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I am logged in on display :0 with XDM. Is there a way I can start a new display :1 with XDM running, to allow someone else to log in without me having to log out? I know KDM can do this with the kdmctl command but I don't want to use a DE-specific login manager.
I think there is some confusion. I thought I had answered your question in my initial response. What I am basically saying is that you can go to the "switch user" option in the KDE menu button and start another session as the XDM prompt.
You might have misunderstood me as well. In KDE, you need to have KDM (not XDM) running to even get that option. If you do have it running and click it, it will give you another display with KDM as the login manager. I would like to do this, but without any KDE components (say, with XDM and Fluxbox or something).
I think you could just lock your session and then alt+F? to the XDM login screen. If X starts on the same session as XDM, I think there is a way to spawn XDM separately so you can alt+F? to it. Although, I am at a loss as to how to do that. Sorry.
I wasn't aware that you were not able to get a console login either. If a console isn't popping up on any of the sessions (ctrl(+)alt+F1/2/3/4/5/6) then you will need to check your /etc/inittab file. It should at least have entries like...
c1:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty1 linux
c2:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty2 linux
c3:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty3 linux
c4:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty4 linux
c5:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty5 linux
c6:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty6 linux
What distribution are you running? Slackware shouldn't have this problem, at least that I know off.
If you are refering to getting XDM to start on a display other than session seven, then it would be very hard. Once you login, XDM hands over the windowing to xinit and your window manager. Although if you want XDM to start up for another actual display or network login, then XDM does provide for that. The manual pages tell you how to add it to your XDM config files.