Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Refer to my title, is it possible to do that? Let say im on Unity with running VPS on Virtual Box, but i want to switch to Gnome without shutdown my VPS and run back on Gnome. Is it possible?

Please advice.

share|improve this question
The DE is in itself a running application, isn't it? – user unknown Jun 27 '12 at 14:50
Yes. Im on unity with running virtual box as server – penreturns Jun 27 '12 at 14:51
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can open n sessions with the same user :

you could install Xephyr o Xnest(older) and then open a new Xsession in a window (like a Picture In Picture):

startx /usr/bin/startkde -- /usr/bin/Xephyr :2


startx /usr/bin/gnome-session -- /usr/bin/Xephyr :2

or CTRL-ALT-F1, login and open a new X-window session:

starx /usr/bin/gnome-session -- :2 or any other session manager or command, ie xterm

And move between sessions with CTRL-ALT-F7,F8 Just beware of RAM :)

share|improve this answer
You cannot move an application from one session to another, however, and the sessions will collide with each other on some matter, so they won't be the full experience, or you may run into other problems with it. – dobey Jul 2 '12 at 13:18

It is not possible to switch the environment out from underneath running applications, as your current user. You can however log in to an additional session as a different user, with the "switch user" feature from the locked screen unlock display, or the session indicator (gear icon in the upper right under Unity).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.