You may have heard of the headless server. A headless server is simply an operating system installed on a computer without a monitor, mouse, keyboard, and other peripherals. One can make a server a headless server just by connecting it to a network, removing the monitor, mouse, keyboard, and peripherals.
The only way to access a headless server is to use networking tools such as ssh and vnc server. You may ask why somebody needs to create a headless server. It must be so difficult to perform simple tasks such as editing a spreadsheet, playing favorite games, and watching YouTube videos. Well, you’re right. As I said the headless server can only be accessed through the network hence performing tasks through networking tools ssh or vnc server is not as smooth as a normal computer.
You must be thinking if headless servers are not easily manageable, then who is having those. Short answer, every tech company.
Reasons of building headless server
Headless servers are not for editing spreadsheets, watching YouTube, or playing games. Headless servers are created for performing specific operations assigned by the developer. From managing databases to hosting websites, headless servers do it all.
If you want to host a website on your own computer, you can do it following this guide. What if you need to host multiple websites and separate computers handling their databases? You’ll have to buy more computers and depending on the traffic size, you may have to spend thousands of dollars.
But a headless server can save a lot of money. No need to buy separate computers as modern-day technology easily allows creating multiple headless servers on a single physical computer. As needed, you can add more resources in the future such as storage, memory, and upgrade CPU & network, etc.
Headless server is Lightweight
Our daily-use computers have tens of unnecessary running services that slow down computer performance. Whereas headless servers only perform specific operations hence these servers only run services/applications required to perform these operations. Nowadays all popular operating systems provide images for running a headless server. These images are lightweight and provide excellent performance.
Virtualization makes it possible to run hundreds of headless servers on a single physical computer. These virtual servers are well integrated into the environment and comfortably share server resources. It’s like dividing a giant room with virtual walls and each one has his/her own room. As our business grows, we can add more resources to our computer.
Docker is the most popular platform as a service that allows its users to deploy software in packages called containers. Docker has a very large repository of containers designed to handle (specific) tasks. To know more about Docker and how to deploy docker containers, read this article.
Another benefit of using headless servers is that it’s easily manageable. Administrators can automate various system tasks allows them to easily the entire system and possible incidents within the system.
When it comes to handling such services, Kubernetes is best at just that. Kubernetes is a popular open-source platform originally designed by Google for managing containerized workloads and services. With Kubernetes, you can easily scale the system, prevent downtime, and recovering from incidents automatically.
Install Headless Server
Installing a headless server is the same as installing any other server. The only difference is that you don’t have physical access to the machine. In case the network goes down, you will lose access to the server. To maintain network connectivity, many use multiple LAN cables.
To make the entire process easier, buy a dedicated server from cloud providers. MassiveGRID, a LinuxAndUbuntu sponsor, provides high availability cloud hosting services with full server access. You can mount an iso disk, and install the operating system as you normally would. For an in-depth tutorial, please refer to this guide.
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I hope this article helped you learn about headless servers and why we can need not play games on them. If you ever want to host your own website, or other software, learn to play with Docker containers. We have explained docker in this article to quickly start with Docker. If you have any questions regarding headless servers or docker, let me know in the comment section below or join our Discord server and Telegram community.