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Why am I not able to have parallel gnome-terminals on my server while I can on my client.

Here is a test that illustrates the problem.

# this is the parent script
gnome-terminal --command "./"
gnome-terminal --command "./"

echo "this is the left script"
read -p "press any key to close this terminal" key

echo "this is the right script"
read -p "press any key to close this terminal" key

When I run this on a regular ubuntu desktop (maverick) I see two terminals. When I run this on a maverick server at a server farm, the second window does not appear until after I close the first one. I am using tightvncserver to view the server desktop.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

gnome-terminal running locally uses a background "factory" server which owns the actual terminal windows; the gnome-terminal command itself exits after contacting the server over DBus and telling it to launch a window. When running remotely, it does not have the ability to communicate with a factory server, so it sets up the window itself and must continue running until that window is closed.

If you put the command in the background with & you will get the effect you want regardless of remote or local (or use of --disable-factory which would cause the local ones to behave like the remote ones). You probably want a final wait command in the script in that case.

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It seems that even the & for backgrounding is not needed if VNC is used to run the scripts. The & helps if you are using an SSH console on the client to run the remote script. – H2ONaCl Apr 23 '12 at 10:26

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