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#1 01-Jun-2012 01:00:28


Desktop Ubuntu as server?

Someone says:

I'm struggling to get enough useful screen resolution when using VNC to connect to Ubuntu in a headless setup.

Description of my setup / steps to reproduce:

1) Ubuntu 11.10 desktop edition set up as a server (file, print, JIRA, etc)
2) I've got everything running well, and it starts up without a problem as a headless server. I specifically would like to get away without having a screen, mouse and keyboard.
3) When I VNC into the machine with a screen attached, I get a great resolution over the connection.
4) When I VNC in with the headless configuration, the screen resolution is horrible, and I can often not even resize application windows to be able to see tabs, etc. It's basically unusable.

No kiddin', why running the server with a full blown and resources hungry, desktop?

In short:

  • Remove GDM (graphical display manager)

  • Install Xinit (X-window manager)

  • Install Tmux

  • Install Ranger

  • Install Webmin

  • Boot to Cli

  • After login start xinit

  • Start Tmux

To get rid of your mouse and keyboard but maintain a terminal (semi-headless):
* Install Synergy on the server and QuickSynergy on some laptop to use near the server, to share over tcp/ip.

That's it, now you will be able to:

  • Remote control the server through Webmin : https://lan_ip:10000

  • Run GTK apps (Chrome, Firefox, Gparted, etc) because of Xinit

  • Use the CLI in multiple terminals with Tmux

  • Use Ranger as ultimate file-manager

  • Use the laptop's mouse and keyboard to control the server while input is visible on the server's screen

Read more or observe the screenshots, in Dutch, at: … php?id=167


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