[nycbug-talk] X and screen. was: BSD on a desktop

Okan Demirmen okan
Sun Aug 1 17:09:05 EDT 2004

On Sun 2004.08.01 at 07:13 -0400, michael wrote:
> on 20040731 2:04 PM pete wright had written...
> >
> >hey marc,
> >    here is a dumb question...can you run say Xterm in a screen session, 
> >detach the session (along with xterm) then re-attach the session 
> >somewhere else and have the xterm come back.  i've tried it out, but 
> >have a feeling that it's not possible or i'm missing a swtich somewhere.
> >
> >-p
> >
> Pete,
> I'm also a big fan of screen.  The 2 main situations I use it are
> 1.) ssh into a remote server- start a screen session - do stuff, maybe 
> kick off a long compile, dettach.  I can then go to work- ssh into that 
> server and reattach.  The process has been running and I can pick up 
> where I left off.
> 2.) I was uncomfortable with running x on a workstation then walking 
> away.  Anyone could kill the session and drop down to a prompt... with 
> my credentials.  So, I actually use it everytime I run startx.  May 
> would say a common solution would be to use a display manager like XDM, 
> KDM, GDM but.. Common solutions are not always the right ones or the 
> most secure ones.  I may be wrong, but, as far as I know:

and only in the spirit of alternatives, one may start x, backgrounded,
and exit from the console:

startx &
then exit shell
<crtl><f4> or <f7> depending on your setup


> -- Display mgrs require you to run X.. there are many times I just don't 
> want to
> -- Display mgrs require you to launch X as root.
> -- Display mgrs control your machine.. it is very difficult to close X 
> and drop to a prompt... say, if you were going to do a large compile and 
> wanted to free up some overhead
> I wanted to secure my workstation, but, I didn't want to loose access to 
> my console altogether.
> Option "DontVTSwitch" "true"
> Option "DontZap" "true"
> ... would have required a reboot in case something went wrong with X. 
> Disabling "magic sysreq key" and ctrl+alt+del could also lock me out of 
> my own box... except for the Power button and the wall plug.
> My answer was to use a very familiar utility called 'screen'.
> 1) I logon as a user (not root)
> 2) type 'screen', and I'm given a new prompt
> 3) at the new prompt I type 'startx'. Which ever WM/DE is set in the 
> .xinitrc loads (KDE, GNOME, fluxbox...etc).
> 4) <CTRL><ALT><F1> takes me back to the 'screen' prompt.
> 5) "<CTRL><A> d" to detach ('man screen' for more) and I'm back at the 
> original prompt.
> 6) from here I can 'logout'... the logon prompt appears.
> 7) <CTRL><ALT><F7> takes me back to the WM/DE
> I only have to do this once for each re-boot, which is not often.
> Now I can use any X screensaver/lock I choose. I can walk away from my 
> desk knowing X is locked and the box is secured. Without my password, 
> noone can use my credentials. If they need the box, they can log in 
> themselves. I can also recover from any X mishaps more gracefully than a 
> re-boot.
> Michael
> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> talk at lists.nycbug.org
> http://lists.nycbug.org/mailman/listinfo/talk
> % Be sure to check out our Jobs and NYCBUG-announce lists
> % We meet the first Wednesday of the month

Okan Demirmen <okan at demirmen.com>
PGP-Key: http://pgp.mit.edu:11371/pks/lookup?op=get&search=0xB3670934
PGP-Fingerprint: 226D B4AE 78A9 7F4E CD2B 1B44 C281 AF18 B367 0934

More information about the talk mailing list