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I sometimes have processes that I want to leave showing (status screens, batch jobs, etc.) while I'm not actively using the computer. Is there a way to make these show while the screen is locked?

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alock is designed for exactly that purpose. It also supports things like tinting the background color, replacing it with an image, changing the cursor, etc., but by default it just locks the keyboard/mouse and leaves X the way it is

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No, sadly it is not possible (as far as I know). Maybe you could go down to a terminal (ctrl+alt+f1-6) and watch the jobs there with a user without any privilege.

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I guess with some effort that could work for terminal tasks... –  BCS May 14 '10 at 19:53

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