Automatic seat creation capability merged

Hello,

I just wanted to follow up on my last post. I did not see the reply from Joshua_H at the time so I apologize for that, the automatic 20 day window closed. At the time, I would have been using Fedora, probably 27.

What I wanted to mention is that I made a small patch for systemd that enables the Pro8 to act the same way as the UD-160 models and submitted it to be merged to main.(see link below) Presumably, the next version of systemd (The next release should be 245) will contain this support out of the box on any Linux distribution that contains systemd. Being as all I did was make sure the new device IDs are properly recognized, this is using the same code paths that Plugable created some years ago for multiseat on the UD 160.

Currently, my test computer has Ubuntu 18.04. When I plug in the Pro8 what I see is that a new/second login screen automatically comes up as expected without any manual configuration.

https://github.com/systemd/systemd/pull/14516

https://plugable.com/2014/03/06/displaylink-usb-2-0-graphics-adapters-on-linux-2014-edition/

Hi,

Thanks for reaching out to us, I am happy to hear you have had success setting up our UD-Pro8 docking station in a multi-seat configuration!

While we do not specifically support multi-seat anymore we have received a number of questions recently and I have been normally recommending this page ( http://www.multi-seat.com ) as well as the Arch Wiki on multi-seat ( https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Xorg_multiseat ) as good resources.

I am concerned with modifying the default behavior of the docking station in systemd. This patch would be disabling docking station capabilities for many users who are not specifically setting up multi-seat deployments. For example home users who are using the docking station to extend the desktop may run into unexpected behavior after updating systemd or performing a system upgrade. Maybe submitting the patch with the code commented out, allowing multi-seat users to ‘opt-in’ by removing the comment would be a good compromise. Please let me know what you think about this.

Thank you,

Pat
Plugable Technology

Hello Pat, thanks for the prompt reply.

Yes, I was pleasantly surprised that the Pro8 even worked. Your website specifically says in FAQ that Linux is a no go. https://plugable.com/products/ud-pro8/ So when I received the Pro8 I didn’t even use it for a while. Once I got around to plugging it in and seeing that it did work, because I already had a UD160 so I knew how it could be manipulated for greater functionality.

As for multiseat, I am disappointed that that’s no longer specifically supported per company policy since additional seats is such an amazing feature. Given that the Pro8 is not even listed as supported in Linux at all, I don’t know how many users have even attempted this. I may be the only one! But I can request a slight change to the systemd commit which will change ENV{ID_AUTOSEAT}=“1” to ENV{ID_AUTOSEAT}=“0”. This does what it looks like, disables auto-seat creation and leaves standard desktop-extend functionality in place.

The multi-seat website and Arch wiki were useful when I developed EasySeats, for creating seats with a GUI instead of having to re-learn the commands each time. It’s still relatively early and the UI needs re-work, but EasySeats is reliable. I’ll leave you the link to my Github, if you would prefer me to remove the link no prob. There’s both source and JAR executables.

At the end of the day, I hope Plugable would re-visit multiseat functionality, especially since it’s largely feature-complete. My attempts with the Pro8 prove this, an officially unsupported device, at least in my mind.

https://github.com/ezst036

Hi,

Thank you for the updated systemd commit! I will definitely take a look at the EasySeats software, sounds like a great option for deploying and managing multi-seat servers!

I am happy to see so much interest in multi-seat with Linux recently, it is a great option for setting up multiple terminals for very low cost and can be more secure than using separate systems.

We support Linux on our products whenever possible. (Plugable’s founder has even submitted driver code over the years.) Unfortunately USB graphics support in Linux has not been prioritized in the past and is significantly behind Windows and even MacOS support. Additionally migration from X11 to Wayland and increased graphics requirements of many Desktop Environments has made the USB 2, DisplayLink DL-16x docking stations less attractive for the Linux Desktop users.

While I don’t know if we will be able to recommend or support multi-seat with our docking stations in the future, I am glad to see that yourself and other developers are still interested in this technology and pushing it forward.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions, I am always happy to help!

Pat
Plugable Technologies
support@plugable.com