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Thread: Setting up to let two users share PC at same time

  1. #1
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    Default Setting up to let two users share PC at same time

    I just know it has to be possible to let two users (since I have two kids) share the same PC at the same time using a 2nd graphic card, two displays, two keyboards, two mice. I have seen one 10 year old "how to" which just didn't seem like it would fly with today's XFree/DBUS/all USB setups.

    Does anyone know how to do this? I would like each user to see a log in screen and log into a GUI desktop (it doesn't have to be KDE, but that is what we have been using). The MB and the video card use the same type of GPU. The PC has a dual core AMD, and 4 GB of RAM, so the resources should be fine for school work, KDE Educational software/games. Other than squid, there isn't particular server running on it either, so resources should not be an issue.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Setting up to let two users share PC at same time

    This is beyond my experience, but it would require an Xorg configuration (/etc/X11/xorg.conf) to define the screen, keyboard, and mouse for each server.

    Starting an additional X-session is not that hard in itself. One way, (with X-server running already): Change to a console with CTRL-ALT-F1

    Login as the user 2. Then issue

    Code:
    startx -- :1
    This will start another another X-server on tty8. CTRL-ALT-F8 will change to that desktop (CTRL-ALT-F7 to return to the original). With a suitable xorg.conf, it should be possible to dedicate the other input and display hardware to the second server, but that's a whole new challenge....

    In practical terms, you may be better having an old laptop or low-powered computer networked to it, with a remote login using vnc or similar. Others may have better answers here. Its late here...<yawn> good luck.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Setting up to let two users share PC at same time

    Another way to do it, assuming you have access to two machines, one of which could be an old less highly specified one, would be to download the DVD openSUSE:Education-Li-f-e - openSUSE and use LTSP; not done it myself but there appears to be sufficient information on the site to make it reasonably easy.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Setting up to let two users share PC at same time

    IMO, Deano_ferrari is correct. When you boot into OpenSuse you're booting into a multi-user environment. Setup your video card for 2 monitors separate video.
    The problem is how to enable multiple keyboard and mouse on one pc.
    One or more USB keyboards and mice are needed. I'm not sure if OpenSuse would automatically recognize and configure both keyboards and mice.\
    Found but I didn't test: multiple mouse / keyboard in linux to enable simultaneous use of 2 keyboards/mice on one pc.
    man xinput
    Box 1: OpenSuse 11.1/Win7 | Linux 2.6.27 Gnome | AMD 64 X2 6000+ | nVidia 8600GT | 2GB RAM
    Box 2: OpenSuse 11.2 | Linux 2.6.31 Gnome | AMD 64 3000+ | ATI X800 Pro | 1GB RAM
    Box 3: Win7 Premium Home | Intel P4 3.0Gz | ATI AIW 2006 | 2GB RAM

  5. #5

    Default Re: Setting up to let two users share PC at same time

    Never used *nix for simultaneous multiusers but that is what Unix was designed to do, provide one machine for many users although not the on the same machine. That's why *nix make such great servers.
    Box 1: OpenSuse 11.1/Win7 | Linux 2.6.27 Gnome | AMD 64 X2 6000+ | nVidia 8600GT | 2GB RAM
    Box 2: OpenSuse 11.2 | Linux 2.6.31 Gnome | AMD 64 3000+ | ATI X800 Pro | 1GB RAM
    Box 3: Win7 Premium Home | Intel P4 3.0Gz | ATI AIW 2006 | 2GB RAM

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Setting up to let two users share PC at same time

    The main problem is supporting multiple keyboards and mice and directing them to the appropriate GUI. With USB input devices, this isn't as hard as when they were PS/2, but some supporting software is needed. I'm not aware of free software that does this, but I haven't looked and I'm sure with some work it can be put together, or maybe it's done and I don't know about it. There's a free 2-user version of a multiuser GUI desktop software here:

    Free 2-User version of Userful MultiSeat Linux 2011 - 2 users from 1 computer

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Setting up to let two users share PC at same time

    On 2011-02-18 05:36, KevinC MD wrote:
    >
    > I just -know- it has to be possible to let *two users *(since I have two
    > kids) *share the same PC *at the same time using a 2nd graphic card, two
    > displays, two keyboards, two mice. I have seen one 10 year old "how to"
    > which just didn't seem like it would fly with today's XFree/DBUS/all USB
    > setups.


    Search for "multiseat":
    <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiseat_configuration#GNU.2FLinux>

    <http://cambuca.ldhs.cetuc.puc-rio.br/multiuser/>

    <http://wiki.c3sl.ufpr.br/multiseat/index.php/Main_Page>

    If you can read Spanish, I can point you to some mail threads where we
    talked the subject.


    Ubuntu has ltsp integrated, I heard.

    However, a thinclient is said to be easier.


    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.2 x86_64 "Emerald" at Telcontar)

  8. #8

    Default Re: Setting up to let two users share PC at same time

    Since you already have two monitors, two keyboards, two mice, wouldn't it be possible to get an old PC to connect remotely to the server? That would definitely be easier. Otherwise you'll need a good knowledge of xorg.conf editing. Assigning each monitor/graphic card to a different screen is not too complicated. But since input devices entries are now ignored in xorg.conf you'll have to use the Option "AutoAddDevices" "false" in the 'ServerFlags' section. It may be tricky though.

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