How to boot Ubuntu Server after removing the only GPU?

Asked by Dwight Lyle on 2017-09-30

I have a desktop that is capable of booting without a GPU installed. I want to use it as a NAS with Ubuntu Server and remove the GPU to use somewhere else after the install is complete. It works fine with CentOS 7 and Debian 9, but it refuses to work with Ubuntu Server 16.04. Here is the process I'm following.

1. Make an Ubuntu Server 16.04 install USB.
2. Install Ubuntu Server on the system while the GPU is installed.
3. Boot the newly installed system.
4. Confirm that SSH works as expected from another desktop.
4. Shutdown the system.
5. Remove the GPU.
6. Boot the system.
7. Try to SSH or ping the system from another desktop, but get no response.

If I replace the GPU, it boots up fine again. I enabled persistent boot logging and here is what I see in the failed (non-GPU) boot attempt.


Sep 30 11:40:56 homenas systemd[1]: Starting Update UTMP about System Runlevel Changes...
Sep 30 11:40:56 homenas systemd[1]: Started Set console scheme.
Sep 30 11:40:56 homenas systemd[1]: Started Update UTMP about System Runlevel Changes.
Sep 30 11:40:56 homenas systemd[1]: Startup finished in 9.331s (kernel) + 11.676s (userspace) = 21.007s.
Sep 30 11:40:56 homenas iscsid[1213]: iSCSI daemon with pid=1214 started!
Sep 30 11:41:41 homenas systemd[1]: Starting Stop ureadahead data collection...
Sep 30 11:41:41 homenas systemd[1]: Stopped Read required files in advance.
Sep 30 11:41:41 homenas systemd[1]: Started Stop ureadahead data collection.
Sep 30 11:48:39 homenas systemd-logind[1033]: Power key pressed.
Sep 30 11:48:39 homenas systemd-logind[1033]: Powering Off...
Sep 30 11:48:39 homenas systemd-logind[1033]: System is powering down.
Sep 30 11:48:39 homenas systemd[1]: Stopping Authenticate and Authorize Users to Run Privileged Tasks...
Sep 30 11:48:39 homenas systemd[1]: Stopped target Timers.

Notice how it just hangs at "Started Stop ureadahead data collection." for a few minutes before I push the power button to shut the system off again. Any idea what could be hanging up this boot? It must be Ubuntu-specific because none of the other distros do this.

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Answered
For:
Ubuntu Edit question
Assignee:
No assignee Edit question
Last query:
2017-10-02
Last reply:
2017-10-02

No system will POST without a GPU. It is mandatory. The system won't even load GRUB. It will stop and beep.

If your CPU has an integrated GPU then this is a GPU and will make the system POST. Just because the video hardware is not on a PCI-express card doesn't mean it doesn't have a GPU.

Dwight Lyle (dwightjl) said : #2

That is incorrect. Some boards definitely do have that requirement, but several of them do not. My board is a Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-MA770T-UD3P-rev-10 It has an Athalon II x4 630 in it. There is no iGPU in that processor.

This board definitely posts and GRUB loads just fine. The log in my original post is from a boot without any GPU in the system. Again, I've made this configuration boot and run just fine on CentOS 7 and Debian 9, so I just need to know what setting in Ubuntu is hanging this up.

FYI: Another user asked the same question and tried several fixes. I've already been through that process: https://askubuntu.com/questions/900192/boot-ubuntu-server-without-graphic-card

Do you have the latest BIOS?

Have you tested your RAM using Memtest86 from GRUB?

Have you tested the storage using fsck from the live Ubuntu CD / USB desktop?

Dwight Lyle (dwightjl) said : #6

Yes, yes, and yes. All of them function perfectly until I remove the GPU.

I have the system working as expected on CentOS 7 now without any GPU and only accessible through SSH. I just wonder why Ubuntu is unable to do the same thing.

I suggest you report a bug

Can you help with this problem?

Provide an answer of your own, or ask Dwight Lyle for more information if necessary.

To post a message you must log in.