Using MacOS X 10.6, is there a way to "switch users" in a window? I'm looking for something like xnest.

  • Could you explain for what you need this? Maybe there are alternatives to running another user on the same system in a window.
    – Daniel Beck
    Oct 7 '10 at 16:13


You can run single applications as another user using sudo -u shortname /path/to/Application.app/Contents/MacOS/binaryname (note that it requires the executable, not the application bundle! open fails to start applications as a different user).

A GUI way to do this might be Pseudo, but I haven't tested it since a few years ago

  • To open an application from the terminal without digging around inside the bundle for the binary, use the open command i.e. sudo -u shortname open /path/to/Application.app
    – Scott
    Oct 8 '10 at 11:42
  • @Scott: Try it. It will fail, as I wrote in my answer. You really need to launch the binary directly, which is always in Contents/MacOS/ and most of the time the only file there. So C, [tab], M, [tab], [tab] will get you there 99% of the time.
    – Daniel Beck
    Oct 8 '10 at 19:01

You can also use Fast User Switching to run an application as another user with that user's preferences and data.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.