Attaching Alternate Desktops to Remote X Servers ?

  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've got multiple versions of Ubuntu (Ubuntu, XUbuntu) running on a handfull of computers on the same network.

Each of them are allowing remote X logins on port 6000 and I can connect to each of them fine from the login screen on the single system that has a monitor connected to it.

For the most part I can administer each of these systems fine using SSH/FTP and logging out of my main system to login to a remote desktop. However, I think it would be really cool if I could somehow attach some of the multiple workspaces/virtual-desktops I have on my main system to the X servers of these remote systems.

I could use VNC, which I actually have been doing prior to today, but I'd like to move to using X since the performance is noticably better. That, and I just think it would be super cool to switch between the desktops of multiple systems using the 3D cube switcher and <super>+<tab> hotkey provided by compiz. :D

Anyone have any idea what I'm talking about, any ideas ? :D
  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I know exactly what you want to do but I've never done it. You probably already know what's on the site below but take a look just in case there is something that you missed.

http://www.faqs.org/docs/Linux-mini/Remote-X-Apps.html
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I haven't found a way to get compiz and it's awesome rotating cube to manage switching the screens, and I'm not even sure I did this right, but I did manage to get something working that seems to be oodles better than the VNC way I was using.

I used the following to edit my gdm.conf file
Code: [ Select ]
sudo cp /etc/gdm/gdm.conf /etc/gdm/gdm/conf.bak
sudo gedit /etc/gdm/gdm.conf
  1. sudo cp /etc/gdm/gdm.conf /etc/gdm/gdm/conf.bak
  2. sudo gedit /etc/gdm/gdm.conf


Towards the bottom there's a section like the following.
Code: [ Select ]
# If you wish to run the XDMCP chooser on the local display use the following
# line
#0=Chooser
  1. # If you wish to run the XDMCP chooser on the local display use the following
  2. # line
  3. #0=Chooser


I just added two lines under that, then restarted my system.
Code: [ Select ]
1=Chooser
2=Chooser
  1. 1=Chooser
  2. 2=Chooser


Now when I boot my system the default login screen for this computer displays, then the screen goes black for a second before displaying the XDMCP chooser on two other virtual screens.

I can press CTRL+F7 to go back to the default screen and login to this system.
Then I use CTRL+F8 and CTRL+F9 to switch to the other screens and login to the remote systems using XDCMP.

Now the reason I'm not sure I did it right, is after I login using the second and third screens choosers, the CTRL+F8 and CTRL+F9 hotkeys lead to black screens and I have to use CTRL+F10 and CTRL+F11 to switch to the second and third desktops. :scratchhead:

In any event, I can hold a conversation with myself on MSN now without taking my hand off of the keyboard once ! lol
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I just discovered a slight problem with this setup while watching router lights flicker wildly.

When I'm looking at the default local display, the remote Ubuntu systems connection sits idle. Even when I'm looking at the remote Ubuntu systems screen, the connection is idle unless I move the mouse or something is happening.

However with the remote XUbuntu system, the connection is never idle. It is transfering data from the moment I login to that remote system.
  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Wow, that's amazing, I never would have gotten that far with it. Suppose you run Wireshark to see what type of data transfer is happening with XUbuntu?
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

My first guess is that it's the way that the default display mangager (I forget the name of it) for XUbuntu works.

I really don't like it whatever it is and the system is perfectly capable of running a richer manager, I'll probably look into replacing it with gdm so that it's consistient with the other systems some time this week.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I didn't bother to find out what the exact cause of the constant network traffic with xubuntu-desktop was, but after switching to ubuntu-desktop and making gnome the default session on the remote system network traffic is idle unless I use that system just as expected.

So, the issue must be somewhere iwthin the xubuntu-desktop package for anyone who's interested.

Also, I've removed the "2=Chooser" line from gdm.conf on my mian system so that there's only one alternate desktop active at one time. I shouldn't ever need to be logged into more than two desktops at any time.
  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have an Ubuntu box, 8.x somthing. The default desktop is in an X window or so it seems. What does the Xubuntu desktop look like?
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It looks a lot like the default desktop for Gnone on Ubuntu on the surface.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Xubuntu606.png
The panel positioning and contents work differently, among other differences though.

Going to it from Gnome just felt like a downgrade, and one that I didn't need to do at that, so I switched.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have a hunch that it was the system monitor panel widget that was causing the other desktop manager to cause constant network traffic.

That's the only thing I can think of that is constantly doing something.

So if you're using XUbuntu and have an issue with constant network traffic after setting up multiple displays like I've done in this thread, looking into disabling information widgets, such as the load average and system temp, or at least increasing the update interval to say 10 seconds, is worth looking into.

I'd be willing to bet that if I added a system monitor widget to the current Gnome desktop manager I have on that system, I would see the same network activity.

Just now I was updating the system, meaning there was a progress bar constantly being updated, there was constant network traffic on what would idealy be an idle connection.
  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

After playing with Wireshark, I've come to the conclusion that there is no such thing an idle network. Datagrams (UDP) are constantly flying across the network. The connections maybe considered idle in regards to TCP/IP packets but that's it.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Maybe not idle, but it gets to where there's just some sort of state query packets that don't take much bandwidth and might as well be idle right ?

As long as it's not constantly sending a desktop bitmap across the network when I'm not looking at that screen, I'm happy.

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