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Handling Multiple Displays with x2x - page 3

Two Displays, One Problem

  • September 27, 2005
  • By Rob Reilly

Some people may have three machines to control. You can copy the headless script over to the third machine. Since the laptop will be controlling the three screens, no changes need to be made to the script. Naturally, the user accounts need to be synced and I assume machine three will run KDE. You don't necessarily need to keep KDE though. Change the second line and give another window manager a try, if you are adventurous.

One difference is that x2x will need to be started with the -east option. This will make the cursor switch to machine three when you roll the mouse off the right side of the laptop screen. Don't forget that you'll also be starting x2x for both remote machines, in their own xterms on the laptop.

A couple of other options that you might try are the "label" and "wait" switches. Label overrides the title of the control window, which might be helpful to keep of your screens over ssh.

The wait option lets x2x sit there and poll until the from or to machines become available. This might be useful if you run x2x from a script.

Another useful switch is for "north" and "south" machines. Conceivably, you could then control up to four machines from your laptop. Sadly, these options apparently aren't implemented in my version. Take a look at the x2x man page for a complete list.

I also wanted to mention that the commands that I used to set up X on the desktop machine is not very secure. So, you'll probably want to look at using MIT-Magic-Cookie authentication or tunneling through ssh. Both are mentioned on the x2x home page. The method outlined works fine for my little lab network where I can keep an eye on who's logged in.

x2x is a nice little program to use for controlling multiple Linux machines from one keyboard and mouse.

I'm happy because I don't have to close my laptop lid any more.

Rob Reilly is a consultant, writer, and commentator who advises clients on business & technology projects. He is also a Contributing Editor for Linux Today. Send him a note or visit his Web site at http://home.earthlink.net/~robreilly.

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