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What is a headless server?

What is a headless server?

A headless server is a computer without a monitor, keyboard, mouse, or other peripherals. Headless computers are normally controlled by a network. For example, imagine computers stored in data centers while feeding websites. These are headless servants.

What does «headless» mean?

A «headless» computer system is simply one without a local interface. There is no monitor («head») connected to it. There is also no keyboard, mouse, touch screen or other local interface to control it.

These systems are not computers that you sit on and use as a desktop computer. They have not configured a graphical interface. You can access and manage them remotely, usually over a network. For example, you can control a headless server through a web-based control panel or through SSH, which gives you a secure command line shell that you can access through a network. You can even access a graphical desktop over the network with such a solution Remote desktop or VNC.

You will see that the term «headless» appears in a variety of different contexts, but it always means the same thing. «Linux without a head» refers to a Linux system without a monitor or keyboard. A «headless Minecraft server» is a computer without a monitor and keyboard running a Minecraft server. You are connecting to the server over the network.

What is the meaning of a headless server?

Not all computer systems need a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Many computers are servers designed for remote access. Data centers are full of computers » rack mounted „Which stores the highest computing power in the smallest possible space. They will save space, electricity and money by not connecting each server computer to a separate monitor.

Headless systems are not just for data centers. For example, you can choose to host one media server on an old computer you have around you, allowing you to stream media from any device on your local network. Once you’ve done that, you can decide to remove your computer monitor, keyboard, and mouse from the media server. after all, you just need to access them over the network. You can keep your server computer in a closet somewhere and control it without standing in front of it. You now have a headless server.

These systems can be controlled and managed remotely without impeding peripherals. If there’s a reason you need a monitor and keyboard with a headless server, maybe to troubleshoot a problem, you can always connect those peripherals when you need them.

For example, Gartner estimated that Google had approximately 2.5 million servers in its data centers worldwide in July 2016. These will be largely headless servers; Google doesn’t need 2.5 million monitors or keyboards either.

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