[ALUG] Anybody else ever tried fast-user-switching as contex

(Ted Harding) ted.harding at nessie.mcc.ac.uk
Wed Jun 20 16:36:07 BST 2007

On 20-Jun-07 13:36:11, Ruth Bygrave wrote:
> [...]
> Am currently giving advice on LJ to a Mac user thinking of Linux
> dual-boot that she will almost certainly find it an unrewarding
> experience because dual-boot works for almost nobody (I'm fairly
> sure that this is likely to be the case for Macintel as well, but
> have no actual data as my box is G4), and that she'd have far more
> luck buying a cheap secondhand laptop for Linux 'play' and 'switching
> sideways' so that she can retreat to the user-comfort-zone between
> fits of geek-fu.

That looks like a very good idea. While I don't know from direct
experience, I should imagine that OS X's networking (being BSD
based) is very compatible with Linux's, so she (and you ... )
could have a Linux box (which for many purposes can be cheap
near-junk hardware) cabled to a Mac box, and be able to log in
to either from the other. Then you get the best of both worlds.

The one question I know nothing about is the relationship between
the Mac GUI and the Linux GUI (by which I mean X Windows, regardless
of which window manager, such as GNOME/KDE, gets involved).

On two or more networked Linux boxes, provided all have X-capable
applications installed and the one you're sitting at is actually
running X, you can run any application on any box you're logged
into, and have its display appear on your own screen as if you
were sitting at the machine it's really running on.

I don't know at all whether the Mac's windows can be displayed
in this way on a networked Linux box.

It would be great if it was possible. There have been solutions
(sort of) to getting this to happen with Windows boxes cabled
to Linux boxes (a sort of X emulation for Windows), so I should
think that (a) it's possible on a Mac; (b) Apple have thought
of it. But, if the ghetto is as closed as you suggest, Apple may
not be encouraging it to happen!

My Mac-fan friend the other day emailed me to the effect that
"this is the future!", following the anouncement of the forthcoming
release of Leopard. The main thing that struck me was the "Spaces"
feature which, as has already been pointed out, has been a feature
of Linux since a very long time ago. (I pointed this out to him
too, and I hope I haven't offended or upset him).

Perhaps when you come to the meets (especially the occasional
kit-meets) people will happily demonstrate the flexibility and
"fast user switching" that this enables.

>> Our meetings are the second Thursday of every month in the Reindeer  
>> Pub(dereham road) in norwich, but there is also an Ipswich group
>> which meet every 3rd Monday I think?!? But of course you and Adrian
>> would be most welcome, conversations and topics (as you have proven)
>> are vast!
> Went to the Ips group this week, and noticed that even though I  
> couldn't get any help with the problem I _thought_ I was going for,  
> the group is a far better fit for me personally than ghetto-Mac. May  
> consider coming to the Norwich group for social reasons if I haven't  
> frightened you off yet :-)

No, you haven't. Indeed, I get the impression that people are
queuing up to get you straight on Linux! Ipswich or Norwich,
I'm sure you'll be very welcome.

Best wishes,

E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <ted.harding at nessie.mcc.ac.uk>
Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
Date: 20-Jun-07                                       Time: 16:36:01
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