Starting a new X session

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:

ccsm &

And then clicked the check box next to “Ubuntu Unity Plugin”:

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