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Re: [Xen-users] Multi headed, Multi user partially virtualized environme

To: Andreas <register090711c@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Xen-users] Multi headed, Multi user partially virtualized environment - feasible?
From: Rudi Ahlers <Rudi@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2011 12:37:20 +0200
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On Sun, Jul 10, 2011 at 11:57 AM, Andreas <register090711c@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>> AFAIK a normal PC can only accept input from one keyboard and one mouse at a time. So your biggest challenge would be to figure out

>> how to bind a mouse and keyboard to one specific VM, then another keyboard & mouse to another VM.
>> One would normally use a dumb terminal for each user who needs to connect in this case, so I'm not sure if what you want todo would be

>> possible with today's hardware.

>There's no such hardware restriction, and never really has been AFAIK. Even back when PS2 (and older) keyboards were in use, there wasn't

>(to my knowledge) any fundamental restriction that would have prevented multiple interfaces being supported. Now it's all USB it's moot

>anyway >- you can add something like 60 keyboards and mice (limit is 127 devices total IIRC).
>The real problem is, as you say, in software/OS support to route devices to VMs.

Its possible to setup a linux box to use serveral independent screens and keybords/mice so serveral people can work on it (google for "linux multi seat"). Thats what i assumed as a base for my project. I don't know if you can assign whole USB hubs this way, though.

Wow, I honestly didn't know this could actually be done,and sorry for my ignorance in this regard. I actually wanted todo something like this a few (4/5) years ago for our home PC usage to save some cash but couldn't get it to work due the "limitations" which I encountered and explained above. So I ended up buying myself and my wife a new laptop instead since the PC I had at home, at that time was due for an upgrade in anycase.

So, if i just configure the "zero clients" as simple linux desktops, it should work for the most part, although i don't know if assigning a DVI port to a session can be done "on the fly".
-> Linux can handle and map multiple inputs

I would presume VGA pass-through would allow this, but I've honestly never had to use it.

A quick google search revealed some interesting results:

Check this out as well:

BUT, I honestly don't know if a VGA card's 2 DVI ports can be controlled individually like VGA devices . 


Problem is the xen part - running an emulated unaccelerated windows in virtualbox via x should work with this setup, but with slow graphics.
So i want to run that in xen, but don't know how what possibilities for hardware mapping xen offers.

I assume Dom0 would manage the screens?
Can i assign a "half graphic card" (1 DVI port) to a DomU or would i need a seperate card per session/VM?


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Kind Regards
Rudi Ahlers

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