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Operating Systems

Running Old Desktops Headless? 347

CajunArson writes "I recently dug up an old P4 that is in fine working order and did what any self-respecting Slashdotter would do: I slapped Linux on it to experiment with making an NFSv4 server. One other thing I did was to remove the old AGP video card to save on power, since this is a headless machine. Now, I removed the video card after the installation, and I'm doing just fine as long as the machine will boot to a state where networking works and I can SSH to it. My question: Is there a good solution to allow me to log into this box if it cannot get on the network? I'm looking for solutions other than slapping a video card back in. In my case, I will have physical access to the machine. A few caveats to make it interesting: This question is for plain old desktop/laptop systems, not network servers designed to run headless. Also, I am aware of the serial console, but even 'old' machines may only have USB, and I have not seen any good documentation on how and whether USB works as a substitute. Finally, if there is any way to access the BIOS settings without needing a video card, that would be an extra bonus, but I'm satisfied with just local OS access starting from the GRUB prompt."

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