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Can two users simultaneously share one pc

I have one computer, one touch screen, one regular screen and a mouse.

I've heard that there are several apps which enable the option of having 2 instances of that one computer, so basically each "set" is a sort of independent computer station.

(It's like having 2 computers).

Is it possible?

And if so, are you familiar with this sort of software?

Expending my question: Basicly , I will prefer a free product. I have windows xp on this computer and want both of instances to work on XP either, no linux or unix. The real problem is I need them to able work simultanitly. It means that while User1 use his touch screen to play freecell (for example) , User2 can run Application A without interrupting each other.

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marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Renan, 8088, Randolph West, Diogo Aug 19 '12 at 14:59

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Are you trying to use each instance at the same time? i.e. attach two monitors, two keyboards, two mice, so that two people can use the same computer for different tasks at the same time? –  Bryan Jan 16 '12 at 8:26
    
I know that there was software for windows that could do this but I don't remember the name, and I know that it is possible under GNU/Linux and some Unix systems. –  AndrejaKo Jan 16 '12 at 9:21

3 Answers 3

It depends on what you want to do exactly with this setup.

Assuming I understood what you meant, one solution could simply be to hook both monitors to the computer (you'll need a suitable video card), setup two desktops, and run a virtual machine using VirtualBox (free) or VMWare or a similar application on the second desktop. The base layer (that is, the operating system running the virtual machine) would be "Computer 1", and the virtual machine would be "Computer 2".

You will go back and forth between machines by moving the mouse. Depending on the VM and the operating system installed therein, the movement will be fluid and seamless or the virtual machine will "capture" the pointer.

Since Computer 1 (base layer) will show up on Monitor 1 and Computer 2 will show up on Monitor 2, they will appear and act, in practice, like two separate computers.

Only, not really. First off, they're sharing the same hardware, so the performance of both will be middling at best. In short, you can probably forget about, say, playing a latest-gen 3D game on "Computer 1" while the virtual machine (that is, Computer 2) is running.

Also, the Virtual Machine would still be dependent on the Main Machine, so if this goes offline, the Virtual Machine would go offline as well, just like the several personalities of somebody suffering from Multiple Personalities Disorder would all disappear should the sufferer die.

More could be said, but you should really expand on your question a bit more, giving us more info about your operating system(s), your hardware, the software you want to run, and so on. Chances are that a simple 1 computer, 2 desktops configuration may suffice.

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But wouldn't the physical and virtual machine share same keyboard and mouse? I know that when you connect several mice to a computer, they all appear as same pointer. Same for keyboards too. –  AndrejaKo Jan 16 '12 at 9:20
    
@AndrejaKo: Yes, of course. He said he has "one mouse", so he probably has one keyboard as well, implying that there will be just one user at any given time. Since one of the two monitors is a touch screen, the user would just need to tap on it to move the pointer there and activate that particular machine. The other one will remain inert and won't take any input unless activated again. –  Yudo Jan 16 '12 at 9:23

There's a software for that, ASTER IBIK, 1 cpu and multiple monitor with mice and keyboard fully working. enter image description here

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That is a little freaky –  Iain M Norman Nov 26 '13 at 11:25

If you are refering to a virtual machine then yes, it's possible. I can be running a Windows 7 box and with the help of a virtual machine app be running XP in a seperate window, Ubuntu in another and Vista in a third. As stated aleady, the system load will make the whole thing run like a pig but you can do it. In fact it's common place these days in data centers. If you want to play with the idea then download one of the free apps and mess about. Oracle has one called Virtual Box or just do a Google search for VMWare.

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