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I have a PC connected to my TV in the living room. Its on all the time doing random things like sharing files on the network.

We also use it to watch TV shows and movies.

I want to be able to log into to the server from another computer on the network so I can use it without disturbing anything that it might be doing in the living room. With a graphical interface not just SSH.

Does Ubuntu support multiple users logged on at the same time? (or the same one multiple times)

How do I go about setting this up?

Thanks for your help!

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migrated from serverfault.com Oct 29 '10 at 19:27

This question came from our site for professional system and network administrators.

4 Answers 4

Ubuntu, like other Linux distributions and Unix versions, supports multiple users and multiple logins per user. What OS are you using on the other computer? In general, you can use X11 forwarding over SSH. If Windows is your laptop's OS, I'd recommend using PuTTY for SSH and Xming for the X11 server (note that in this context "server" and "client" are reversed from what you might expect). If you're running Ubuntu or similar with a graphical desktop on your laptop, you're already set.

For PuTTY, you'll need to setup X11 forwarding.

PuTTY X11 forwarding

For Linux/Unix, you just need to tell the programs you're running which display to use:

DISPLAY=hostname:0.0

or

DISPLAY=hostip:0.0

or similar. Or

someprog -display hostname:0.0

etc.

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Dennis Williamson's answer is excellent. I only add that it might be more "lightweight" to install xrdp on the Ubuntu system, which would let you start and control sessions from either a Windows or Linux (using rdesktop/grdesktop) system in a very straightforward way.

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Another great solution is to install freenx server on the ubuntu machine.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/FreeNX

I use this all the time to log into my ubuntu machines from both other linux boxes as well as windows boxes. The client is available at nomachine dot com.

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I usually use vncserver to set up a desktop for remote access. Ubuntu has support for it, and you can find a vncviewer for most any computer that you'd use to connect to it. It's pretty good about compressing the data stream so can even be useful over a DSL line.

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