Video-card is necessary?


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Hi all,

Recently, I want to buy a new computer, and run FreeBSD_release on it, but nvidia does not release the amd64_driver.

So I think if the vidoe card is not necessary I can build an headless computer.

The handbook chapter 2 provides some information about headless installation, but my friends told me that for x86 and x86_64 architecture video card is necessary for boot up the computer.

I think maybe someone can give me some suggestion about this.



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You can use the open source 'nv' driver under amd64. It'll give you 2D acceleration but no 3D acceleration. No need to go headless.



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And yes, your friends are probably right: Most x86 and amd64 motherboards won't boot without a video card of some sort. You don't need X support to get a working console, though; near enough any video card you can physically connect will do that.

If you're thinking of a server setup, I'd suggest finding a MB with an integrated graphics controller, just for the convenience.


Well-Known Member

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Thank all for the reply,

I google this problem, I find that boot the system without video card need bios support and some motherboard have this feature.

I know the nv driver from xorg, and I don't need any 3d_acceleration, I just want a perfect video solution, as a result, I want to remove it from my system and use ssh to access the headless system.

I want to learn C and OpenMP deeply, so I think the AMD phenom processor is good enough for me, and FreeBSD have a mature SMP support, run FreeBSD on phenom is very cool!

For a picky desktop user, the video card driver is nightmare, maybe the open source nv driver is the only solution for amd64 architecture now. :(



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If you haven't bought your system yet, I would suggest doing as djn suggests and get a board with integrated video. The vga(4) driver will give you a text console to do the install, and after that you can use ssh to connect to it.

I just picked up a Phenom X4 9650 as well, at a very nice price. Will be installing it in an existing ASUS M2N-E motherboard (integrated video!) along with a memory upgrade to 6 GB and an OS upgrade to 7.0 next weekend. Four cores for US$150, on a two-year-old consumer motherboard -- now that's good value.


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Yes, I haven't bought any thing, I just plan and design my new system.

I want a phenom 9550 or 9650 cpu, amd 770 chip set motherboard(integrated video will share my main memory and integrated vidoe with video_memory is expensive),

8g*800mz ram(ram is very cheap now),

160g or 320g harddisk(for ftp server or other service),

DVD-rw(for born FreeBSD cd image and backup system),

nvidia video card(temporarily use the nv driver and waiting for the official support),

I can study OpenMP on this cpu, and with my old computer I can study how to set up a server(ftp nfs and others) and test firewall rule by myself.

It will be very interesting!


Active Member

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Actually I have tried that 2 times on different machines, just for the test
I mean running FreeBSD without video card
and it worked both times without any problems
I just installed FreeBSD and then removed the video card