Zapping the Xorg server

Abelenda Diego diego.abelenda at
Thu Aug 26 03:51:06 PDT 2010

On Thu, 26 Aug 2010 11:16:07 +0200
Wolfgang Draxinger <wdraxinger.maillist at> wrote:

> On Thu, 26 Aug 2010 16:25:04 +0900
> Miles Bader <miles at> wrote:
> > (...)
> > Only instead, it kills your X server...  :(
> Ouch...
> Well, using Vim (and I preferably in uxterm) one is kind of protected
> from loosing changes by putting things into a screen session (but of
> course all the other non-text-console programs will loose their
> stuff). Seeing a lot of Emacs users using XEmacs or GNU Emacs in X
> mode that obviously won't work.
> Which brings me to something I always wondered about: Why is there no
> X pendant for screen (or I'm not aware of it)? I.e. some proxy X
> server, opening an additional display passing through X
> transparently, keeping record of prerequisite resources. And make
> this proxy de-/attachable. So far I emulated such using Xvnc, but
> that means no HW acceleration, no indirect GLX and such things. Of
> course such a thing boils down to implementing an almost fully
> featured X server, so if I were to implement such a thing, I'd
> probably start of kdrive/Xephyr.


this message made me think of something, this might or might not be
interesting (or even possible) but here I go :

Some kind of abstraction is needed to make a "screen" equivalent for X.
Maybe something unified that could provide support for hot GPU
switching (for hybrid graphics platforms).

The positive point would be that this kind of thing would allow a really
fast user switching, even keeping applications running while changing
user and so, without having any additional software running, just
locking the desktop and asking for the switch.

In this case the server controlling the screen(s)
[keyboard(s)/mouse(s)] would be something like a network switch,
launched by a "graphic" user which allows to display the content of one
(or multiple) "client" X server. Switching from a client to the other
would mean sending a message to it.

You could even imagine multiplexing multiple clients to allow one
desktop environment to be running on multiple machines, like this
schools that have licenses for running a program on one mainframe could
distribute only the access to the mainframe and the user would lunch
the application as if it were on his machine (maybe a little like "ssh
-X/-Y" works), the drag-and-drop would be something to think about,
and naturally the security is an issue.

Well, as said before, I don't really know if this is interesting or
even feasible. But that would give an unified way to do things like it.

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