Fix Ubuntu Desktop to Boot without Monitor Connected

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This article gives the steps to be able to boot Ubuntu Desktop on hardware without needed a monitor connected.


  • Won't boot at all
  • When VNC / Screen Share into the box everything is VERY VERY slow. Even to login.


  • Ubuntu Desktop 14/15/16/17
  • Unity Desktop (Not sure if fix works for Gnome)


Install Video Dummy Package

  1. SSH into the system
    1. If you didn't get sshd setup already, then hook up a monitor and get it setup. Could just do the fix while connected direct or remote using CLI.
  2. Install xserver-xorg-video-dummy
    sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-dummy

Create Default X Windows Configuration File

  1. Create / Edit xorg.conf file
    1. Rename file if already exists for backup
    sudo vi /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/xorg.conf
  2. Add the following content to the file
    1. Set the resolution to what you like (whatever resolution the screen is that is used to connect remotely is probably is a good idea)
    Section "Device"
        Identifier  "Configured Video Device"
        Driver      "dummy"
    Section "Monitor"
        Identifier  "Configured Monitor"
        HorizSync 31.5-48.5
        VertRefresh 50-70
    Section "Screen"
        Identifier  "Default Screen"
        Monitor     "Configured Monitor"
        Device      "Configured Video Device"
        DefaultDepth 24
        SubSection "Display"
        Depth 24
        Modes "1920x1080"
  3. Save the file

Reboot and Test