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Video card question

Chuck Young wrote in a message to Mike Bilow:

 CY> I want to build a firewall on a 486, but I have no monitor
 CY> and plan to use telnet from inside to get a connection.

I don't recommend this.  Installing Linux will require a monitor.

 CY> My question is:

 CY> Will it hurt the card or motherboard in any way to run it
 CY> with no monitor attached?  I know it is a bad thing with
 CY> audio equipment to run an amp with no speakers connected,
 CY> but I am unsure about a VGA card. 

Running without a monitor connected is perfectly safe.  You can even connect
and disconnect a monitor to a running computer with reasonable safety, as long
as the monitor is powered off during the operation.

 CY> I doubt it will boot without a video card, but this
 CY> interests me too. Does anyone have any ideas/experiences?

Most BIOS ROMs can be configured either to halt on boot or not when components
such as a keyboard or video card are missing.  If you tell the BIOS never to
halt on such "errors," then it should continue forward to load the operating
system.  Exactly what happens then I have no idea, although you could probably
do a bit of kernel hacking to make Linux boot without a video card if that does
not happen already.
-- Mike

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