Connect several usb devices and monitors using a single CPU and run simultaneous sessions

Thread Starter

Udit Khandelwal

Joined Oct 15, 2019
1
I want to connect multiple sets of keyboard, mouse and monitors (atleast 5) on a single CPU.
Each work system should be managed by a user session and users can be managed and multiple users can work simultaneously on each work system.
Can you please provide me with some leads on what kind of hardware design or software I should use in order to achieve this so that display on several monitors can be driven and peripheral mapping can be done on it.
What kind of board should I use which can enable me for doing this and also, what kind of connectors can I use?
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
5,579
So you want to create a multi-user system?

What OS is the CPU running?

I don’t know about Linux, but Windows cannot do this out of the box.

I think it’s much more than you think. While you can connect multiple keyboards and mice to a Windows system, they all control the system in parallel. Ie, if you moved the mouse right and then someone moved the mouse right, you’d lose your mouse position.

Similarly, you can have multiple monitors but they must all be controlled by one session.

There are two options.

Install a multi-user OS. I don’t have any suggestions.

Or run an OS on the remote workstations and use Windows Remote Support (or one of its predecessors) to connect to the central workstation. Ethernet would connect everything.

AFAIK, there’s no way to do this without a multi-user OS.
 

eetech00

Joined Jun 8, 2013
1,655
I want to connect multiple sets of keyboard, mouse and monitors (atleast 5) on a single CPU.
Each work system should be managed by a user session and users can be managed and multiple users can work simultaneously on each work system.
Can you please provide me with some leads on what kind of hardware design or software I should use in order to achieve this so that display on several monitors can be driven and peripheral mapping can be done on it.
What kind of board should I use which can enable me for doing this and also, what kind of connectors can I use?
hi

sounds like you should consider VMware VDI, windows terminal (RDP) services, or Citrix server. These systems/software can do all of that but is expensive and usually for companies.

eT
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
8,872
Welcome to AAC!
I want to connect multiple sets of keyboard, mouse and monitors (atleast 5) on a single CPU.
If it's running Linux, connect the monitor, keyboard, and mouse to a $10 Raspberry Pi Zero W and use ssh to connect to the shared computer. If the mouse and keyboard can't share the USB port, you'll need a USB 2.0 hub. The USB port on the Rpi is microUSB and the monitor is mini-HDMI; so you may also need adapters.

If you want a windowed environment, use vncserver/vncviewer.
 

MrSoftware

Joined Oct 29, 2013
1,558
Windows has something similar, not quite exactly what you want. Windows Terminal Server (now called RD Session Host) will give you a single server that can run multiple windows sessions simultaneously. Users at more or less dumb terminals can RDP (remote desktop) into their session on the server. You would however need some sort of dumb terminal hardware for each user that is capable of opening an RDP connection. Check if the terminals can be so dumb that they are diskless and boot over the net from the terminal server.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/termserv/terminal-services-is-now-remote-desktop-services

There may be more options under Linux, but here is one Linux project with similar functionality that was top of the google result:

https://ltsp.github.io/
 

eetech00

Joined Jun 8, 2013
1,655
Windows has something similar, not quite exactly what you want. Windows Terminal Server (now called RD Session Host) will give you a single server that can run multiple windows sessions simultaneously. Users at more or less dumb terminals can RDP (remote desktop) into their session on the server. You would however need some sort of dumb terminal hardware for each user that is capable of opening an RDP connection. Check if the terminals can be so dumb that they are diskless and boot over the net from the terminal server.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/termserv/terminal-services-is-now-remote-desktop-services

There may be more options under Linux, but here is one Linux project with similar functionality that was top of the google result:

https://ltsp.github.io/
yes...I mentioned windows RDP server in post 3.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,536
I'll just drop a motion of VNC4Server (or it's equivalent) here, which for most people will be a better choice than X-Window for a variety of reasons.

It installs on the server and allows multiple, persistent GUI sessions from VNC viewer software on any remote platform. It offers stateless sessions, so disconnecting and reconnecting doesn't have to end your work.

You'll find it in your package manager.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
6,267
I'll just drop a motion of VNC4Server (or it's equivalent) here, which for most people will be a better choice than X-Window for a variety of reasons.

It installs on the server and allows multiple, persistent GUI sessions from VNC viewer software on any remote platform. It offers stateless sessions, so disconnecting and reconnecting doesn't have to end your work.

You'll find it in your package manager.
I use VNC to access remote windows machine as it sends the whole desktop (screenshot). It works great but doesn't provide independent multi-user sessions. On xwindows capable machines you can ssh -X to a remote machine and run GUI applications from the login user on the remote server and control them on the local machine.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,536
I use VNC to access remote windows machine as it sends the whole desktop (screenshot). It works great but doesn't provide independent multi-user sessions. On xwindows capable machines you can ssh -X to a remote machine and run GUI applications from the login user on the remote server and control them on the local machine.
vnc4server offers desktop access without the statefulness of X Window. The session runs even after disconnect, and you can create as many sessions are you want, each independent and password protected.

It is also much more efficient using the network than X Window since it is based on VNC.

It looks like an X server to local applications and window managers, and a VNC server to the remote user.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
6,267
vnc4server offers desktop access without the statefulness of X Window. The session runs even after disconnect, and you can create as many sessions are you want, each independent and password protected.

It is also much more efficient using the network than X Window since it is based on VNC.

It looks like an X server to local applications and window managers, and a VNC server to the remote user.
I agree if your needs don't lie outside the limitations of VNC in remote Linux/Unix to Linux/Unix networks where X11 Window Forwarding is the common denominator.
https://www.ubuntupit.com/10-fast-and-secure-remote-desktop-client-software-for-linux/
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
1,536
I agree if your needs don't lie outside the limitations of VNC in remote Linux/Unix to Linux/Unix networks where X11 Window Forwarding is the common denominator.
https://www.ubuntupit.com/10-fast-and-secure-remote-desktop-client-software-for-linux/

Just to be clear, vnc4server doesn't use X Window on the remote side at all, only on the host where it acts like an X server. You can run any Window manager, and the VNC bit is used to transport desktop, keyboard, and mouse to the remote machine. So, no ssh session, no X forwarding, just a port on the remote machine the VNC client connects to.

Also, it isn't really an answer to the TS inquiry, it only came up because of other comments.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
6,267
Slow rainy day so I decided to look into the way-back machine junk box to setup an (20 year) old HP_X-Terminal so it can boot from the main Linux server. Found the old hpux client software on archive.org. Reconfigured the NFS server to accept version 2 (the current version is 4+) mount requests and added a server DHCP entry to supply the needed params to the X-terminal on boot so it could find the local application files.

Slow (cpu, memory and network) but it can display and manipulate MPLABX on the remote screen while the program runs on the server.:eek: OK, back in the box.



 
Top