multi-seat computer

does any one know how to setup a multi-seat computer?

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westfw9 years ago
A linux system will support multiple users on "dumb serial terminals" by default. As Gmoon says, X windows should also support multiple independent displays with little work. The thing I'm not sure about is the keyboard/mouse, and the KM to monitor mapping. The setups I've seen with more than one mouse tend to sort of "or" the mouse inputs together. (Whoopee! The world has rediscovered timesharing!)
gmoon9 years ago
Hmm. "Multi-seat" is such an odd name; I'm not sure I've ever even heard it. "Multi-terminal", sure. "Client-server", yes, etc.

It's difficult to answer, as there are hundreds of different ways to set something like this up. Everything from dial-up dumb terminals on up....

First, many of us run servers on our local networks, which handle anything from web servers to data storage--services which are available to the other computers on the network. Is that what you need?

If not (and assuming you want more than a dumb text terminal), the windowing interface used by Unix and Linux, X Windows, is by nature networked. Linux X terminals run the executable on the server--only the user interface is run on the local terminal. An X terminal can be setup on pretty minimal hardware.

(The nomenclature of X Terminals is a little odd--since the client (terminal) is providing the "window", it's referred to as the "X windows server"; while the executable on the server is referred to as the "X windows client"....yeeaaah.)

As networking is an integral part of X Windows, any computer running X can execute X programs on a remote server. Even a MS Windows machine running Cygwin-X can view remotely-executing programs.

Here's one simple tutorial on X Windows terminals, search for "X terminals" and you'll find lots more...
clasic_traveller_diehard (author)  gmoon9 years ago
i'm not looking for a 1 computer, 1 cheap computer setup. i looking for a 1 computer, 2 monitor, 2 keyboard, 2 mice setup but setting up networked X terminals with really old hard wear looks like an useful skill so i'll check it out
To run more than one monitor and keyboard, etc off of one computer, a simple switch box can be used, unless you must have all the monitors active at the same time. Then, as stated by others, a network is needed.
caitlinsdad9 years ago
If you look further in your link, it tells you how to set up the multi-seat Linux computer. Corporations use various remote access solutions that call for licensed software like Citrix and require a server and network connectivity. You see a desktop with applications loaded on the server and work from a remote regular PC or a special dumb terminal. Depending on your use there may be other software that may fit the bill.
actually i was wandering if any one knew how from experience
I would bet this kind of knowledge is not passed on freely and those that have done it professionally know it is a pain to set up and maintain. Usually the server guys/gals and system admins are the only ones to touch it. For home use, it is far easier to set up separate PCs. The multi-seat is for when you have a specific application that needs to be run in a secure or controlled environment like access to a company database. Again, whatever your use is, there may be a web-based browser alternative. Good luck.
Citrix! Now there's an all too-familiar name! The amount of password reset's I've had to do for that aren't even funny.
It is still amazing that you could do a lot of things with only dial-up. Painfully slow by standards today, but it worked.