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I have a Ubuntu Server 11.10 box, which I would like to run "headless", and without a keyboard, mouse or display. Is it possible that immediately after startup the machine logs into an account, or allows me to control the machine from my Windows 7 machine nearby via SSH and SFTP?

  1. I've got OpenSSH server installed, and even when the box is not logged in I can start an SSH session.

  2. I've tried installing VSFTPD but its very troublesome (hardly connects) and only starts when I login locally into the box.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

OpenSSH and other services should start-up without requiring any user to login. OpenSSH also provides SFTP (and SCP) capability; you don't need any dedicated SFTP daemon. Essentially, install OpenSSH (and remove VSFTPD, unless you specifically want FTP), and you should be able to log into a shell and transfer files over SFTP just fine on a headless box.

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Upstart should be able to handle that. Just start sshd at startup.

Here are a couple of good references:


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