Xnest – XDMCP protocol and virtual DM

An IceWM Xephyr session is running inside a Fl...
An IceWM Xephyr session is running inside a Fluxbox Xephyr session, which is running inside another IceWM Xephyr session, which is running under Linux Mint 8. (Note that Fluxbox is also licensed under the MIT license by the Fluxbox developers, but IceWM is released under the GPL and LGPL by Marko Ma?ek.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

XDMCP is protocol that allows remote connections and provides you with a working Display Manager like KDE, GNome, et al. Its a remote connection protocol that is mostly enabled on Solaris and disabled on most Linux boxes. If you need to have a remote session where you need the X Display to open some GUI applications then you can have a connection with the remote server with XDMCP.

If you need to have a XDMCP session then you can use the following command to start a session:

Xephyr -name amit -title aka -query  -wr :1 -screen 1024x768 -host-cursor &

For this session we are using Xephyr. To install the same you can do the following:

sudo yum install xorg-x11-server-Xephyr

You can use the above command with Xnest also :). Just replace Xephyr in both the commands with Xnest.

Also, this can be very useful to get a session on the current system with a different username also. For example, I normally have to work with 2 users on the same system, and hence open nested X-window for the second user like so:

Xephyr -name amit -title aka -wr :1 -screen 1024x768 -host-cursor &
sudo su - username -c "export DISPLAY=:1 && selectwm" &

In the command above we are using selectwm to be started and you can install that with

sudo yum install selectwm

Description for selectwm :

selectwm is a simple but robust program that will let you pick a
window manager (or other executable) to run at X startup, and
optionally after a window manager exits. It uses the GTK+ toolkit, and
includes options like a timer to start the default window manager, and
modification of the window manager list from within selectwm.

To understand the options used in the commands above look at the respective man pages.

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Set gnome-shell to start in fallback mode without GUI.

If you run into issues with gnome-shell then gnome-shell should allow you to disable all the plugins and get the gnome-shell. But since gnome-shell is still evolving, you might run into issue where the shell does not come up. What to do in that case. You can set the shell to start in fallback mode, where there are more chances that it will come up.

Alas, but you don’t have a shell or desktop session to do that. Simple, start the gnome-shell and before it is killed, do this:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.session session-name 'gnome-fallback'

And to do this from one of the virtual terminals, you would need the terminal to be able to attach to the running session. You can get the script to do that from the gnome website in How to debug gnome-shell or copy the script below:

gnome_session=$(pgrep -u $USER gnome-session)
eval export $(sed 's/\o000/\n/g;' < /proc/$gnome_session/environ | grep DISPLAY)
eval export $(sed 's/\o000/\n/g;' < /proc/$gnome_session/environ | grep XAUTHORITY)
eval export $(sed 's/\o000/\n/g;' < /proc/$gnome_session/environ | grep DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS)
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Contd:: Evaluation of Distro\’s


Foresight is a desktop operating system featuring an intuitive user interface and a showcase of the latest desktop software, giving users convenient and enjoyable access to their music, photos, videos, documents, and Internet resources.


I liked their logo. Quite simple and intutive.


Logo goes quite well with the Foreground image. Both are same in color and hence it gives you a feeling of theme and not just ramdomly selected foreground.


And definately their Desktop is quite impressive. Very different and elegnant. Worth a look. It definately meets the promise as on their website —

As a Linux distribution, Foresight sets itself apart by eliminating the need for the user to be familiar with Linux, combining a user-focused desktop environment on top of Conary. As the most technically innovative software management system available today, Conary ensures that users can efficiently search, install, and manage all the software on the Foresight system, including bringing in the latest features and fixes without waiting for a major release. Thanks to Conary, Foresight developers can provide those features and fixes through rolling releases, allowing updates to be pushed out as soon as they are available. The latest version of Foresight is 2.0.5 which contains an up to date snapshot of the Foresight respository.


ByzanineOS is a software internet appliance with a home entertainment bias. It is based on a networked Linux distribution/bootable system with Mozilla providing access to a range of services and applications.

ByzanineOS fits in 32MB (or 48MB) of media and should work on any x86 based PC.

Simple to use OS with most of the applications supported on Mozilla. Quite different again.

\"Byzantine \"Byzantine \"Byzantine


Liked the concept that you really don\’t need a X window if you really don\’t want to do anything on the system. It runs a webserver and mostly all configuration needs to be done from the web interface. You don\’t get a shell to work on. You just have a menu with 4-5 options to set a few things and all other things and montitoring needs to be done from the Web Interface.

So what is it? It is network attached Storage OS.

\"FreeNAS \"FreeNAS \"FreeNAS \"FreeNAS \"FreeNAS \"FreeNAS


It did not detect my mouse and I could not do much without the mouse. But I was running it on the QEMU so might be that is the issue. I just got one screenshot. Will try again later with different settings to see if I can get it working.


Linux Mint

It did not come up completely. But I was running it on the QEMU so might be that is the issue. I just got one screenshot. Will try again later with different settings to see if I can get it working.


Do let me know what you think of these various distro\’s.