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  1. #1

    How to build a headless server?

    Hi Guys -

    It's been decades since I built my own server, but I'm going to build a couple of home servers. They'll run either Linux or Solaris (or both). I know how I want to build everything, but the one thing I'm not sure about is how to make it headless, from a management stand point.

    I worked for Sun Microsystems (aka Oracle) for a decade as well as other large enterprises (Bank of America, etc). We had machines with build in LOM (lights out management) interfaces where we could access the console. Or, we had terminal servers connected to the serial ports.

    In a modern DIY server build, what's the best way to manage a LOM type interface? Not that it has to have all the LOM capabilities, but at least some way to access the console on boot or in single user mode without a display, keys, and mouse.

    Any thoughts? Are their cards for this or are their motherboards with some sort of LOM built in?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    You can also configure such "headless" systems to use an ethernet port for console access, though generally serial ports are simpler. I use such for my embedded ARM development systems running Debian Linux. It is mostly a matter of kernel configuration - how you build the kernel. There are a lot of resources on the internet to help you with that, along with FAQs and HowTo's from various distributions you might want to use. This is common stuff - we do it all the time, otherwise we could never manager our thousands of servers in many world-wide data centers from one office in Chicago... In our case, we use network protocols to do this, not serial ports, but for personal serial may be more amenable to your needs. Just remember, in this case, Google is your friend!
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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