Running multiple X11 sessions

Posted by Steve on Tue 18 Jan 2005 at 11:14

Tags: , ,

For testing out Window managers, or developing applications it's sometimes useful to run more than one X11 Window session. Normally you'd do that by setting up X to run on another virtual terminal, but thats a bit awkward to use, and only works if you're physically in front of the machine. Instead you could run nested X11 sessions.

XNest allows you to start a new X11 session inside your current one, running completely seperate from it.

It's very useful for testing out Window Managers, as you can only have one window manager running at a time.

xnest is usually installed when you setup the X11 window system on Debian machines, but if it's not you can get it by running the following command as root:

apt-get install xnest

Usage is very simple:

Xnest -ac :2

This will create a new window which has the DISPLAY string set to ":2". (The -ac flag allows you to connect to it, and is important).

Once this is done you can run commands that will display inside that by adding "-display :2" to their command line, such as:

xterm -display :2

This will give you an xterm running inside your new X11 environment.

To run a new window manager run:

/etc/alternatives/x-window-manager -display :2

This will give you your default window manager in the new session, which you can use to execute programs, etc.

If you wish to test out a new window manager, such as xfce you can do that by running as root:

apt-get install xfce4


Xnest -ac :22 &
export DISPLAY=:22
xfce4-session &

This sets up a new X11 session running as ":22", and then starts a copy of the xfce environment inside it.

If you like it you can set this up as your primary window manager, if not you can just remove it..



Posted by Anonymous (60.231.xx.xx) on Mon 27 Jun 2005 at 05:10
erm... why is that I always have problems with my linux system... i must suck. and i'm a newbie trying to learn.. When i type the command Xnest -ac :2 on tty1 while running gnome on tty7 it says 'Fatal server error: Unable to open display "2"' and when i type the command in a terminal in gnome it says _XSERVTransSocketUNIXCreateListener: ...SocketCreateListener() failed
_XSERVTransMakeAllCOTSServerListeners: server already running

Fatal server error:
Cannot establish any listening sockets - Make sure an X server isn't already running
can you please help me??

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Posted by marculin76 (195.7.xx.xx) on Wed 22 Mar 2006 at 16:02
--- sorry for the english :p ---

got the same problem me too...but before another words, see this article that say a bit about X x/

finded in :) From my debian machine I have used Xnest program to test the new KDE's release, 3.5.1, after downloaded it, configured it, maked & make installed all the packages in my home folder...nearly to 9 hours of CPU and memory to 100%...

from konsole (tty0 within kde 3.3.2) I launch

Xnest :2 &
then I generate one 'cookie' for the authetication client versus X :2
Xauth generate :2 .
I lauched for test
xconsole -display :2
that is appeared in X within Xnest window
then I have exported
replacing the default in :0.0
I launch
(of KDE 3.5.1) without to indicate the display
and finally I started
(of KDE 3.5.1) and it's appeared in Xnest in all its splendore ;B

(this i think that is not mandatory or can do in temporary way)Before all I had added in PATH the absolute path for new KDE binary, in LD_LIBRARY the path to KDE lib and create the variable KDEDIR pointed on installation folder.

sorry for xfce, i didn' not tried yet but the new Konqueror is a really kick ass !!! ...rock'on guys...

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