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Thread: Multiseat Ubuntu 12.04

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Beans
    2

    Multiseat Ubuntu 12.04

    Hi,

    I manage a group of 4 desktop computers for a local youth group. The computers are really old and becoming unusable but our budget cannot stretch to replace them all. Instead I have decided to use second hand parts to build a single server with a quad output graphics card and set up Ubuntu as a multiseat server.

    Does anyone have any simple step-by-step instructions on how to do this. I have looked around for a good tutorial but all the ones that I can find seem to be very complicated and based on older versions of Ubuntu.

    How I want the completed system to work:
    • There will be one PC (Probably around a Core 2 Duo with about 4gb RAM)
    • There will be 4 monitors connected to one or two graphics cards
    • There will be 4 keyboards and mice connected via a couple of PCI USB cards
    • I would ideally like to be able to output sound for each station through different outputs on a multichannel sound card but could use USB sound cards if it would be easier.


    I'd like performance to be reasonably good but the system will not be pushed hard, it will only be used for a couple of hours a week to browse Facebook or watch YouTube videos.

    My main requirement is that it should be easy to set up (for my sanity) and easy for people to use, the target users are young teenagers with no Linux experience who just want to browse the internet.

    Your help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Beans
    65
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Multiseat Ubuntu 12.04

    Hey, if the 4 old computers have more than 233 Mhz CPU and 128 ΜΒ RAM you could use them as clients to LTSP along with the server you'll build, only extra requirements will be 4 Gigabit(1000) network cards for the clients, 1 Gigabit switch + as many Cat6 ethernet cables you need to connect them, all these are quite cheap

    for more info see here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_T...Server_Project
    and here:
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuLTSP/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Beans
    2

    Re: Multiseat Ubuntu 12.04

    I did consider that but decided that it would be better to sell the existing systems to put the money towards the new server as well as to save some space as space in the computer area is very limited!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Beans
    7,235
    Distro
    Lubuntu Development Release

    Re: Multiseat Ubuntu 12.04

    Some of the older versions of Ubuntu used to have a package which provided multi-seat but that seems to have been taken out.

    There is this page:

    http://www.linuxtoys.org/multiseat/multiseat.html

    I think the only way now is going to follow something like that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Beans
    24

    Re: Multiseat Ubuntu 12.04

    I have a *mostly* working multiseat setup built on Xubuntu 12.04. It wasn't too difficult to get it sorted out, but the one thing missing is audio per seat. I am still working on that and once it's completed I will update the MultiseatX page.

    I can tell you that using a single gpu makes your journey much more complicated. This will involve using Xephyr which is basically an Xserver that runs inside an Xserver. A wonderful blog outlining the process can be found here.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Beans
    11

    Re: Multiseat Ubuntu 12.04

    Quote Originally Posted by |Anthony| View Post
    I have a *mostly* working multiseat setup built on Xubuntu 12.04. It wasn't too difficult to get it sorted out, but the one thing missing is audio per seat. I am still working on that and once it's completed I will update the MultiseatX page.

    I can tell you that using a single gpu makes your journey much more complicated. This will involve using Xephyr which is basically an Xserver that runs inside an Xserver. A wonderful blog outlining the process can be found here.
    Look at my config files attached to the bottom of the multiseatx wiki page. It has all the changes necessary to make per seat audio working.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Beans
    24

    Re: Multiseat Ubuntu 12.04

    Quote Originally Posted by bastafidli View Post
    Look at my config files attached to the bottom of the multiseatx wiki page. It has all the changes necessary to make per seat audio working.
    Does your implementation follow the seat, or the user? That is to say, do your users have to login at the same seat every time, or does it not matter who logs on to a seat since the sound is tied to the seat, not the user?

    Also, it would be nice for you to explain your methods. What is the purpose of each file and what do the specific settings therein do?

    Please consider providing your answer on the question i asked specifically regarding multiseat and pulseaudio

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Puerto Rico
    Beans
    67
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Lightbulb Re: Multiseat Ubuntu 12.04

    i had been thinking to try multi seat since my family oftem want to use the computers at night so i thought
    if alsa could be recall for each seat by assigning N+1 addresses or is this issue with sound had been fix already?

    dont know if i explain my self just in case i am a newbie so dont shoot me hope to get any information regarding multi seat and 12.04 i want to try it soon...


    will be a nice learning project for me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Beans
    8

    Re: Multiseat Ubuntu 12.04

    I'm very excited to have this finally work!

    So I mostly followed bastafidli's xorg.conf. I use kdm and specify a full /dev/.../by-path/... for each mouse and keyboard.

    My problem is if the usb hub gets bumped, I plug something in or take something out. The mouse typically stops working and won't work again until kdm is restarted. Is there a way to have X be better at reconnecting devices? Or could I use some kind of proxy server or another way to keep the input hooked up? This is so close but this will be a dealbreaker if the seats are going to keep going dead on me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Beans
    8

    Re: Multiseat Ubuntu 12.04

    BTW, I've got two pcix nvidia cards in a board with nvidia onboard graphics. I have one more slot I'll put a card in if these last issues can be swept up. Quad-core amd, enough to keep up.

    For the record, my config: https://gist.github.com/4043690
    Last edited by bmidgley; November 10th, 2012 at 07:12 AM. Reason: detail

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