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Re: X-Serving Multiple Virtual Console

On Thu, 27 Jan 2005, Micha Feigin wrote:

What I am looking for personally is something like winXP behavior where you can do the change user option and have several users running at the same time without needing to remember which one is on each console.

I haven't seen the XP behaviour but I can tell you that you quickly remember which display you are logged in on when using X, especially if you always agree to login on a partocular display each.

The strength of the Unix approach is that it doesn't make assumptions and doesn't make special cases (unless absolutely necessary). Having multiple users logged in simultaneouly is the natural state for Unix but it is really quite new for MS-Windows. Microsoft has made special behaviour for the console. That may be fine for them but the Unix approach abhors this as it only introduces complexity that needs to be taken into account later on (eg, apps wanting to know who is logged in at the console may need to know about the user swapping capability to get it right).

X is only interested in what display(s) you control. They can be local or remote. No special code was written to allow for multiple X servers on the console - it is natural consequence of the interaction of X and a virtual console. The fact that it worked is a huge endorsement of the Unix approach.


Robert Brockway B.Sc.
Senior Technical Consultant, OpenTrend Solutions Ltd.
Phone: 416-669-3073 Email: rbrockway@opentrend.net http://www.opentrend.net
OpenTrend Solutions: Reliable, secure solutions to real world problems.
Contributing Member of Software in the Public Interest (http://www.spi-inc.org)

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