How can I allow four people to use a single computer each with an individual screen and computer session?

Joseph Videtto December 10, 2012

Is it possible for 1 computer with 4 virtual machines to serve 4 different users with CRTs and keyboards, but no motherboards and CPUs? I guess you see what I’m getting at – can 4 users have their own sessions and separate CRTs for each, if only 1 Windows computer has been purchased ? If not via Windows, is there another way to let 4 users work off a single computer – say even with Linux or some other operating system? In other words, what is the cheapest way to give 4 people internet access and their own CRTs with browsers?



  1. Rajnish Pati
    December 28, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Use Low Cost Thin Client device
    by using windows Server OS
    using RDP Services

    if want more details send me mail

  2. Yosef Maayan
    December 11, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Is there a verso of this that runs on a mac?

  3. luis donis
    December 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    SoftXpand is excellent is the better it works fine

  4. Babylon78
    December 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Have you looked at nComputing?
    Something like this:

    this is a 5 computer kit for $299 (+ your main computer of course)

    • Joseph Videtto
      December 13, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      ...that's why I love this site - had no idea something like this existed. thx for the suggestion - have you or anyone you know tried it out ?

      • Babylon78
        December 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm

        I used it at my school district (i'm an admin), and though for really large groups, I wouldn't recommend it, I think it would be a great solution for home use.

        (If you're really going to connect 5 users to it, with moderate use, I wouldn't skimp out on the PC that you're getting as the main hub), the better the PC you have, the better experience the end users will have when you connect the nComputing devices.

    • Vishal Srivastava
      December 14, 2012 at 5:16 am

      Even I'm thankful for this reply. I didn't know something like this existed!!

  5. Alan
    December 11, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    i have 4 computers for 1 user :)

  6. josemon maliakal
    December 11, 2012 at 4:04 am

    why don't you create different user accounts and assign them to different people.

    • Joseph Videtto
      December 11, 2012 at 10:55 am

      how will that allow multiple users to use one computer at the same time ?

      • Charles Yost
        December 11, 2012 at 8:37 pm

        you would have to use softxpand to do that. I don't think the Windows OS lets more than one person to use the computer at the same time. I am pretty sure that is logs the other user out when you try to sign on. Not a very good idea if they are working on something important.

  7. pp potana
    December 11, 2012 at 2:26 am

    Use softxpand and it supports two computers with one cpu

  8. Giggity Goebbels
    December 11, 2012 at 2:21 am

    Use softxpand

    • Hunbuhbhuygb Ygygbgybygb
      December 11, 2012 at 6:36 am

      Yeah softxpand is very good.though you can use windows multipoint server 2011 for this

    • Douglas Mutay
      December 11, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Yes Softexpend seems to be a very good option. How much does the license for home user cost?

    • Joseph Videtto
      December 11, 2012 at 11:00 am

      Have you or anyone you know done a cost analysis for a particular configuration ? I'd love to know how much money I can save via this approach vs. purchasing separate computers. Also - whether multiple users watching youtube videos or other bandwidth heavy internet apps would slow down the system excessively.

      • Giggity Goebbels
        December 11, 2012 at 11:47 am

        The software is cheap,you need a graphics card that support 4 screens,or use multiple graphics card.then the software do the rest.of course you can also get extra computers,pentium or celeron builds nowadays with h61 chipset and intel hd graphics are 200+$.graphics card that are good is also around that price so yeah,but you will not need 4 graphics card for now its your decision.

      • Giggity Goebbels
        December 11, 2012 at 11:56 am

        One more thing the 4 sessions are all sucking power from one computer,so if it is low end(eg i3) it is not very wise to use this.i think the best is to get another computer ,and each now run 2 screen.also the license for 2 screens are cheaper and the multi screens afaik is only for business(but it might be otherwise).if you get a new computer,a pentium g840 (dual core,sandy bridge,3mb L3 cache)will be enough for 2 stations (not for gaming,more simple tasks and online games will run fine,and since ram is cheap,each computer should have 8gb ram.i am not very familiar with video cards,so i cannot give any suggestions for that.

      • dragonmouth
        February 13, 2013 at 10:35 pm

        If you want to use OptiPlex 270's, forget it. Those computers do not have enough horsepower for one YouTube session, let alone 4 concurrent ones. There are many things you can do on the cheap but there also are many things that you have to spend money on.

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