[mythtv-users] Problems Running Headless MBE/FE with Fedora 15/Gnome 3

Dale Pontius DEPontius at edgehp.net
Wed Sep 21 19:46:03 UTC 2011

On 09/21/2011 03:09 PM, Mache Creeger wrote:
> At 11:57 AM 9/21/2011, Mark Boyum wrote:
>> > Are you saying I can run X on TightVNC on Windows 7? That is my client.
>> If you are going to use VNC you can boot your backend to the text only
>> console.  Then use putty (or similar) to ssh into the backend from
>> your Windows computer.  Start vncserver from the ssh session and then
>> launch your favorite VNC client on the windows box to connect over to
>> the backend.
>> If you're new to Linux it isn't necessarily straight forward but
>> nothing a bit of Google-Fu can't overcome.
> Thanks but what I really want is to have Gnome 3 running on my Fedora 
> 15 MBE and access the GUI using TightVNC on my Windows 7 laptop. I 
> really do now want to run X and Gnome 3 on the laptop if I can avoid 
> it as I need to keep the overhead on the laptop to a minimum.
> My issue is how to get Gnome (and X) to boot without an attached 
> monitor, keyboard, and mouse. I had it running on Fedora 13, but when 
> I upgraded to Fedora 15 that /etc/X11/xorg.conf stopped working. I 
> printed out my most recent /etc/X11/xorg.conf and /var/logXorg.0.log 
> files in a previous post.
> Any ideas?
Please realize here that people are talking about several different 
things here, and perhaps some are getting them confused.

* When you ssh in and then export X to somewhere else, the X server is 
running on that somewhere else.

* When you want to use VNC, that means that a VNC X server is running on 
the headless machine.

* It sounds to me like you want the headless machine to have the mythtv 
user do an autologin and start the GNOME desktop.

Believe it or not, that's a different matter entirely.  Typically 
autologin is a function of the display manager, though it can be done in 
other ways.  The display manager requires a display, or at least an X 
server, and I don't know of a way to make the VNC server fill that bill.

I suspect your best bet is the "Ignore EDID" stuff that Mark Boyum 
suggests, and allow a real X server to start and mythtv to autologin.  
Then you want to get a thing called "x11vnc" and have the mythtv user 
run that.  At that point you'll be able to use VNC to get in and see the 

An alternative would be to run some sort of initscript as root to start 
a text-mode session for the mythtv user.  Then presumably in .profile 
the mythtv user would start a regular VNC server (not x11vnc - a 
special-case VNC server that attaches to a running X session) and then 
start /usr/bin/gnome-session.  There would likely have to be some 
monkeying in there with DISPLAY and xauth cookies, as well.  I've never 
tried to do this, and therefore can't tell you exactly how to do it.

Dale Pontius
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