X11 and virtual consoles.... (startx + vlock)

Eric Schuele e.schuele at computer.org
Tue Apr 18 04:16:42 UTC 2006

Eric Schuele wrote:
> Hello,
> [hadn't worn my newbie hat lately... so I thought I'd try it on.]
> Is there a way to run X via startx and prevent someone from switching 
> back to the console that started it and pressing Ctrl-C, without using 
> DontVTSwitch in my xorg.conf file?
> I would like to be able to use multiple virtual consoles.  But do not 
> like the idea of someone switching back to *my* virtual console... 
> killing X and having my account available to them.  This way I could 
> lock my session via xscreensaver, and walk away.  Then someone else 
> could login and use the machine... just not *my* account.
> I had envisioned something like a script that did the following:
>   #!/bin/sh
>   startx &
>   vlock
> Yet vlock does not like this at all.  I was hoping to background 
> startx... and then lock the virtual console. :)

A little more info....
So it appears that vlock works if I "manually" background startx from 
the console, and then run vlock.  but inside the script vlock gets into 
a loop in which it thinks it is seeing keystrokes... and repeatedly 
(quickly) says that the password is bad, please try again.   It does 
this forever.

Additionally, the script works just fine for root.  It behaves exactly 
as I would like.  It startx and then locks the console.

Lastly,  I have done a bit more googling, looking for vlock and startx 
specifically... and found that (at least in the past) many people have 
done it this way with success.  I'm not sure what I might be doing wrong 

I did turn up one bug that sounds very much like what I am experiencing 
but it appears to have been fixed some time ago.  I wonder if there is a 
regression?  Anyone using `startx &; vlock` successfully?

> Is there anything that might accomplish something similar?
> Thanks.


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