Headless Ghost – HDMI emulator

About this project

It fixes a problem you probably didn’t even know you had – unlocking the full potential of your graphics card hardware.

By simulating the presence of an attached display, Headless Ghost allows you to use all of the power and available resolutions locked away inside your graphics hardware, which might otherwise be disabled when there is no screen available.

What does it do?

When attached, a Headless Ghost emulates the presences of a high resolution display, this enables the GPU hardware and unlocks a range of resolutions to work with. The Headless Ghost fits directly into an HDMI socket and will work with mini HDMI, Display Port and DVI outputs using readily available adaptors. NB: Some passive Display Port adapters do not the full range of HG resolutions.

Great! Why would I want that?

Many computer systems do not enable their GPU hardware when there is no display attached; a well documented issue amongst the Mac Mini and Intel HD graphics user bases. Having a dummy plug like the Headless Ghost attached fully enables the GPU which allows for:

  • Hardware accelerated remote desktop access at high resolutions
  • Running software which requires the presence of a graphics card without a display
  • Fully utilizing GPU hardware for GPGPU tasks such as crypto currency mining, rendering and simulations
  • Ensuring the correct display mode on a media Centre PC when used with a AV receiver or switch that doesn’t pass EDID correctly
  • Taking screenshots at resolutions not support by your real monitor (e.g. Retina or 4K)
    Headless Ghost – HDMI emulator


  • Supports resolutions from 800×600 all the way up to 4096×2160 (4K!)
  • Operating system and software agnostic – works with Windows, OSX, Linux and just about anything else
  • Requires no drivers, configuration or power supply – just set it and forget it
  • Manufactured on black PCBs, with a gold corrosion resistant finish, in the UK
  • Appears as a headless ghost display in the OS graphics properties window for easy identification amongst other displays
  • Programming port – exposed programming pins on the board allow for new EDID data to be easily downloaded into the Ghost’s memory
  • Open source – design files for the Headless Ghost will be available after the Kick starter has ended

Who are you, anyway?

My name is Dev and I’m a creative technologist living and working in London. I have a background in product design engineering and a penchant for problem solving.  Day to day, I develop and build technologies at random. international, a studio exploring art, technology and science – as such I have years of experience designing and managing the production of electronics.

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