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Old 12-16-2002, 05:02 PM   #1
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Question "Fast User Switching" (XP Style) in Linux...

I'm trying to get going in Linux again. I work with HPUX at work, and am very familiar with command line "multi-user"isms, like rcp, rlogin, exporting displays, etc etc. But I'm talking GUI type fast user switching, and less complicated than any kind of exporting of displays. This needs to be as simple as Windows does it in XP for my school teacher wife. If it's difficult to set up, that's not so bad, but I am aiming for intuitive, point-and-click execution.

My family has become dependent on Windows XP fast-user switching. While I hate it because of the computing overhead it takes over, it is great to give my kids pretty open reign on the computer by restricting them to their own account. Furthermore, my wifes and my settings can all be unique, and we don't have to log out while we do it (I'm regularly downloading an ISO or want to keep a session open for some reason) and leave the computer alone).

What I want to do is emulate Windows XP fast user switching. Is this possible? I know I can change the background of the workspaces for some minor "customizability", but I'm interested in for example, having my wife being able to log into her email account on Evolution, whilst I can have my session open only accessing my account as well. (We dislike having one instance of the program with both accounts, even though this is more effecient)

Can anyone point me to a miniHOWTO on this, or something? I can't find anything through google, other than the fact that Xandros appearantly supports this out of the box (but I don't want to shell out $99 just to evaluate the move to Linux). I've got other hardware issues and such (lexmark 83) that I need to decide what I'm going to do about before I jump in with both feet, so I'm sticking to downloadable ISOs.

I've used Mandrake 9.0, and while I like it, I'm also going to load up Lycoris, and possibly red-hat to test all the waters.

But a near pre-requisite will be if I can enable some sort of "fast user switching" or my wife won't let me switch

Any ideas or links to send me to?

Last edited by cedillo; 12-17-2002 at 02:48 PM.
Old 12-16-2002, 05:55 PM   #2
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Location: South Alabama
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you have your first X server running by default on display 0:0

the user can lock the display with xscreensaver or other screenlocker so it can stay logged into

another user can use another X session on display 0:1

other users can have displays :2 :3 :4 :5

starting an X server on another display can be done with startx

startx -- :1
startx -- :2

Old 12-17-2002, 02:47 PM   #3
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Thanks I'll try it...just as soon...

As I can rebuild my system. I look forward to this prospect!

Old 12-18-2002, 01:42 AM   #4
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Distribution: Mandrake 9 and Xandros 1
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Easy fast user switching

I have been using Xandros version 1 for a desktop environment since it was released. Great distrobution for a desktop. It also has built in "fast user switching in a GUI environment... just like MS XP.. If that is what you are looking for this is the perfect answer. Drawback is the cost. 99.00 but there is a discount code:
"Please use this LUG discount coupon code when ordering: dcce72d486f2" This will get you the system for 54.00 no shipping or handling. You can learn more about Xandros Desktop at


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