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Multiple Graphical Users Logged in at the Same Time January 23, 2006

Posted by Carthik in guides, ubuntu.
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There are several ways to share the same desktop between family members. But it gets tricky when you have, say a graphical program running that has to keep running, and your sister wants to use the computer. In this situation, it is useful to have more than one graphical session running. Your work will continue uniterrupted even as your sister can use the desktop.

Update:
Andreas (in the comments) has a simpler method:

but i don’t get the point why gdmflexiserver should be necessary. and you dont need kde to do this 😉

menu -> lock screen -> switch user -> enter user name (it even can be the same, and you’ll be able to start a second session) -> enter passwort -> e voila, you have a second desktop running. if you now switch back by pressing ctrl+alt+f7 you are asked for your user password, since you locked the screen to switch user.

I love this! One couldn’t ask for a better readership! 🙂

The simplest way of doing this is by starting gdmflexiserver
$gdmflexiserver

This will start a new graphical server which you can switch to by using Ctrl+Alt+F8. You can return to your own graphical session using Ctrl+Alt+F7. You can create more such sessions – you get the idea.

Ideally, FUSA should be in Ubuntu already – but since it is not, you can install it and use it. Being beta software, it might be buggy, and I’d rather just do this using gdmflexiserver – but if you are adventurous, please do try out FUSA — it is a lot easier to use, as the website will tell you.

Comments»

1. Richard - January 23, 2006

Hi,

thanks for pointing in the right direction of this handy – just to warn people though, it does not like external monitors bein gplugged and used in dual monitor mode! (tends to crash system – at least on my IBM T42P)

not played around much with configurations – but just to warn of potential problems.

R

2. benplaut - January 23, 2006

also, if you have Xnest installed, you can

gdmflexiserver –xnest

on another virtual desktop… works great for testing GDM themes, as well 🙂

3. El Blog de Heriberto Faúndez » Hola - January 23, 2006

[…] read more […]

4. havoc - January 24, 2006

For Kubuntu users, pull up the K menu, go to “Switch Users,” and click “Start New Session.”

Since I finally retired the old, pathetic PII notebook (which I used to log into X sessions on the desktop remotely), my wife and I have shared the desktop with independent sessions.

Oh, in case it wasn’t apparent, each session can log into whatever desktop they want, be it Gnome, KDE, Xcfe, Blackbox, Matchbox, whatever.

With Ctrl+Alt+F7, Ctrl+Alt+F8, you’re just switching between standard Linux ttys.

5. Andreas - January 25, 2006

hi there,
great blog! 🙂

but i don’t get the point why gdmflexiserver should be necessary. and you dont need kde to do this 😉

menu -> lock screen -> switch user -> enter user name (it even can be the same, and you’ll be able to start a second session) -> enter passwort -> e voila, you have a second desktop running. if you now switch back by pressing ctrl+alt+f7 you are asked for your user password, since you locked the screen to switch user.

am i missing a point which is covered bye gdmflexiserver?

bye
Andreas

6. ubuntonista - January 25, 2006

Thanks Andreas – I knew there must be a simpler method!

7. Andreas - February 8, 2006

no problem. by the way this was by trial and error 😉 so i can’t say i knew this before i tried it myself 🙂

8. mikej - February 11, 2006

Great solution. I have a Wife, two Kids and a cat who need access to the internet. Ran out of house space this week and one computer had to go. ‘lock screen -> switch user -> enter user name’ got things sorted.

9. najevi - February 22, 2006

Which package installs the ‘Lock Screen’ feature?

A search of main and universe repos suggests that gnome-screensaver supports Lock Screen and User Switching but in practice there is Lock Screen but no user switching.

Small digression:
Where do I read/learn about these ALT+ and CTRL+ALT+ special shortcuts?

10. najevi - February 22, 2006

… I am such a noob! I never knew about gconf-editor (Applications-> System-> Configuration Editor) before today. That’s why I love Linux – there’s so much yet to learn!

Here’s the complete picture for other’s in my shoes!

$ sudo apt-get install gnome-screensaver
$ gconf-editor
or Applications-> System-> Configuration Editor

edit boolean key:
/apps/gnome-screensaver/user_switch_enabled
= TRUE

CTRL+Q to quit gconf-editor

To Lock Screen:
In desktop Panel menu: System-> Lock Screen

To bring up unlock dialog:
While screen saver is running: any mouse/keybd action

To Switch User:
In Unlock Dialog box: Switch User…

11. Ankur - April 6, 2006

Just curious…is there any way to have multiple people using the desktop at the same time? As in one would be at the console, and another would be using remote desktop, but both would be logged on and active at the same time.

12. Fred Howell - June 20, 2006

my question exactly…My girlfriend uses the computer and I would like to connect and run the xwindows environment from my ibook. Please help……

13. ubuntonista - June 20, 2006

Yes, that is possible. Use FreeNX or a VNC tool to connect to the computer remotely, while another user is using the desktop.

14. Steve - July 18, 2006

There are several ways to run remote X sessions. As mentioned you can use FreeNX or VNC. You can also log in remotely using XDMCP.

For XDMCP you first need to enable remote logins on the host machine’s display manager. With gdm, use ‘sudo gdmconfig’ for a nice graphic config tool, and enable remote login. For kdm you will have to edit kdmrc (hint: look for the Xdmcp section).

15. Aqui_c - December 3, 2007

Great!
It couldn’t be easier!

I LOVE Ubuntu (I’ve intalled Linux in my home computer only 1 day ago! hehe)

16. Motin - January 26, 2008

I just wrote a Howto on how to safely test new X configurations without shutting down any applications: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=4211618

gdmflexiserver is the basis of this as well.

Cheers!

17. ErikBloodaxe - March 10, 2008

Hi, I’ve been searching around to find a solution and no joy yet. I’m running MythBuntu and wish to leave that as the primary, automatic login. This is running through a GeForce 8500 to a good old fashioned CRT TV (ultimately a 1080p HDTV via HDMI when I save the money), so low-res (800×600 or less) – no good for admin, surfing etc. What I want is to use the second graphics card (onboard GeForce 6150?) to run a monitor at a usable resolution which seems to be 1024×768 at minimum. This would be via a VNC connection normally, but with the option of via a VGA connection. This seems to be a necessity in my experience with linux so far as a backup. This clearly needs to be a completely separate GDM login session. Any ideas?

18. Solid Sanke - November 16, 2008

how to put screen saver at startup

19. CrazZziK - January 9, 2009

Ubuntu 8.10, Gnome

Go to new console session by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1, Log in and type in this:

$sudo gdm -nodaemon

You will get blue screen (or not), choose No and after few error messages you will have another session running.

works for me.

20. porno sikiş - September 27, 2010

For Kubuntu users, pull up the K menu, go to “Switch Users,” and click “Start New Session.”

21. sex sikiş - September 28, 2010

Thanks Andreas – I knew there must be a simpler method!

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23. دانلود فیلم با لینک مستقیم - November 27, 2014

very good


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