Is it possible do have basic (even just console) graphics on Linux, but without using the GPU (which, in this case, is fried and not replaceable)? Or would such a computer be limited to non-graphical uses only?

EDIT: The computer I'm talking about is an iMac with a broken graphics card/GPU, but everything else working (like the screen)

closed as unclear what you're asking by Gilles, psusi, jasonwryan, slm, Anthon Jan 14 '14 at 5:21

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  • 2
    It's a little unclear what you mean here -- is there somewhere you can plug in a monitor, or not? Most normal computers have a BIOS of some sort, so you should be able to tell without any operating system installed. If that works, the GPU is obviously not really fried. If that doesn't work, then you are asking "Can you do graphics work without a monitor?" in which case the answer is obviously no. However, you could use the system headless, log into it from outside (as bersch says), and do normal things that way. – goldilocks Jan 13 '14 at 20:25
  • Where do you hope those graphics to be displayed? The GPU is the hardware that connects the CPU to the monitor. You need some way of getting signal to the monitor. Or do you want to display things on another computer across the network? – Gilles Jan 13 '14 at 23:16
  • @goldilocks I edited the question – MadTux Jan 16 '14 at 15:24
  • You did not make it any clearer, tho. How can you have an iMac with a "broken GPU" but "the screen works"? If the GPU is broken, then the screen should not work either. – goldilocks Jan 16 '14 at 15:51
  • If the graphics card doesn't work, you'll need to repair or replace it. (Unless there are two GPUs and only one is broken? but I don't think iMacs have two GPUs.) As this is a purely hardware issue I recommend asking on Ask Different or Super User. Be sure to mention what exact model you have and the nature of the failure. – Gilles Jan 16 '14 at 16:07

Yes it is possible.

The software you need is vnc (server and client).

After the software is installed, you can remotely connect to a virtual desktop.

Also you can use Xvfb.

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