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Revision as of 14:07, 7 November 2008 by Ctyler (talk | contribs) (Minor fixups, changed to FeatureReadyForWrangler)

Multiseat Support


Make it simple to configure a system for multiseat operation, where two or more users each have their own keyboard, monitor, and mouse, and can work independently of each other.


Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 11
  • Last updated: 2008-11-07
  • Percentage of completion: 2%

Detailed Description

Linux is inherently multiuser, but PC hardware is usually designed with a single local user in mind. However, it's realitively straightforward to add additional video cards, monitors, and mice to provide access for multiple simultaneous users. F8 provided fairly good multiseat support (with significant manual configuration), but recent changes in in device support and X have removed functionality that is needed for multiseat operation. The removed functionality needs to be added back in and be thoroughly tested on a range of hardware.

Multiseat systems are useful in schools, home offices, libraries, Internet cafes, and other settings, and provide savings in power consumption, capital cost, and administration effort when compared to operating multiple PCs.

Benefit to Fedora

Multiseat is a good solution for several use-cases, and will clearly showcase Fedora's flexibility. However, it is also expected to yield improvements robustness of device support for single-user configurations.

Note: Fedora currently has multiseat users (release <= F8) who are or are about to be using an EOL release. Adding good multiseat support will enable those users to upgrade to a current Fedora release and make it easy for additional users to configure multiseat systems.


Requires testing and possible enhancements in:

  • GDM
  • ConsoleKit
  • hal/udev
  • X
    • input configuration
    • video card drivers

A multiseat configuration tool is also needed.

Test Plan

  1. Arrange access to systems with a variety of multiseat video configurations.
  2. Test multiseat operation on those platforms.
  3. Work with Fedora QA to ensure that we have sufficient coverage.

User Experience

  1. Users of existing multiseat systems (currently stuck at F8) will be able to update their systems to a current Fedora release.
  2. Users configuring a multiseat system for the first time should find it fairly straightforward.
  3. Multiseat systems should operate with the same reliability as single-seat systems.


  • Updated GDM
  • Updated ConsoleKit
  • Alternate or adapted ruleset for udev
  • X changes
    • Fix --noswitchvt
    • Verify options for non-autodetection of input hardware
    • Test combinations of video cards using various drivers (especially dual ATI, dual Nvidia, onboard Intel+ATI, onboard Intel+Nvidia)
  • Creation of configuration tool

Contingency Plan

  • Do not support Multiseat in Fedora -- no change from F9/F10


  • (To be written)

Release Notes

  • (To be written)