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So I was running X desktop (KDE) on my Slackware 12.1 machine and read something about opening up a new shell (idk if that’s the right term for it). I pressed atl+ctrl+F2 and it brought me to a new login screen (as you all know). Thinking “this is cool” I tried to return to my desktop by pressing alt+ctrl+F1 and found another shell with X running in it but could not do anything, could not return to my KDE desktop, exit out, nothing… I also notice when I’m in KDE running Konsole and type in a program like conky, for instance, that shell is no longer usable for anything, I can’t do anything with it. So my question is, is there a shortcut key (or something) that will bring me out of the program’s script so I can use the shell, or a way for me to “talk” to the program?
The shell at F1 is the shell that X was started from. There's not really a lot you can do from there as X doesn't take input from std in. You could do Ctrl-Z to pause X, and use the shell, but there's not a lot of point.
Just to add to your confusion, the X-server can, in fact, have more than one terminal running a X display. So you can, in principle, have GNOME running on tty7, KDE on tty8, XFM on tty9, WM on tty10. With different users logged in to each one, if you wish. You would switch between them with Clt-Alt-[7-10].
In fact, KDM (the version 3 release) and KDE3 provides a "Switch User" option on the main menu which starts another X session on the "next" available tty. You can use it to have separate X-window sessions with different (or the same) users using different (or, again, the same) window managers. (I haven't yet looked at KDE 4.1 to see if the "Switch User" functionality has been restored because Fedora 9 makes it almost impossible to use the KDM instead of GDM, and I mostly use F9.)
"Just to add to your confusion, the X-server can, in fact, have more than one terminal running a X display. So you can, in principle, have GNOME running on tty7, KDE on tty8, XFM on tty9, WM on tty10. With different users logged in to each one, if you wish. You would switch between them with Clt-Alt-[7-10]."
That is super cool how do i run GNOME or XFM on a diffrent server? The only thing i know is the "startx" command... is there another one that will start up XFM (which i think is native on Slackware)?
Well, look at the arguments to startx and the X-server. Note that you don't run a different X-server, you just have the server "service" more than one "screen" on different tty's, running different window managers on each.
A search of various fora should give you a "how-to," but -- while I know it's possible -- I've just used the KDM tools and (once, just to see if it would work) the example in (IIRC) man X to see how an old X window session would work. (The last time I used "raw" X was on a DEC workstation is Switzerland in the early 1990's, and that was somewhat more sophisticated than the session started from the example code.)