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You want something to run in a virtual desktop, or share another user's desktop?
Linux does this easily
Take a look at vncviewer vncserver and krfb
If they are not already installed, you mandriva disk will probably have them.
Edit: If you want your desktop spread over two monitors, take a look at twinview (But I have a feeling that this needs an NVIDIA card - but then you'll have one of these by now, won't you?)
Last edited by tredegar; 02-28-2008 at 12:50 PM.
Reason: Additional info, & bad tag syntax
If I understand, the key behavior described in that maxivista link, is something I'd find very useful and unlike anything I've heard of in Linux (but it might exist somewhere, I'm far from an expert). I'm pretty sure it is not covered by vncserver and certainly not xinerama nor twinview. Each of those is part of it done in a way that seems to preclude the other part.
IIUC, the idea is to BOTH extend one desktop onto two displays AND remote one display to another computer.
X inherently has the ability to remote a desktop to another computer. vncserver provides another way to remote a desktop to another computer, that seems to have some extra flexibility. Xinerama lets you extend a desktop over two displays independent of display adapter type (even spanning different brands of display adapter). Twinview gives you a more flexible way to extend a desktop over displays in a way specific to the display adapter (and of course never spanning different brands).
But since you can only remote desktops (not displays) and you can only extend desktops over displays (not over other desktops) there doesn't seem to be a way to extend a desktop acros a local and remote display.
My use case for this would be two side-by-side computers each of which has a monitor, used by one person who often prefers to have both monitors on one computer and none on the other. You can do that with the right switches and extra display adapter outputs, but it would be so much cleaner to be able to borrow the monitor across the LAN instead.
Thanks for your reasoned analysis, which led me back to the start of this thread....
I understand TuxLives' question a bit better now that I have watched the video in his link, but I still fail to appreciate the point of it: Two PCs, gobbling up power to get two linked PC's making one desktop.
What's the purpose of it, apart from "look at what it can do" ?
The video demonstration in the link was fairly imbecilic -
Look: "You can move a window between two PCs and it displays correctly". Uhhh. Yes. That's really "cool".
Look: "I can park my car anywhere there is space for it". Uhhh. Yes. That's really "cool".
I feel a bit the same about the "rotating cubic desktops" - So, it rotates, very clever programming and very pretty, but totally useless for getting anything useful done: I still just switch between active windows on my plain 2D screen.
It's the same with KDE's "virtual desktops" - they are there, but I have never, ever, felt the need to use them (although I have tried them).
Does / will linux offer the "feature" TuxLives requests? I am not sure. But I am sure that I do not need or want it, and will not be spearheading the development, or recommendation of it.
Maybe you don't even have two displays on one computer. I hardly know how to function with just one display on a computer. I do most of my work with three.
Today, I tried to help a coworker debug something using Visual Studio. It was something hard to debug compounded by incomplete pdb files (so Visual Studio can't sync source and assembly). For such things I would normally have an assembly language view and a source view and a register view and a call stack and a bunch of tools all visible at once. But he had one 20 inch 1680x1050 LCD, so I couldn't have even half of that visible at once even narrowing the individual views to cramped fractions of what I wanted. Anyway, I missed an important detail because it wasn't visible at a moment I didn't know I should have rearranged windows to take a look. I failed to solve the problem. Later we transfered all the files to my machine and I ran it split across two CRTs each at 1920x1440 (leaving email etc. open in the third CRT because 3840x1440 was enough for that debugging session). Stepping much more quickly through the same code, I easily spotted the problem because everything was visible at a glance rather than requiring constant reshuffling windows.
One job ago, I had two computers and three CRTs, with all the appropriate hardware to have three CRTs on one computer or have one or two of those on the other. I usually had some long slow task running on the second computer and used three CRTs on the first. But sometimes I debugged something with two CRTs on the second computer with related documentation open on one CRT on the first computer. It took a lot of effort to install and configure the hardware to do all that. I may soon have a second computer to go with my total of three CRTs at my current job, but I won't have the extra hardware for such flexible connectivity.
All the above examples are all still Windows. But I've switched most of my home computer use to Linux. I expect to gradually do more at work in Linux. If/when XP is obsolete and the choice is Vista vs. Linux I will be doing a lot more in Linux.