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Date:      Mon, 30 Apr 2018 07:06:46 +0200
From:      Polytropon <>
To:        Victor Sudakov <>
Subject:   Re: Alternative to x11/gnome3 ?
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <>

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On Mon, 30 Apr 2018 11:42:53 +0700, Victor Sudakov wrote:
> Polytropon wrote:
> > > What alternative to x11/gnome3 can you advise? 
> > > 
> > > I would like a more lightweight desktop environment, however it MUST
> > > support switching between GUI users without logging out (like 
> > > Ubuntu or Windows).
> > > 
> > > I tried Mate but it does not seem to be able to switch between users
> > > without logging out (at least the display manager Mate comes with
> > > cannot do that).
> > 
> > If remember correctly, both Gnome 2 and Mate _can_ do this. 
> But I have a virtual box with the Mate metaport installed, and the "switch
> user" button is nowhere to be found in the Mate GUI.

Two possibilites:

a) This function has not become part of Mate, but it was part
   of Gnome 2; maybe Cinnamon (the other Gnome 2 successor)
   has it?

b) This function needs to be manually added to one of the menus
   or bars (via their configuration tools).

> > The feature you're talking about is called "switch user", i. e., it is a
> > session switcher: User A is logged in, has programs open and so on;  user
> > B approaches and asks to do something, so A selects the "switch user"
> > function, allows B to log in; B does his stuff, logs out - and the
> > session of user A is restored.
> > 
> > Is that what you're looking for?
> > 
> Not quite so. None of the users ever has to close her session and apps.
> Both the users' programs continue to run. Of course, at any moment only one
> user can access her programs on the desktop.
> The rest of your assumption is correct.

This is what I wanted to describe: The session is stored with
all open programs and files before switching to a different
user, and restored after the other user has logged out.

Gnome 2 provided this feature.

As did Mac OS X. ;-)

> > If yes, this function is integrated in the desktop, and not
> > part of the display manager (which usually is only activated
> > when _no_ user is logged in).
> I beg to disagree. When I use this feature in gnome3 and in Ubuntu,
> the display manager runs a separate instance of the X server per each
> user. And when you authenticate to the gdm, it either starts a new X
> server for you, or connects you to the existing X session. This is a
> sample output of ps on a PC with two GUI sessions (only one owns the
> desktop):
> [sudakov@vas ~] ps axww | grep X
> 13017  -  S       1:47,82 /usr/local/bin/X :0 -background none -noreset -verbose -auth /var/run/gdm/auth-for-gdm-6X91vP/database -nolisten tcp vt09 (Xorg)
> 13460  -  S       0:19,43 /usr/local/bin/X :1 -background none -noreset -verbose -auth /var/run/gdm/auth-for-gdm-ZbwJGt/database -nolisten tcp (Xorg)
> 13938  8  S+      0:00,00 grep X
> I don't know how this is done internally.

I don't have much experience with Gnome 3 because it scared
the fsck out of me after "gnome" defaulted from Gnome 2 to
Gnome 3 - and I switched to Mate. :-)

> > Additionally, you can probably run a second X server on the
> > same system and switch over for a second session... :-)
> > 
> That's exactly what gdm from gnome3 does. But I'm looking for an
> alternative to gdm and gnome (and not startx).

Maybe wdm, the display manager inteded for use with GNUstep,
can be used?

> I have tried the stock xdm to run two separate local X-servers but this
> failed miserably for some reason. Must be some conflict it was unable to
> resolve, but the second X-server would not even start.

Running two X servers is not a trivial task, but possible
with some work. However, the feature you're requesting should
be available without all the trouble. :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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