Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a client who resells our systems enclosed for use in industrial environments. We have been looking at installing a small dc powered monitor, but have run into a few problems which has made me start thinking about using a netbook plus RDP instead (there is easy access to a free ethernet jack)

The issues we ran into with using a small dc powered lcd screen are:

Has to be at least 1024 x 768
Has to have DVI input (the computer is pure dvi, no vga)
Has to accept 12V DC

So far I haven't found anything that satisfies all of the criteria.

Plus they need to have a keyboard/mouse combo. Which leads to a bit of juggling.

The person going into the system is not an IT person. They will be going in to configure our software (and nothing else) which they are trained to use.

So I was thinking of providing a netbook instead, and have them access the system via RDP or the equivalent.

Which is the better way to go? I like having a monitor keyboard setup that satisfies the criteria over using a netbook+RDP because it seems like there is less potential for screwups. But so far I haven't found the appropriate solution.

Or is there something better that I haven't seen?

share|improve this question
To clarify, the system is not on any network. So access via RDP would require the person to go to site and plug their laptop/netbook directly into the system. – michael Oct 12 '10 at 1:46
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The Netbook + RDP (or similar technologies like VNC) sounds like a good solution in this case. An ideal solution would be integrating an IPMI chip into the industrial box, and enabling remote console over IP as well as basic monitoring and logging functions.

share|improve this answer
I agree with Chris S. Monitor/keyboard/mouse are incredible overkill for an industrial system where they are used only for configuration. Look at the way this problem is handled in rackmount servers. – Paul McMillan Oct 10 '10 at 1:33
It's not really the same problem as that of accessing rack mount servers. But I hadn't made that clear in the question :P Hopefully with the comment it's more clear. – michael Oct 12 '10 at 14:59

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.