For some reason I want to have 2 GUIs open at different TTYs.

the commands

sudo service lightdm stop/start

will stop/create a new GUI at TTY7. but how can I do the same at different TTYs or redirect its output?

  • 1
    probably not possible without some serious coding. see lightdm.conf. tty7 is hardcoded here (and in other places). edit; have a look at this: – Rinzwind Apr 4 '14 at 18:13
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    as @Rinzwind said it is not possible, in the same user environment. But you can check this question, may be one of answers will fits you – c0rp Apr 4 '14 at 18:19
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    it used to be possible @c0rp (I used to change /etc/inittab and have kde on tty8 and gdm on tty7) lightdm though seems to be very light(as the same stated) multiseat might work but it will take some configurationing – Rinzwind Apr 4 '14 at 18:21
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    interesting topic: – Rinzwind Apr 4 '14 at 18:26
  • @Rinzwind Here the correct sequence is login as another user in a VT and then startx -- :1. In my Ubuntu Gnome / gdm setup will start a new server on tty8. Tested just now. Probably the exact effect is dependent on the xinit scripts, so could be different between gdm , ligthdm and whatnot. – Rmano Apr 4 '14 at 22:25
  • Press Ctrl+Alt+F1(Desired Function key) this way you will switch to another tty
  • After logging in to this console (Entering username and password) run this command: tty this will show you the number of current tty.

  • To start Xserver also run this command (place value of returned tty number in place of n) and for your knowledge :2 is number of the $DISPLAY instance.

startx -display :2 -- :2 vtn &

Like I'm doing this for tty1 here:

startx -display :2 -- :2 vt1 &

at this point you can launch your graphical application though you can use this alternative instead of previous command:

xinit session -- :1 -xf86config config.conf

  • Next step is running a graphical program in TTYn:(like VirtualBox in Virtual terminal n)

Start a detached X server:

sudo X -quiet -nolisten tcp -noreset :4 vtn again replace n with tty number like:vt1

  • Run wathever application you want like VirtualBox, for example:

DISPLAY=:4 virtualbox &

Note: Don't forget the you should enter all these commands just in dedicated tty (Ctrl+Alt+F1) and not in your graphical console.

  • Doesn't seem to work on Ubuntu 16. – jasonszhao Jun 9 '17 at 5:34

I just tested the above answer in response to jasonszhao's comment that it does not work. Using Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS there were no issues with the commands.


sudo X -quiet -nolisten tcp -noreset :4 vtn

"n" in "vtN is the tty number you want to run the graphical display. So in my case I ran

sudo X -quiet -nolisten tcp -noreset :4 vt8

to start another X session on tty8 and then I used

DISPLAY=:4 virtualbox &

to start the program I wanted to run on DISPLAY:4

  • 1st command has to be faulty: 1 " can never be correct. And I end up with a black screen on tty8 with the last 2 commands. – Rinzwind Jul 13 '17 at 15:46

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