How do you build a 'headless' folding box?

Discussion in 'Distributed Computing' started by iPoster, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. iPoster macrumors regular

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    #1
    I have seen it mentioned by other folders, but I have no idea where to begin. I imagine it's similar to building a home server, but I have never done that before either.

    I'm asking because I have some old 'puter parts lying around doing nothing useful at the moment, that I thought I could build into something that would sit in a quiet corner of the house and fold.

    Any suggestions? :confused:
     
  2. chaos86 macrumors 65816

    chaos86

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    #2
    1) build computer with head
    2) set it up to start a vnc server on startup so you can control it's screen from another computer, in case you want to do something on it without getting another screen out.
    3) start it folding
    4) decapitate
     
  3. iPoster thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    That easy? I thought I would be something more complicated...thanks for the help!
     
  4. chaos86 macrumors 65816

    chaos86

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    #4

    nope. headless computers are literally that- normal computers that have been beheaded. the only issue to overcome is how to manage it without a screen to look at (or presumably a keyboard or mouse to input with), and vnc does a great job of that.
     
  5. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #5
    Here's a question that's been bugging me for a while. If you have a headless PC, does it need a video card in it?

    The way I see it, it shouldn't because there's no monitor attached to it, but at the same time, VNC outputs what is on the monitor, which is driven by a video card. I've always wondered this, and I'm too lazy to pull the video card from my comp....
     
  6. chaos86 macrumors 65816

    chaos86

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    #6

    i would assume so, though it only needs to be a crappy video card. the problem is that the BIOS or EFI or whatever firmware is running on the motherboard would usually freak out if it couldnt find a video device. i know ive turned on many machines in my building days and usually if they dont have one of the essentials (ram, proc, an input device, a video out device) they just beep and hang.
     
  7. mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

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    Boston, MA
    #7
    Yes, you'll need a video card. Onboard video would work fine for something like that -- I have a headless file server that I sometimes need to plug a monitor into if the VNC is being a pain.
     
  8. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #8
    XP also will freek out if it has no video card. I once got a certain BIOS to go on with no video card but XP shot that idea down really fast.
     
  9. mikes63737 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 26, 2005
    #9
    It most likely does. Your BIOS may keep you from booting the computer. If you have a really expensive graphics card, you can certainly downgrade. Newegg.com has many for under $20.

    I wouldn't reccommend VNC if you have a 10/100 network because VNC causes high network traffic.
     
  10. zach macrumors 65816

    zach

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    #10
    i think some linux distros can handle lack of video cards out of the box, and i KNOW you could configure one to.
     
  11. Lollypop macrumors 6502a

    Lollypop

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    Sep 13, 2004
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    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #11
    A lot of linux ditros work without a graphics card, problem is you might need embedded hardware that is designed to work without a graphics card.

    Cheapest way to build a headless pc is to get a cheap ass dell (yes, i know im sorry!!! :( ) with cheap ass integrated graphics, cofigure the machine, and then once its up and running to allocate less memory to the graphics card and more to the OS to increase performance.
     

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