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-   -   ATI Dual Screen With X on Seperate Screens & Keyboards. (

mariofreak 03-17-2008 06:49 AM

ATI Dual Screen With X on Seperate Screens & Keyboards.
Hello, I'm a new guy on this forum, but I thought I'd ask a question thats been bugging me for ages.

I've searched online for help, but I don't think anyone has tried what I'm trying to do before (or I'm just not using the right keywords).

I'm looking to setup X to work with dual screens (one on VGA, the other on DVI). But I wish to have seperate login on both screens (each screen with their own keyboard)

So that 2 screens can be powered by one machine but used by two people simultaneously.

I'd like to do this
A) Because I'm a student and energy bills are high.
B) So that my friends can use my PC while i'm using it on a seperate screen so they don't interrupt my session

3.00 GHZ Pentium Dual Core
512MB Ram
ATI Radeon 9250 (Using OpenSource driver ati)
Generic AC97 Sound card
160GB Hard Disk

My current Linux flavor is Debian Linux (Etch 4.0), and I use 7.0.

Is what i'm suggesting even possible, and how would I go about implementing a solution?

I was thinking that USB keyboards could be configured in X to allow them to be used on the separate screen.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
I have quite a bit of experience using Linux, so I should be able to understand any reply given.

Many thanks,

Simon Bridge 03-18-2008 12:29 AM

This is commonly implemented in exactly your situation, where a thin client is just an unwanted expense.

You are creating a multi-seat fat client. Or multiple concurrent logins.

Novell, for eg, has a product for this, called "desktop multiplier":

Userful has a debian version:
... it's non free (shareware-like) but no license fee for just two seats.

If you use two video cards, you can just use xorg to configure it:

mariofreak 03-18-2008 09:46 AM

So I need to have two graphics cards?
I have one of ATI's multi head cards already (VGA and DVI), so it wouldn't work that way?

Can you recomend a good (cheap) PCI graphics card so I can do this?

Simon Bridge 03-18-2008 10:18 PM

There are commercial solutions which use dual head cards (see provided links), but you need two cards if you want to just use the X server. You can try ... you get trouble when two different x-servers try to access the same hardware.

mariofreak 03-19-2008 01:11 PM

Lol. Tried Userful, it just crashed, tried to debug itself then restarted my machine. Over and over again.

I'm guessing the only way to actually do it is with two cards. Many thanks for your help. I'll post an update if I find out anymore.


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