I'm running StumpWM and currently my girlfriend is sharing this computer. She needs IceWM, which is more conventional.

I want to be able to switch between workspaces using Ctrl-Alt-F8 and Ctrl-8-F7.

But if I do

$ startx -- :1

from a console, under my login while X is running under my girlfriend's login, I get the errors

Could not set DRM Device Bus ID, and Invalid MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1-Key (displayed multiple times)

If I try

Xephyr :1

from an xterm, I get the error

Xephyr cannot open host display, is display set?

Is what I'm trying to do possible? Any help appreciated.

asked 26 Jul '10, 07:41

Andrew's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Please accept an answer so the question/answer can be finished. Or provide more details so we can help.

(20 Apr '11, 14:08) rfelsburg ♦

I don't have the solution for your problem, but I managed to run 2 wm at the same time, albeit one of them (kde, openbox,etc.) is on a window inside another wm (gnome,etc.). I created the following bash script:

xhost +local:username
Xephyr -screen 800x600 -reset -terminate -extension GLX 2>/dev/null :1 &
export DISPLAY=:1

startkde &

Where 'username' is your username (obviously!); You must have 'Xephyr' installed; Screen size is 800x600. Instead of 'startkde' use the executable of your wm.

It worked for me. Tested on Ubuntu 9.04.


answered 01 Aug '10, 22:28

anonymous's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Ah. That works a treat. But I didn't need to use Xephyr. Infact, all that was needed was:

export DISPLAY=:1 startx

typed in on a console!

(10 Aug '10, 09:32) Andrew

What X session manager do you use? I use GDM and I have no problems using multiple window managers. I use AwesomeWM and my girlfriend uses Metacity. I have simply set the following gconf key to awesome:


Works like a charm. GDM takes care of the rest.


answered 28 Jul '10, 07:49

Sander%20Marechal's gravatar image

Sander Marechal
accept rate: 29%

Thanks for your suggestion. I use no X-session manager, just startx. Been wanting to keep it that way. Have found that the solution below works.

(10 Aug '10, 09:32) Andrew
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Asked: 26 Jul '10, 07:41

Seen: 8,025 times

Last updated: 20 Apr '11, 14:08

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