[xmonad] Multiple user setup

Rickard Nilsson rickard.nilsson at telia.com
Fri May 15 08:03:32 EDT 2009


Currently I have set up my installation of ArchLinux to auto-login two  
users on two different virtual consoles, starting one X server each.  
One X server runs Xmonad and the other one runs Gnome. This way it's  
possible to switch between the the two users' desktops with  
Ctrl-Alt-F1/F2. It works quite nicely, apart from the fact that  
virtual console switching is a bit slow. That could maybe change in  
the future, with kernel mode setting etc.

However, I am pondering a different setup, where I only start one  
Xserver running Xmonad. Then I would let that instance of Xmonad start  
two instances of Xephyr (a nested X server), one that runs another  
instance of Xmonad and one that runs Gnome. I could switch between the  
users's desktops by appropriate key bindings in the bottom Xmonad  
instance. The first Xmonad instance would run as a separate user, or  
maybe the root user.

I can see several advantages with this approach; faster user  
switching, global key actions configurable in Haskell, global Xmobar  

Do you think this is a feasible setup? Is Xmonad lightweight enough  
for this configuration? Can the key bindings in the two Xmonad  
instances be coordinated easily (can I somehow create a "clean"  
configuration in the root Xmonad, removing all defaults and just add a  
few global key bindings)?

Or do you think it would just become one big mess? :)

   Rickard Nilsson

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