It’s been said many a time across the interweb that the early Intel, and perhaps current Intel Mac Mini’s often refuse to boot to Linux in CSM ( Legacy ) mode without a monitor plugged in. Today I decided to do some research and found that the GPU doesn’t get powered unless it detects a monitor and the firmware of the mini wont pass off control until the GPU is powered. To bypass this I found a few howto’s and the one that really worked involved 3 68Ohm resistors placed into a DVI to VGA adapter to trick the GPU into thinking it had a display attached. Here’s what it looks like:
Thanks to Nick Oneill and his post about the exact fix I used, now I can perform updates on my headless mac mini and reboot via remote knowing fully well it will be able to boot on it’s own.