How to setup a headless machine

David L Norris dave at
Thu Jan 27 20:18:40 UTC 2005

On Thu, 2005-01-27 at 14:24 -0400, Arthur Pemberton wrote:
> Out of curiousity, I'd like to know what are the better ways to setup 
> and run a headless (monitor less) machine with FC3.
> I'm going to setup a third linux box in my room, and thought it would be 
> nice to learn and try out.

A lot of people seem to equate "headless" with text-only or VNC.  So I
thought I would also point out that you can run X applications remotely
by tunneling them over SSH.  It works well over a decent Internet
connection and for single applications it is faster and more convenient
than VNC.  You can create desktop launchers if you run applications
routinely. GNOME will display graphical password/passphrase prompts if
you do not run ssh from a terminal:
  ssh -Y user at host  /usr/bin/gedit

Also, if you are on a trusted network you can setup X to allow remote
logins to your headless machine.  If you're using the default GNOME
display manager then run gdmsetup on your server and check "enable
XDMCP" on the XDMCP tab.  Also uncheck "always disallow TCP connections
to X server" on the Security tab.  Now on your workstations run gdmsetup
and make sure you have "Allow running XDMCP chooser from the login
screen" checked.  Once all of that is done you can go to a workstation,
press F10, select "XDMCP Chooser" and then double click the appropriate
server.  The GDM theme can have a button to trigger the XDMCP chooser
but I've not seen any that do so.

 David Norris
  ICQ - 412039
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