I am trying to set up a multiseat computer configuration. In this arrangement, I have a laptop with an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor connected. I would like to allow two user sessions to be run at the same time, one on the main laptop I/O and one using the attached peripherals. The laptop has a single Intel X3100 graphics card.

My first attempt was using the Windows 7 64-bit RC. This is fail right out of the gate.

My second attempt was using Ubuntu 9.10 alpha 4. It's definitely possible to do this manually using some combination of X.org and Xephyr, but this is a severe PITA. The recommended solution is to use MDM but after installing it (via cloning the git repo then running configure, make -j3, sudo checkinstall), my system works identically to before.

I've also tried to go the manual route with a handwritten xorg.conf, but I'm having a terrible time even making a basic config that runs. Without any xorg.conf file, X can autodetect everything and give me a desktop with 3D acceleration. However, "Xorg -configure" generates a config that presents me with a black screen and no mouse cursor. I'm pretty sure X is running because ctrl+alt+del doesn't do anything.

So, yeah. I'll go with pretty much any solution that doesn't take hours to set up and gives me multiseat. Anyone got any ideas?

3 Answers 3


Xorg's own documentation on multiseat is here and lists a number of possibilities. The Debian multiseat HOWTO may be applicable to Ubuntu. Success isn't guaranteed.


I haven't tried it but how about this http://www2.userful.com/products/downloads/free-2-user

  • No 64-bit Ubuntu version. I'll mess with the 64-bit RPM and see if I can extract the files and kludge it, though. Thanks.
    – JamesGecko
    Aug 26, 2009 at 14:38

As a solution that works for any OS, this gaming.SE answer provides an excellent method: Use VMWare Player to virtualize the additional clients and use its feature to directly "attach" USB devices to a virtual machine. That way additional keyboards/mice can be separated (hint: It's easier to distinguish different keyboard/mouse brands to associate the correct device with the respective VM), and if your sound card has e.g. separable front and rear exits you can even split sound.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .