2 simultaneous users on a single mac

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by hdsalinas, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. hdsalinas macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2006
    San Pedro Sula, Honduras

    I am getting a MBP this Christmas and my wife is interested in keeping our old PC so that she may be able to use it when I am working on my mac.

    I dont want to keep my PC. So I was wondering... could two users use the same mac simultaneously using separate keyboards, mouse, and monitors?

    I could use the MBP screen, keyboard and track pad while she uses a separate LCD monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse? This way I could do my work while she goes online at the "desktop"

    Is there any software that can duplicate a single mac so that it can be used by two users at the same time?

    Just wondering....
  2. pianoman macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    i'm pretty sure this is impossible. any input devices would not be able to be "split" the way you want so having two keyboards or two mice would just be frustrating, not constructive.
  3. ero87 macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2006
    New York City
    i'm almost positive that this is impossible (it'd be awesome if someone came here and proved me wrong).

    Mac OSX has Fast User Switching, which lets you switch users (with a cool visual effect!) with one click. it's very easy and efficient, though I know that's not what you're looking for...
  4. hdsalinas thread starter macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2006
    San Pedro Sula, Honduras
    But if the input devices could be mapped to user 1 and 2 it could work. I am not a programmer and have no idea if its possible.

    I am sure that the new core2duo are able to support 2 users demands (off course two heavy users would hinder its performance). But for web browsing it should be enough.

    Maybe I should get her a cheap mac mini after all.
  5. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    The other option is to keep the PC, and use some type of remote control to have two session running. If you use it in full screen then it should work fine. The only difference is that anything related to graphics will not work well. You would have to try it and see.
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    I don't see the point because the separate keyboard, mouse, and monitor would be part of a separate computer. But, it is certainly possible--to a point. To run standard X11-based Unix apps, you can run those from any computer in the World which has X Windows installed. Timbuktu Pro and the Mac version of Symantec's PC Anywhere will allow you to run a Mac from another Mac or Windows machine with a companion app--again, from anywhere in the World. The only unresolved issue is whether or not a remote user can login remotely without the aid of a local user. However, you can read-up on each utility's website to answer that question.
  7. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Short answer: No.

    Long answer: No. At least not the way you want to.
  8. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    VNC on the Mac, as well as on Windows, operates differently than it does on a true X11 platform like Linux or BSD. Which is too bad since that would do exactly what you want.

    I wouldn't be surprised, though, if this becomes doable in the near future using virtualization. VMware already allows this on the Linux+Windows end by using VMware server. But it's likely more complicated to do under OS X because of the hardware lock-in.
  9. a456 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2005
    For the time, effort and cost of software you are probably best off grabbing a refurb mac mini - you know that you'll be happier than slogging away on a PC.
  10. savar macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia
    I'm not aware of any software that can do this. In theory it ought to be possible, because Unix was designed for mainframe computing applications, where dozens of users could be logged on via separate terminals. But in OS X, Aqua was never intended to be used this way. I think it *is* possible that you might be able to rig this together using some Linux distribution, but then you'd be in Linux, not OS X. If this is something you're very interested in, then it's worth going to a linux forum and asking if this is possible. You could probably run OS X inside linux with some sort of virtualization software.

    The simple answer is just to keep both machines. Even if you get this running, my guess is that memory usage and CPU load would overwhelm a stock MBP.

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