Headless system: a computer system or device that has been configured to operate without a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Source: Wikipedia - Headless System
After some initial problems, my new Aleutia D2 Pro is up and running!
It's sporting a stock install of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise) and I'm using smb for sharing files across the network. So far, so good - but I could have used any old box as a file server; so why spend £500 on a new PC?
Well, the D2 is frugal in its power consumption which means that it can be left running without destroying the planet (or my bank balance). In fact, in sleep mode it consumes just 2.6 watts and under load, a paltry 18.0 watts! Moreover, this thing isn't just quiet - it's absolutely silent. Of course, these performance figures don't include a monitor which leaves one with the problem of managing the system blind.
Ubuntu does come with a default VNC client (Vinagre) which is fine for helping a friend over the Internet, but if you don't have a monitor or don't have physical access to the machine, typing in passwords and accepting the connection can be problematic. However, I did try Vinagre for a while and connected a keyboard and mouse (hence the cryptic title for this post) to access the machine, but the lag was excruciatingly slow; slow enough to make the solution unworkable. Fortunately (and, as you would expect) there is an opensource solution: FreeNX. I'm still trying to figure out some WAN issues since changing my port number, but over the next few days, I'll post details of how to connect from both sides of your network.
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