1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Proper Multi-Seat X Support Is On The Way

X.Org

Published on 26 July 2009 07:33 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org
9 Comments

While multi-seat computing has been available on Linux for years, it's often been a chore to setup and required some time. Beyond just being time consuming and an unnecessary hassle, the way of setting up a multi-seat computer through an X Server with multiple nested Xephyr servers is not pleasant. There have been several attempts at improving the multi-seat Linux experience by creating a multi-seat display manager and taking various other steps, but to date this is still a challenge to setup. The good news though is that this may soon change.

Red Hat was wanting to deliver a good multi-seat implementation with Fedora 11, but that feature ended up being recalled and postponed to the next Fedora release, Fedora 12. Rather than mixing X.Org and Xephyr, a cleaner way of handling this would be to just start up multiple X Servers so that each seat would have its own X Server. If you do that right now though, you could run into some issues when you have multiple X Servers and multiple graphics cards, etc.

To work around this issue of multiple X Servers colliding with one another when talking to the graphics cards, there was a revival of the VGA Arbiter back in May. The VGA Arbiter was first designed nearly five years ago and its goal was to allow multiple X Servers to run with multiple graphics cards having the legacy VGA interface without causing any problems. Tiago Vignatti has now revised this VGA Arbiter work from earlier this year (along with the help of David Airlie) and he has now submitted a new VGA Arbiter implementation to the Linux kernel mailing list.

The VGA Arbiter hasn't made its way into the mainline tree yet and there are also some other patches that need to work their way upstream when it comes to the X Server and libpciaccess. However, once done, this should be a large step forward in improving the Linux multi-seat experience. Tiago has briefly talked about this work on his blog.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Trying The Configurable 45 Watt TDP With AMD's A10-7800 / A6-7400K
  2. Sumo's Omni Gets Reloaded
  3. AMD A10-7800 & A6-7400K APUs Run Great On Linux
  4. Radeon Gallium3D Is Running Increasingly Well Against AMD's Catalyst Driver
Latest Linux Articles
  1. Radeon Graphics Yield Mixed Results With Linux 3.17 Kernel
  2. AMD's RadeonSI Driver Sped Up A Lot This Summer
  3. Intel's Latest Linux Graphics Code Competes Against OS X 10.9
  4. Intel Sandy Bridge Gets A Surprise Boost From Linux 3.17
Latest Linux News
  1. Intel Bay Trail Performance With Linux 3.16/3.17 & Mesa 10.3
  2. EFL Sees A Ton Of Work Following Recent v1.11 Release
  3. ARM Talks Up Wayland For Mali
  4. GNOME/GTK+ Human Interface Guidelines Updated
  5. Robocraft Is Rolling Over To Linux
  6. The Widely-Criticized New Commercial Linux Distro Is Now On Kickstarter
  7. Wayland & Weston 1.6 Alpha Released
  8. A New First-Person Mystery Game Might Be Coming To Linux
  9. Patch By Patch, LLVM Clang Gets Better At Building The Linux Kernel
  10. VC4 Gallium3D Driver Now Handles X With GLAMOR
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. OSS radeon driver for A10-7850K (Kaveri)
  2. Btrfs Gets Talked Up, Googler Encourages You To Try Btrfs
  3. Systemd 216 Piles On More Features, Aims For New User-Space VT
  4. American Citizens running AMOK for food stamps
  5. What Linux Distribution Should Be Benchmarked The Most?
  6. Company I work for is looking to contribute to Open Source projects... but wrongly?
  7. Microsoft vs. Campaign
  8. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers