How to use a "headless" Mac (no monitor connected to it) - and KVM recommendations?

When no monitor is detected, macOS disables some of the graphics components (Metal, OpenGL) to save on energy. As some of our software heavily use graphics, we recommend to always have a Monitor connected to your Mac when using our software.

But when a Mac is in a rack, or server, it may need to run without a monitor connected, or through a KVM. Here's how to handle this case.

Note that the information below is not extensive, you may find other solutions around, and we do not guarantee that everything will work flawlessly. We always recommend that you do your own testing with a DEMO version of your Softron software. Also, ask your Softron reseller who will be able to help you choose the best solution.

 

About EDID

The general idea goes around the idea of EDID emulation. If your Mac receives an EDID info from one of its connector, it will think that there is a monitor connected there.

 

If you have multiple Computers and a KVM

The best is to use a KVM that will store the EDID in order to still send the EDID to your Mac, even if this is not the computer currently used by the KVM.

There are some inexpensive ones from Aten that some of our users have reported success with. Note that when making your choice the model MUST have the Video DynaSync™ technology (have a look in the feature section) as this is the feature that will maintain the EDID. Note that the Display Port models does not have that technology.

 

If you have just one Computer

Then a KVM may be overkill, you might be able to use a simple EDID emulator. Below are some examples (some require you to connect a HRMI monitor first to "lock" the EDID:

 
 
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