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You might have noticed there is an entry in your KDE and Gnome menu called "Start New Session" ( In some distros "Switch User" ). I will try to explain a few things about this feature.

In the "old" days you could at any time do Ctrl+Alt+F1 ( to F6 ) to get a text console you could log in as another user ( also as root ) to perform needed tasks and at the same time have your X running under F7. So switching up and down between the X session and the text session was easy as pressing a few keys on your keyboard.

Now, these days it is possible to start a second X-session and log in as another user ( also root ) on that second X-session and switch between the 2 X-sessions with a simple Ctrl+Alt+F7 and Ctrl+Alt+F8.

Here is how it is done: You select "Start New Session" from the menu and you get the following message:

You have chosen to open another desktop session.
The current session will be hidden and a new login screen will be displayed.
An F-key is assigned to each session; F7 is usually assigned to the first session, F8 to the second session and so on. You can switch between sessions by pressing CTRL, ALT and the appropriate F-key at the same time.

Pressing OK will give you the kdm or gdm ( the login manager your distro uses ) to log in and after logging in you will have the 2 sessions running . . . . hint: you can even have a KDE and a Gnome session running at the same time.

As soon as you log out in one session you will automatically be switched over to the other session . . . isn't that cool ??

Note: Next to the F8 you can start additional X-sessions on the F9, F10, F11 and F12 keys too, so you can have a maximum of 6 text- plus 6 X-sessions which is total of 12 sessions running at the same time on only one computer.


-- May 31 2005 ( Revised Dec 15 2005 ) --

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