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I'm attempting to configure X on a headless server. I've installed the xorg, tightvnc, and fluxbox but /etc/X11/xorg.conf is missing.

I've run xorg -configure and it gives fails giving the following error:

No devices to configure.  Configuration failed.

How can I generate a config file if I don't have an actual display attached to my machine?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Quick way to have a minimal X install with minimal user interface/window manager and vnc:

apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-dummy vnc4server x11-xserver-utils xterm wm2

Start vnc, on the server in the account you want to use run:

enter password

** begin optional **

Optionally you may want to quit vnc and edit it's configuration and run it again. Use whatever options you want, this example is about as minimalistic as it can get (well, you could just run a terminal emulator without a window manager and use "fancy" X commands to manage windows yourself... ;-)

On the server:

killall vnc4server   <-- or find the PIDs yourself and kill
vim $HOME/.vnc/xstartup


x-terminal-emulator -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" & wm2 &

Run vnc4server again.

** end optional *

On the computer which you want to use to connect to the remote desktop:

apt-get install xtightvncviewer

Assuming the IP is and the X display is at 0, which it is if it's the only X server running, otherwise use 1.

You can accomplish a similar thing using rdesktop, on the server you install xrdp instead of vnc4server and on the client you install rdesktop (or grdesktop) instead of xtightvncviewer. If you use windows then use whatever rdesktop client it has.

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In X11 architecture, the "server" is the side where is the graphical output displayed. So you are probably doing this wrong. If you want to run remote apps on your local side, then you just export DISPLAY correctly.

If you need to run remote apps and access them via VNC, then you should run Xvnc; thus no need to run any 'xorg -configure'. Xvnc is a (fake) X server which doesn't need any real pointing and display device.

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If I understand correctly, I can use xvnc as a total replacement for xorg and can remove it? – devnill Mar 9 '12 at 12:14
explain what you want to achieve? – Jiri Xichtkniha Mar 9 '12 at 12:55
I'm trying to get a remote desktop from my server to my laptop. I do pretty much all my work off of the server at this point and I'd like to have my graphical programs persist when I turn off my laptop or lose an internet connection(im thinking along the lines of screen/tmux for X) – devnill Mar 9 '12 at 13:39

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