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Thread: Logging in Graphical Mode to Headless Ubuntu System

  1. #1
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    Logging in Graphical Mode to Headless Ubuntu System

    Hi
    I have installed Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on a Raspberry PI 4. I need to be able to use VNC to log on remotely. I do not want to tie up a Monitor. How can I have it boot up Into Graphical Mode through VNC while having no monitor connected to the PI. I currently have it working, but only when I have a monitor connected. Can anyone help me with some setting that will allow me to access it while it is 'headless'.
    Robert

  2. #2
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    Re: Logging in Graphical Mode to Headless Ubuntu System

    As you've found, X struggles to start when there's no connected display detected, and graphical applications need X to have started.

    There are two options available to you. You can fiddle with xorg.conf to add the characteristics of a dummy output and tell it to ignore the lack of EDID, which is fiddly but not ever so difficult; or you can attach a dummy device that does the same thing in hardware - I think they're only a few quid.

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    Re: Logging in Graphical Mode to Headless Ubuntu System

    Quote Originally Posted by CatKiller View Post
    As you've found, X struggles to start when there's no connected display detected, and graphical applications need X to have started.

    There are two options available to you. You can fiddle with xorg.conf to add the characteristics of a dummy output and tell it to ignore the lack of EDID, which is fiddly but not ever so difficult; or you can attach a dummy device that does the same thing in hardware - I think they're only a few quid.
    Hi CatKiller
    I will have a look into 'xorg.conf' and see what I can find. I am interested in the 'dummy device' you mention, is it an active or passive device? I have never heard of them before. Thanks for the post.
    Robert

  4. #4
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    Re: Logging in Graphical Mode to Headless Ubuntu System

    Quote Originally Posted by robertweir View Post
    I will have a look into 'xorg.conf' and see what I can find.
    /etc/X11/xorg.conf, which is the full path, isn't there by default but it will be used if you make one. man xorg.conf details the structure and options. IgnoreEDID is the critical option for what you're after. If you sometimes have a monitor connected you can crib the details from that, or otherwise just make something up that fits the needs of how you'll connect remotely.

    I am interested in the 'dummy device' you mention, is it an active or passive device? I have never heard of them before.
    This is the kind of thing. They were invented for just this situation. It just gives an EDID response of "yes, I'm totally a monitor." Pretty neat.
    None but ourselves can free our minds

  5. #5
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    Re: Logging in Graphical Mode to Headless Ubuntu System

    Quote Originally Posted by CatKiller View Post
    /etc/X11/xorg.conf, which is the full path, isn't there by default but it will be used if you make one. man xorg.conf details the structure and options. IgnoreEDID is the critical option for what you're after. If you sometimes have a monitor connected you can crib the details from that, or otherwise just make something up that fits the needs of how you'll connect remotely.



    This is the kind of thing. They were invented for just this situation. It just gives an EDID response of "yes, I'm totally a monitor." Pretty neat.
    Hi CatKiller
    Thank you so much for your answer. I will follow up with you here as soon as I get the issue sorted. : - )))
    Robert

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