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Old 02-20-2007, 05:10 PM   #1
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Switch User yields totally blank screen

I am a relatively new user running Fedora Core 5. Today I attempted to start a 2nd user session and then navigate to that session using the ALT+CTRL F8 shortcut, only to find a completely blank screen! No prompt, nothing. I can type text including carriage return but it yields no output. I attempted to start KDE to no avail (though I may be doing this wrong). When I attempted to end the session using CTRL+ALT+DEL it reboots the machine!

Anyone tell me what this 'session' is?
Old 02-22-2007, 08:40 AM   #2
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Don't use CTRL+ALT+F8, use CTRL+ALT+F1, F2, F3, etc... all the way up to F7 (takes you back to the GUI).

Most distros reboot the machine using CTRL+ALT+DEL. YOu can change this, but I forget where. I think /etc/inittab???? Someone correct me.
Old 02-22-2007, 09:03 AM   #3
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Yeah, its /etc/inittab.
ca::ctrlaltdel:/sbin/shutdown -t3 -r now
Old 02-22-2007, 09:12 AM   #4
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In order for the "Switch Session" option to work properly, you need to be using the KDM instead of the GDM as your display manager. Edit your /etc/sysconfig/desktop file to look like (the uncommented lines in) this:
# cat /etc/sysconfig/desktop
and reboot.

Once you do so, the KDE menu will have a "Switch Session" entry which you may use to start a new session using any valid user id and session type you've configured your system to have available. It's very handy when you've got something running and someone else needs to log in to the system for some task, or when you want to check something in GNOME when you're in KDE. Note: While you can switch between sessions from the KDE menu, GNOME does not support such switching, so you need to use the Ctl-Alt-F[7-0] (or logout) to switch out of GNOME.

The reason that you have a blank screen after Ctr-Alt-F8 is, of course, because you have not started an X-session on that (logical) screen, and with no X-server processing the screen, nothing will happen when that screen is connected as the primary display. What the KDM manager does is let you configure the X-server to handle more than one screen.

Last edited by PTrenholme; 02-22-2007 at 09:28 AM.
Old 02-24-2007, 11:43 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info. Perhaps I wasn't clear, I have been using the switch sessions feature without any real issue, I just have to use ALT+CTRL+F9, while the 2nd (F8) session is just kind of hanging out there. I figured it was because X wasn't started for that session, what I was really concerned about is why is there a 2nd session already running without me ever having started it? Oddly enough, I'm finding that when I do manually start a 2nd session I can access it w/ ALT+CTRL+F9 and there is another (blank) screen available @ ALT+CTRL+F10.


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