[Smaug] Help with multihead Linux box

Peter Belew abcruzww at gmail.com
Sat Sep 3 20:02:14 PDT 2005


>From the hardware point of view, it may not be a big deal to support 
multiple VGA-type adapters, using different ranges of memory addresses for 
each. But the video drivers are going to be eating up a lot of memory 
bandwidth, on the same bus. Another issue is whether drivers and other 
software exists to support this kind of configuration, and whether it's 
worth someone's time to develop the software if it doesn't exist.

Multiple VT/Wyse/etc terminals are well supported, and they are fairly 
cheap. So there would be no worries about having a special software 
configuration to support.

Alternatively, multiple stripped-down PCs running a minimal Linux, Windows, 
or even DOS (with appropriate Ethernet drivers) would work fine. I would use 
Ethernet to connect them because Ethernet cards are really cheap (There are 
plenty of $5 Ethernet cards available). There would be no need for a 
multiport serial card in that case.

- Peter

On 9/3/05, Thomas Leavitt <thomas at thomasleavitt.org> wrote:
> 
> If all you're doing is text sessions, why are you trying to run six
> separate video cards? PC hardware was simply not designed to run this
> way, and getting it to do so is likely to be extremely expensive.
> 
> Get a multi-port serial card, and then connect 6 terminals to it...
> these can either be ancient VT style terminals (usually available for a
> hundred bucks or so), or stripped down PCs that boot off the network and
> run only shell sessions without X, etc.
> 
> Thomas
> 
> On Sat, 2005-09-03 at 12:00 -0700, smaug-request at lists.svlug.org wrote:
> > Message: 1
> > Date: Fri, 02 Sep 2005 14:43:15 -0700
> > From: William Estrada <mrumunhum at popdial.com>
> > Subject: [Smaug] Help with multihead Linux box
> > To: smaug at lists.svlug.org
> > Message-ID: <4318C773.5030902 at popdial.com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> >
> >
> > Hi guys,
> >
> > I am trying to put to gather a Linux workstation that will support 6
> > users at once. I need to know how to setup a multi headed PC with
> > 6 Video cards and displays, 6 USB keyboards and 6 USB mice. Each
> > display will be running a login for a single user. I don't want an
> > X session on them. It will be text session only. I plan to use Lynx
> > as a browser. I will be writing a web based Email server or use
> > Yahoo?
> >
> > I am currently using my build PC to test the concept and it is not
> > working.
> > I have two video cards in it, one with dual outputs. That would be
> > three
> > terminals if they worked. I can figure out how to configure the
> > system.
> > Has anyone been successful with a setup like this? If so how?
> >
> > Thanks for your time.
> > --
> > William Estrada
> > <HTTP://www.Mt-Umunhum-Wireless.net/resume/william_estrada.html>
> > --
> > MrUmunhum at popdial dot com <mailto:MrUmunhum at popdial.com> --
> > 408-997-0743
> > Ymessenger ID: MrUmunhum
> > HTTP://Mt-Umunhum-Wireless.net
> 
> 
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> 


-- 
http://www.sonic.net/~peterbe/
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