Setting up a headless Debian box

John G Heim jheim at
Fri Apr 14 17:47:52 UTC 2017

You do not need a keyboard to boot a linux machine. By now I've booted 
machines thousands of times without a keyboard.
On 04/14/2017 12:15 PM, John J. Boyer wrote:
> What I'm concerned about is whether the box will boot without a keyboard. If I shut it down and later press the power
> button will it boot? I want to be able to shut it down and restart when i want to make a backup.
> Thanks,
> John
> On Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 11:57:57AM -0500, John G Heim wrote:
>> Are you asking if you can disconnect the keyboard and monitor after you've
>> finished the install? If so, absolutely. This is a fairly common thing in
>> the server world.  Just yesterday I did a debian install with just a
>> keyboard and braille display attached. Worked great.
>> There are several ways to do an install without ever attaching a keyboard.
>> They are non-trivial though. I'll explain how I do it if that's what you
>> want to know.
>> On 04/14/2017 08:31 AM, John J. Boyer wrote:
>>> I have an oldder machine that I want to use mainly for backup. It will be accessed by ssh, rsync, etc. So it doesn't
>>> need a monitor  or keyboard. How do i set this up?
>>> Thanks,
>>> John
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