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2002 May 30 13:29

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Re: [vox] Cool Trick
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Re: [vox] Cool Trick

It's been a while since I've tried this, but I think the syntax goes
something like:

   X -query some.computer.name :1

That starts X on display :1, makes connection to "some.computer.name", and
will make your computer look as though you were sitting in front of that
computer (but not the fonts), starting with the log-in screen.  I tried it
on a ECE Linux box to connect to one of the Sun servers on ISUN; it's got
a very interesting login screen :)

If the remote computer is running a font server, there's a way to even
copy the fonts from the remote computer by passing parameters.
Unfortunately I forgot the syntax for that, but check the X parameters...
it was something funky like "-some_option tcp/" or something of
that sort.

If you are on a large computer network (ie - UCD), it's even possible to
bring up a display of all the computers on the network, show the load and
number of users on the system, then select the system you want to connect
to.  I think it uses the "-redirect" parameter, but again, it's been a

I think the systems have to be setup properly for all these to work, like
you have to open up the font server to the network to get the second trick
working.  I don't think you need a special setup for the first trick
except you can't connect to the system that's been firewalled off.  I'm
not sure if the third trick requires a special setup (ie - a special
daemon) but it works on the ECE network.

BTW, you can use :2, :3, :4, etc. to open up X on Ctrl-Alt-F8, F9, F10,
etc... up to F12... but I'm sure you figured that out...

One more trick -- manipulating /etc/inittab can yield some interesting
things.  For example, changing the line

   1:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty1


   1:2345:respawn:/usr/local/bin/myprogram tty1
   (I don't think you actually need "tty1" at the end)

will run /usr/local/bin/myprogram on tty1 (Ctrl-Alt-F1).  If you prevent
the system from running X automatically upon boot, this can become a nice
little custom console for your program.

I once had a Linux system acting as a voice mailbox.  I wrote a PERL
program to check for messages, let me know how many new and old messages I
got, etc.  The PERL program ran on tty1 using the above technique.  The
nice little thing about this technique is, if the system reboots (ie -
after a power outage), the system goes right back into my PERL program.
So when my roommates came home, they never had to deal with a Linux
console whether there was a power outage that day or not (this was the
year when they had rotating blackouts); they just came home to a nice
interactive answering machine, or a dark home with all the powers out.


On Wed, 29 May 2002, Roland (Rusty) Minden wrote:

> >From <Linux Journal Weekly News Notes -- May 29th>
> Tech Tip
>    Do you need to run X sessions as two separate users at once? You don't
>    need to kill off someone else's X session just because you want to
>    browse the Web; log in at a text console and type
>    startx -- :1
>    to start a second X session as yourself. Switch between the two
>    sessions with Ctrl-Alt-F7 and Ctrl-Alt-F8.
> </Linux Journal Weekly News Notes -- May 29th>
> I have wanted to know how to do this and it worked. Any cool tricks by any of
> you?
> Rusty
> _______________________________________________
> vox mailing list
> vox@lists.lugod.org
> http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox

Mark K. Kim
PGP key available upon request.

vox mailing list

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