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Multiple users on one xclient

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  • Multiple users on one xclient

    Hey all,

    I know this is probably more suited for a Red Hat forum or an Oracle Forum, but it won't receive as much love and affection on those sort of forums.
    I've been given an odd request at work.

    We need to set up an xserver display (e.g. startx -display :1 -- :1 vt8 &) with either Gnome or KDE on top of that (e.g. gnome-session -display :1 &) to be viewed by multiple users from their machines. (Many users to one server)

    My thoughts are enable VNC and just let them all VNC into that display (local:1).

    * Not sure if we want VNC on our server
    * Not giving them remote console privileges

    Is there a way to go about this without VNC?

    # Side notes:
    Something interesting I found I could do through researching this:
    On Windows machine, log into server with PuTTY. Have open Reflection X (Or other xserver emulator) then run:
    $ export DISPLAY=
    $ gnome-session

    This isn't the solution to what I need, I just thought I'd share that as I came across that in my research.

    Kind regards,


  • #2
    I don't know a lot about it--just tried different solutions at home at some point--and I'm not sure I understand your needs. But in principle it really sounds like a job for Xvnc. I think the clients will all connect to the same server, which is the same you have locally, and as a bonus this is one of the few VNC servers that work well with KDE 4 (in case that's what you have). I would've thought that you can restrict the permissions somehow, or at least start the local server with a regular account, and regarding security you surely know that you can tunnel the sessions over SSH.

    Perhaps also worth trying is NX, which performs rather well and is secured by default, although it has a slightly higher CPU usage than VNC. It could be, though, that there's a limit to the number of concurrent connections with the free official NX server, so you'd want to install FreeNX.


    • #3
      I do remember Xvnc coming up somewhere... I'll look into that.

      I think our server probably uses a flavour of KDE3.5 as well as GNOME 2.16 (Although, it doesn't really matter so long as it's a GUI)

      I'll look into NX and Xvnc, I do know about tunneling VNC through SSH.

      If NX does have a higher CPU usage then that will become a problem.

      Thanks heaps!