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Is it possible to run a VNC server on a machine without any GPU, or are some GPU features necessary even when the image isn't actually sent to a hardware video output?

I guess there should be some way as it's possible on a VM - or does that use some resources of the host GPU too?

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closed as off topic by Zoredache, EEAA, mailq, Iain, Chris S Nov 22 '11 at 18:29

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What kind of machine do you have that doesn't have a GPU? Does it literally lack any way to hook up a monitor to it? – Driftpeasant Nov 21 '11 at 19:28
On which OS are you trying to achieve this? – artifex Nov 21 '11 at 19:34
There is no machine yet - I'm thinking about building a home server or renting a hosted server, and I'm wondering if I should get one that has a GPU if I want to occasionally use a GUI application on it. It's going to run Linux in any case. – lxgr Nov 21 '11 at 19:39
You may find that actually getting the machine to boot without a video card is tricky. If you are trying to get a system completely without any video controller, then you need to make sure your system will boot without it. – Zoredache Nov 21 '11 at 19:57
@Driftpeasant, I have several systems without a video controller. If you want to access it, you use a serial connection. – Zoredache Nov 21 '11 at 19:58
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, it's possible to run xserver without a graphics card. Install a framebuffer like Xvfb (X virtual framebuffer) and x11vnc.

Here is some indepth information on x11vnc, like over ssh for encryption:

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Xvfb seems to be exactly what I was looking for. – lxgr Nov 21 '11 at 21:43

You don't need a video card. I can start tightvncserver on my ALIX.2D13. Though normally when I want a GUI application, I just do X11 forwarding via SSH.

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