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-   -   Running GPU on a Headless Ubuntu Machine (https://www.mersenneforum.org/showthread.php?t=25970)

EdH 2020-09-16 14:33

Running GPU on a Headless Ubuntu Machine
 
I'm running several machines headless using the "dummy" xorg driver and I remote VNC into them.

I've recently acquired a machine with an NVidia GPU card and set it up the same headless way. All works well in this dummy setup, until I install CUDA. When I install CUDA, I lose the VNC since I have no monitor connected. Is there a method to keep the NVidia driver and CUDA installed and available for GPU programming while still having the machine use the dummy driver so I can keep it headless?

chris2be8 2020-09-16 15:58

I've got one system with a GPU in it where I don't use the GPU for screen output (it doesn't have the right sort of connector for the KVM switch I use). I had to update settings in the BIOS to make it use the onboard graphics for screen output. That might help.

Alternatively I would just SSH into the system and do all admin etc from the command line. Possibly plugging in a monitor etc to do initial setup, then run it headless.

Chris

EdH 2020-09-16 17:20

[QUOTE=chris2be8;557139]I've got one system with a GPU in it where I don't use the GPU for screen output (it doesn't have the right sort of connector for the KVM switch I use). I had to update settings in the BIOS to make it use the onboard graphics for screen output. That might help.

Alternatively I would just SSH into the system and do all admin etc from the command line. Possibly plugging in a monitor etc to do initial setup, then run it headless.

Chris[/QUOTE]
Thanks, Chris! I hadn't thought of the BIOS settings. I use the VNC windows, so I don't have to try to keep track of tmux terminals when running several things at once on the machines. Additionally, as you mentioned, the one monitor I have available near the headless machines also doesn't support any of the three NVidia GPU connectors, or I could just leave it plugged in.

As to SSHing, that's done frequently with all my "farm" and it's how I was able to uninstall the CUDA package and return the system to the previous state without physically working with it.

M344587487 2020-09-16 19:21

You can buy a dummy hdmi connector on ebay to trick the card into thinking there's a display connected, but I don't know how well they work or if it solves your problem.

EdH 2020-09-16 20:50

[QUOTE=M344587487;557158]You can buy a dummy hdmi connector on ebay to trick the card into thinking there's a display connected, but I don't know how well they work or if it solves your problem.[/QUOTE]
You know, I hadn't thought of that since the 9-pin VGA days.* Thanks for reminding me, although I probably already have a spare monitor somewhere, too. I'm pretty sure the card would see the monitor even without a power cord, since I really don't have a single unused AC outlet left in that area.

I wouldn't think appreciably so, but is there any performance advantage in not having the GPU drive a monitor or dummy plug?

[SIZE=2]*I actually seem to remember building a VGA dummy plug using a few resistors.[/SIZE]

a1call 2020-09-16 21:45

Here is a DIY article for a dummy VGA connector if the card has one:

[url]https://www.geeks3d.com/20091230/vga-hack-how-to-make-a-vga-dummy-plug/[/url]

M344587487 2020-09-16 22:39

I don't think you gain a noticeable performance advantage, I did some tests once switching between iGPU and dGPU as the monitor driver and if there was a difference it was hidden by margin of error.

EdH 2020-09-17 00:05

[QUOTE=a1call;557164]Here is a DIY article for a dummy VGA connector if the card has one:

[URL]https://www.geeks3d.com/20091230/vga-hack-how-to-make-a-vga-dummy-plug/[/URL][/QUOTE]
That may have been what I did, but I put the resistors into the plastic connector hood. I'm sure a DVI or Display Adapter dummy would be a bit more involved. . .


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