I like the idea of virtual desktops and it’s a nice tool, but what I really wanted to do was to start a completely separate X session on my Ubuntu box. A bit of googling suggested that I create a separate user account (so that the two X sessions don’t conflict with eachother) and that I run the X session on a different terminal from where the X session was launched.
So I did that. I created a test account, hit CONTROL-ALT-F4 to get to the terminal, logged in with my newly created account, and ran this command to start the new X session:
startx /usr/bin/gnome-session -- :1 vt5
And that seemed to go fine but all that gave me was this blank Ubuntu screen on terminal 5:
So close, yet so far. After playing around, I found that to start the whole Unity experience, I needed to enable the Unity plugin in compiz. So, I hit CONTROL-ALT-T to bring up a terminal:
And from the command prompt ran:
Nice. The gnome session fallback is easier to setup since that doesn’t use compiz and the whole UI starts immediately:
startx /usr/bin/gnome-session-fallback -- :1 vt5