Intel® NUCs
Support for Intel® NUC products
12306 Discussions

How to boot INTEL NUC DN2820FYKH without a monitor?


I bought a DN2820FYKH for my home server without a monitor, unfortunately, I found it cannot boot without a HDMI monitor that's turns on,

I read

I deeply cannot understand why a NUC needs to boot with a HDMI monitor?!

I do hope you can release a new version of BIOS which can boot without a HDMI monitor soon, is it possible and for how long?

Thank you!

0 Kudos
6 Replies
New Contributor III

I dont think it need a monitor to boot.

However if no monitor is connected/identified during boot the graphic will be disabled (which is a common thing) to save power.

Now the problem comes when you run a GUI based OS such as windows, because according to windows there is now suddently no graphiccard to draw the GUI at so it will fail.

Compared to lets say a Linuxserver who doesnt need any graphiccard to handle incoming SSH-connections.

There are hdmi-plugs one can buy and connect to the output which will fake a monitor so the graphics driver will be happy and the OS will be happy to have a graphic card to draw its GUI onto (and suddently you can now login through RDP to your Windows box).


I can confirm that the DN2820FYKH can boot fine without a monitor.

There have been issues with some BIOS versions; I am using BIOS 47, dated 24.12.2014.

Operating system is now SparkyLinux with Openbox, Version 3.6, with EFI boot. Setting up EFI boot was on-trivial, but possible; I can post some hints if anyone is interested. Note however, that I had to tick the "Legacy Boot" box as well as the UEFI Boot box to get the NUC to boot without the monitor. However, I have verified that it is indeed booting in EFI mode.

I had previously checked that headless boot was possible with Ubuntu Server 14.04, with the same BIOS. It was not possible when I had BIOS 40.


Ok, but there was many security issues since 2014.

Because of that, the v60 locked regression and no downgrade can be done under this one as soon as a newer version is installed. And I did it, I use the latest (v72).

The story arround "graphical BIOS need screen resolution in order to boot..." sounds legit BUT previous BIOS works fine like v47 previously mentioned.


          `` Is it intended to NOT support headless boot ? ``

Is it a feature or a bug ?


Thank you for your repply

Super User Retired Employee

It is certainly true that you cannot downgrade past a BIOS that introduces security enhancements (including the upgrade of the ME firmware). Any downgrade that could lower system security is simply not allowed (note: as a hard-and-fast rule, any downgrade of the ME firmware is considered to lower system security).

If you read carefully, @JAlle10 is using Linux, so of course BIOS 47 worked for him (the bug that caused problems at BIOS 40 was fixed in BIOS 42). I believe that, if BIOS 72 doesn't support headless boot of Windows, then BIOS 47 did not support it either. Bottom line, the fact that you cannot downgrade the BIOS is not preventing you from working around this problem.

Since the FY NUC has been discontinued, no resources are assigned and (thus) available to work on its BIOS. This means no bugs or enhancement requests will be addressed (the only exception is security issues, which are resourced separately). If the latest BIOS has an issue with headless boot, then this issue should be considered permanent.

Sorry I didn't have a better answer, but this is the reality of the situation. Remember that you do have a workaround available, namely the use of an HDMI Dummy plug. These plugs are very cheap; as an example, I purchased a 3-pack of plugs (with 4K monitor emulation!) for only US$11 (see here:

Hope this helps,






Thank you for your response.

It sounds legit to maintain only security issues, I was hoping better.

I already use a workarround, but the old one with 3 resistors on a HDMI to VGA adapter ( I think I will consider your suggestion, more reliable and take less space.



Super User Retired Employee

Yea, these dongles are cheap and expose a EDID that makes the graphics engine think there is a 4K-capable monitor present. This ensures the maximum window sizes when accessing remotely.