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Xnest lets you start multiple (nested) X-sessions on the same box simultaniously. This provides great fun, and sometimes can even be very usefull. Every Linux user should have tried it!
Things you might want to do with Xnest:
Xnest :1 -ac & xclock -display :1
Now you should see a X-screen without a background and a Xclock on it. If this works, you’re in business 🙂
The :1 in the example above, is the number of your Xsession. :0 is your “regular” Xsession. So if you want to simultaniously open several Xnests, you should change this number:
Xnest :1 -ac & Xnest :2 -ac & Xnest :3 -ac & etc.
Kill the xclock with <Ctrl-C>.
Next we are going the start a windowmanager. We start with twm (many distros install twm by default, if not then install it first) an ancient but still useable windowmanager:
twm -display :1
Perhaps you see nothing happening, but if you click with your left or right mousebutton in the Xnest screen, you should.
This way you can try many different windowmanagers to find out what your favorite could be.
Some problems you might run into:
Play around, experiment and have fun. It could be nice to work as several users different on your system, so that will be our next experiment:
xhost + su - different_user export DISPLAY=ipnumber:0 Xnest :4 -display :0 & ratpoison -d :4
Open source software allways inspire people to develop more and more applications. There is a wide range of window managers available. Take a look at xwinman.org – windowmanagers for X and take your pick!
For this kind of experimenting you will find debian most suited. Most applications are only an apt-get away …