not up to speed.

I have installed Fedora 8 and configured remote connection successfully via VNC. My overall goal is to run this box without keyboard/video/mouse, then VNC into it when necessary.

The problem is that if I boot the box up without a monitor attached, the OS doesn't boot up. If I attach the monitor, I see an error that says:

FAILED TO START THE X SERVER (YOUR GRAPHICAL INTERFACE). IT IS LIKELY THAT IT IS NOT SET UP CORRECTLY.

(I should also mention that this is not a BIOS issue)

At this point, I can ping the box, but VNC does not work because the system hasn't booted completely.

Has anyone come across this problem, and if so, have you resolved it?

TIA
- BlatzBlitz
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  #2  
Old 31st December 2007, 01:50 AM
bradchaus Offline
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Posts: 548
i would suspect that a properly working graphics card would try to detect the monitor its connected to. If there is no monitor, who knows what will happen, I suspect it would vary between graphics cards.

Instead of using VNC, why dont you use one or more of the following.

1. Webmin - a web based system administration utility. Accessed through a browser.

2. ssh -X user@host ... run X commands over ssh

either of the above options only need your server to be in runlevel 3 ... ie command line interface.
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  #3  
Old 31st December 2007, 05:06 PM
tjrob Offline
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If you are using initdefault 5, which is the installed value, then logins are via X-windows; without a monitor the boot won't complete. This seems like your problem.

To change this, as root edit /etc/inittab and modify this line:
# Default runlevel. The runlevels used by RHS are:
# 0 - halt (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
# 1 - Single user mode
# 2 - Multiuser, without NFS (The same as 3, if you do not have networking)
# 3 - Full multiuser mode
# 4 - unused
# 5 - X11
# 6 - reboot (Do NOT set initdefault to this)
#
id:3:initdefault:

Many old-timers like me use initdefault 3 because of problems when changing monitors that support different video modes (much less of a problem with modern multi-sync monitors). initdefault 3 uses a text console for the login; if you want X-windows you must then start it manually. Another reason to do this is that permits you to select among multiple layouts in the X server.
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  #4  
Old 31st December 2007, 05:41 PM
blatzblitz Offline
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Thanks tjrob!

I will try this later today.

I have a couple of follow up questions...I am a windows system admin and looking to possibly switch a few boxes to linux in the long term, so I am not very experienced in linux at all up till now, just kicking the tires.

If I do what you mention, will VNC respond?

If so, how do I launch X windows from command line?

Thanks a bunch for your help, I hope this works out.

BTW...I know that a lot of system admins are using linux boxes in their server rooms. It seems that there should be something similar to terminal services/remote desktop on the linux os without using VNC....
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  #5  
Old 1st January 2008, 04:00 PM
tjrob Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blatzblitz
If I do what you mention, will VNC respond?
It should -- by default vncserver creates a new Xwindows display.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blatzblitz
If so, how do I launch X windows from command line?
startx

Quote:
Originally Posted by blatzblitz
BTW...I know that a lot of system admins are using linux boxes in their server rooms. It seems that there should be something similar to terminal services/remote desktop on the linux os without using VNC....
When I have done that, I just used ssh to access the headless nodes, without Xwindows at all.
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  #6  
Old 2nd January 2008, 01:20 AM
cheerio158 Offline
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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 231
I just tried this ( d:3:initdefault: ) and couldn't log into my headless machine using ssh (and hence vncviewer routed through ssh).

Once I attached a monitor amd keyboard so I could reverse this change, I checked /etc/rc.d/rc5.d and see that the ssh deamon ( S55sshd ) and a lot of other important services start at run level 5, not 3.

Did I miss something?
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