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Old 01-06-2010, 02:06 PM
green
 
Default Two computers in one: two users each with their own accounts, monitor, and keyboard?

Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. wrote at 2010-01-06 04:59 -0600:
> On Wednesday 06 January 2010 02:58:48 Dotan Cohen wrote:
> > I have a desktop computer with onboard VGA and option to add a
> > discrete video card. It has plenty of spare USB ports for mice and
> > keyboards.
> >
> > Does Debian support using this computer for _two_ workstations, each
> > with their own user accounts, monitor, and keyboard?
>
> Without hard disks, and needing only enough CPU power to run X, the second
> system could be *very* small. Since it could share (at least) /usr with the
> main system, it wouldn't need to be separately updated much.

Actually, it would NOT need to be separately updated at all.

> TLDR: No; look into something like LTSP, but small-scale.

I set up LTSP once for 2 workstations, with one running Fedora (before I
discovered Debian) and the other network-booting from it. The setup was simple
(I was new to Linux then) and the only significant issue I remember was that 3D
applications did not work over the network and maybe there was some trouble
with removable media.
 
Old 01-06-2010, 02:08 PM
green
 
Default Two computers in one: two users each with their own accounts, monitor, and keyboard?

Avi Greenbury wrote at 2010-01-06 08:24 -0600:
> Dotan Cohen wrote:
> > Thanks, Boyd, that was actually ver informative. As there is no room
> > for a second tower, I will see about modding the existing tower for
> > two motherboards. There actually is room, only the CPU cooling tubes
> > might be problematic
>
> Thin clients do come in very physically thin sizes - I've seen several
> that are about the size of a domestic router. The only manufacturer who
> supports Linux that I can think of at the minute is Wyse, but I know
> there are several more.
>
> Though this would be decidedly less fun than making X do what you
> want

I personally would be more inclined to try it from a single system. It might
be considerably simpler than your modding, and it would definitely be more
interesting, in my opinion.
 
Old 01-06-2010, 06:53 PM
green
 
Default Two computers in one: two users each with their own accounts, monitor, and keyboard?

Dotan Cohen wrote at 2010-01-06 13:02 -0600:
> > I personally would be more inclined to try it from a single system. *It might
> > be considerably simpler than your modding, and it would definitely be more
> > interesting, in my opinion.
>
> Simpler if software is your field. Engineering is mine! As for which
> is more interesting, I can take pics of a mod!

Certainly! I shouldn't imply that the mod would be uninteresting. Bring on
the pictures if you put 2 systems in 1 case!
 
Old 01-06-2010, 11:59 PM
Rob Owens
 
Default Two computers in one: two users each with their own accounts, monitor, and keyboard?

On Wed, Jan 06, 2010 at 02:24:37PM +0000, Avi Greenbury wrote:
> Dotan Cohen wrote:
> > Thanks, Boyd, that was actually ver informative. As there is no room
> > for a second tower, I will see about modding the existing tower for
> > two motherboards. There actually is room, only the CPU cooling tubes
> > might be problematic
>
> Thin clients do come in very physically thin sizes - I've seen several
> that are about the size of a domestic router. The only manufacturer who
> supports Linux that I can think of at the minute is Wyse, but I know
> there are several more.
>
> Though this would be decidedly less fun than making X do what you
> want
>
Two thin client vendors who contribute to LTSP software:

http://www.thesymbiont.com/
http://www.disklessworkstations.com/

I'm pretty experienced w/ LTSP. If you have any questions, fire away.

Sound is usually straightforward on thin clients. Sometimes sound with
the non-free flash plugin is tricky, though.

By the way, if you have an old P2 or P3 laptop (or desktop), you can use
that as a thin client.

-Rob


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Old 01-07-2010, 10:58 PM
Paul Johnson
 
Default Two computers in one: two users each with their own accounts, monitor, and keyboard?

Dotan Cohen wrote:

> I have a desktop computer with onboard VGA and option to add a
> discrete video card. It has plenty of spare USB ports for mice and
> keyboards.
>
> Does Debian support using this computer for _two_ workstations, each
> with their own user accounts, monitor, and keyboard? The goal is to
> save space, electricity, and maintenance in a cramped desk in which
> now two people must each have their own computer (home environment). I
> prefer to stick with Lenny but am willing to experiment with Squeeze
> or even a Debian derivative if need be. Thanks in advance.

Any distro should be able to handle this, provided you're willing to
tinker for long enough to make it work. Linux Gazette had an article
about this.

http://linuxgazette.net/124/smith.html

Googling for "multiseat linux" seems to find lots of tutorials and
howtos for various distributions with various hardware.



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Old 01-07-2010, 11:02 PM
Paul Johnson
 
Default Two computers in one: two users each with their own accounts, monitor, and keyboard?

Kelly Clowers wrote:

> On Wed, Jan 6, 2010 at 09:03, Stan Hoeppner <stan@hardwarefreak.com> wrote:
>> John Hasler put forth on 1/6/2010 10:21 AM:
>>> Stan writes:
>>>> What about sound?
>>>
>>> Two sound cards. *Sound is handled entirely seperately from video.
>>
>> No kidding? *(sarcasm)
>>
>> The question is how do you configure the 2nd user session to use a secondary
>> sound device? *That is what the original OP needs to know.
>
> Each user runs PA per-user as normal, and simply selects the sound device
> they use in pavucontrol.

Given that PA is next to useless (particularly for games), is there a
NOT PA way of doing this?


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Old 01-12-2010, 11:52 PM
Rob Owens
 
Default Two computers in one: two users each with their own accounts, monitor, and keyboard?

On Tue, Jan 12, 2010 at 08:35:25AM -0600, Stan Hoeppner wrote:
> Albretch Mueller put forth on 1/12/2010 4:00 AM:
>
> > The only extra cost here would be the special video cards for each
> > seat but even they are commercial nowadays and making multi-seat work
> > would be our job right?
>
> You're still missing the overall picture here. In your living room or basement,
> or in a library or lab with a 30 foot long desk, this concept may work, somewhat.
>
I agree that a cheapo laptop, netbook, or desktop is probably the
easiest way to go for the original poster.

If you really want to go multi-head, I think the real way to go right
now is LTSP. Get any old computer, connect it via Cat5 to the LTSP
server (which can even be just a P4 with 512MB), and boot it off of a
gPXE CD. You'll have local USB access and local CD access (but not
audio CD). You can do this with real junk! I have a couple of P3's and
a P2 acting as LTSP thin clients and they work great.

-Rob


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