I'm building a Linux server with a board which doesn't have onboard graphics.

This system will be headless for the most part but I will connect a monitor to it as it doesn't have IPMI.

What PCIe graphics cards are known to have good native Linux support for text mode and basic X11? It doesn't have to be a modern card but low power is optimal to keep any added heat to a minimum.

The reason for asking this question comes down to finding a product that will have good driver support.

Here is an example of what I want to avoid:

You actually got burned by AMD/ATI.

That chipset is among those whose driver has now been branched to legacy support. Unfortunately, that driver will not work with X Server 1.13, which Quantal uses.

No chipset prior to Cedar (HD 54xx) is supported by drivers that will work with X Server from here on out. That means HD 2xxx - 4xxx are unsupported by AMD/ATI in any distro using X Server 1.13 or beyond.

AMD's website specifies that the driver for your card (using their search) is version 8.982.8.3, which will work up to Ubuntu 12.04.1

Surely there is no guarantee that any particular product won't suddenly be moved to a legacy branch. But then again, the G200 by Matrox came out in 1998 and is still well supported. It's too bad that it's not available in PCIe.

closed as primarily opinion-based by muru, Sparhawk, Thomas, janos, Kusalananda Dec 15 '18 at 11:12

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because shopping recommendations are off-topic here, – muru Nov 19 '18 at 14:08
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    It's not meant to be a shopping question but rather how to approach buying a low TDP GPU for a server which will have reliable driver support. – Zhro Nov 19 '18 at 15:04
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    @muru I've altered my question. Would you consider this to be more acceptable? – Zhro Nov 19 '18 at 15:10
  • No, because your question is still "What PCIe graphics cards are ..." That's still a shopping recommendation. – muru Nov 19 '18 at 23:39

You only need display and monitor, at setup time. Alternatively you can set up the Hard disk with minimal OS, the move it to the server. You may also be able to get a network card with VNC (or some other management system). Or add a serial port, if the boot-loader supports this.

If going for a graphics card, then you don't need a GPU, just a frame buffer the CPU can do all of the work (because it won't be used much).

As for Gnome, you may need a 3D GPU. Do you rely need gnome to install a server? There are other Window-Managers that will run on very simple video devices (just a frame-buffer).

Once the OS is installed, you can use ssh with X forwarding, or VNC, to manage the computer remotely.

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    I don't need Gnome but it's a nice-to-have. I currently run a Linux server with an onboard Matrox G200 and that does everything just fine. – Zhro Nov 19 '18 at 14:10
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    The biggest cost of running a server, is cooling. Therefore do everything you can to keep it cool. – ctrl-alt-delor Nov 19 '18 at 14:44

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