Ubuntu – Headless server: no monitor, no graphics

18.04intel-nucremminaremoteremote desktop

This issue appeared after upgrading from Ubuntu 16.04 to 18.04.

I have an Intel NUC6i3SYH installed as a headless server on my local network. It has no display and no keyboard attached to it. I control it from my desktop computer, using Remmina. This worked fine when Ubuntu 16.04 was installed on the NUC.

I have now upgraded the NUC to Ubuntu 18.04.01. Suddenly Remmina does not work as intended any more: it can connect to the NUC and asks for the password to get access. But then it only shows a black screen. Remmina only works if I connect a display to the NUC at the time of booting. As long as the NUC senses a display does it provides graphics to Remmina. The graphics in Remmina freeze when removing the display.
What do I need to do to have graphics visible in Remmina without having a display connected to the NUC?

Some technical specs about the NUC: NUC6i3SYH, CPU: i3-6100U (formerly called Skylake), using integrated graphics Intel HD Graphics 520.

Best Answer

  • I have found a solution which works for the issue I described above. This answer comes from a reply by user Stefan Lemmens (https://askubuntu.com/users/421108/stefan-lemmens) at question: How to use Ubuntu 18.04 on VNC without display attached? His answer involves three steps:

    (1) create a 20-intel.conf file, which creates a virtual display.

    (2) create a shell script, setting the virtual display and connecting it.

    (3) add the shell script to the Startup Applications, thus having it executed upon each reboot of the machine.

    I made one change compared to his overview: I wanted a different resolution for the virtual display, so I used different xrandr parameter values. I found a description on how to find the correct parameter values here: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=8595940

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