Are parallel KDE sessions safe?

Alex Schuster wonko at
Sat Feb 5 12:28:02 GMT 2011

John Layt wrote:

> On Saturday 29 January 2011 12:55:33 Alex Schuster wrote:

> > Is it okay to run two or more parallel KDE sessions with the same user?
> > 
> > Our multimedia PC runs KDE4 now, but the only display is a TV, and
> > things are not so easy to read. So I configured the desktop by starting
> > KDE4 via FreeNX from another PC. But what when I the same user is
> > already logged in? Can strange things happen if I make changes to KDE
> > settings, maybe even config file inconsistency or corruption, when
> > both KDEs store different settings?
> Well, while probably not fatal there's no guarantees you won't mess up
> your config somewhere.

I feared this might happen. Okay, I won't doo this (too often) then. About 
config file corruption.... well, that's anothe rthread.

> Better would be to use FreeNX to shadow your
> existing session rather than start a new one.  If using nxclient from
> nomachine this option is under config/desktop and choose shadow instead
> of unix.  When connecting you'll then be given a list of existing
> sessions to choose from, and you will then see and control exactly
> what's on the TV screen, which is probably more useful in a media server
> context than a separate session.

Many thanks, John! I'm using NX for a while now, but I completely overlooked 
this desktop shadowing stuff. It's perfect for the PC connected to the TV.

If only it would work better. I get a list of two displays to connect to, 
but they are identical, and there is no user listed. When I try to attach to 
one from Windows, a large (larger than the 640x480 of the TV) window opens, 
but instantly closes.

I played around with this again, from my Linux machine. Same result, or 
maybe worse, because the window did not open at all. Then I changed some 
config settings, just removing the comment characters, so I think that 
should have changed nothing. But suddenly it started to work. The window 
opens, it is much larger than it should be, although I set the display to 
'As on the server', or tried forcing it to 640x480. But it's only zoomed, 
the underlying resolution is correct. So I decided to like it that way. 
Quality is also much higher when I have the window bigger with 640x480 fonts 
are pixeled.
I reverted to the original config, and it still works. I always restarted 
the server, so I have no idea why it did not work first.

The only problem is that it is really hard to access the panel when it is 
set to auto-hide. I have to go down to the lowest pixel row, even if I have 
the original window zoomed a couple of times.

And it still does now work from my Windows notebook, which is the PC I would 
be sitting at when doing stuff with the TV-PC. But I can use NX to connect 
to my linux PC, and I from there I can connect to the TV-PC.

So, thanks again, my main problem is sorta solved by your tip.

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