It's easy to have multiple user accounts on one computer and even switch between accounts without logging off. It is also possible to have more than one display connected to a single computer.

Is it possible to have one multi-core computer be used simultaneously by two users in their own accounts? Is there specific hardware required (to allow keyboard and mouse distinction for each user) and software configuration?

I know you can setup remote connections on windows that allow you to open and use a second user account without bothering the first user, but how about working locally on the same machine, essentially removing the network delay of remote desktops?

What OS supports this? Linux Ubuntu? Windows 7?


3 Answers 3


Yes. It's called multiseat. There is software for both Linux and Windows (2K, XP, Vista, probably 7) to handle this. I think Fedora 12 is aiming to ship with support. That's all I really know (and don't ask me how... I got to reading about this months ago).

  • 1
    Can we have some updates :) in 2016 - Anything new? Fedora thing?
    – Alex S
    Aug 16, 2016 at 19:31
  • @Nathaniel, But isn't the Windows MultiPoint Server a separate OS by itself?
    – Pacerier
    Sep 6, 2016 at 16:45

Yes, this is doable using the software the the linked Wiki article passes. According to Microsoft, however, this is a clear violation of the licensing agreement on Windows client operating systems (XP, Vista, 7) and violations could trigger the invalidation of your license. Though it would not be a violation of their server O/S's (2003, 2008). If you ask the companies behind the software, they disagree of course. So it is a matter of considerable debate.

  • 1
    Is there really any way for Microsoft to detect if you are signed onto two different user accounts at one time? And if you didn't register your copy of Windows it would probably be even more difficult for them. I'm not sure though. Feb 9, 2010 at 23:24
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    I couldn't speak to the technical capability of Microsoft to detect that or not. I was merely speaking to the legal debate surrounding such operation of windows client OS.
    – BBlake
    Feb 12, 2010 at 14:37
  • @BBlake, I don't believe Microsoft is allowed to detect such things. There would be a serious backlash if they run stuff like these to collect the information of a user's computer.
    – Pacerier
    Sep 6, 2016 at 16:36

a program called SoftXpand should do the trick for what you are looking to do im not sure on the cost since they dont appear have it on their website but you find it at http://www.miniframe.com/

  • Too bad you can't just go and buy it. The home edition is only for Windows XP. PITY.
    – sinni800
    Jun 21, 2011 at 12:05
  • 1
    I know they actually released the DUO version mentioned above meanwhile! :)
    – sinni800
    Jul 5, 2011 at 8:48

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