As part of my day-to-day work, I need to test my software with both admin accounts and non-admin accounts. Fast User Switching (FUS) is nice, for awhile, but it really started to get on my nerves. For one, I’d miss out on real-time entertainment from the company IRC channels. Then there’s the entering of passwords, and waiting for the Big Spinny Cube Effect. These are annoying, but livable.
The big thing is that in some wireless / VPN situations, the net connection would be available in one user but not the other; or the FUS act would disconnect me from the network or the VPN. And since I’m hitting internal resources for testing, this was totally Not Good.
BarryJ, (via my pal Mr. Machine Tool), pointed out that when you switch users with FUS, a window server and a pasteboard server are left running. This means that you can VNC from one user to another already logged-in user on the same machine.
It’s not perfect (the switched user might not be able to log to the console), and sometimes things lock up if I leave it running overnight, but it’s good enough for me to do my work with multiple user accounts and not have to actually FUS between them.
For the server, the changes from the default settings are setting a password, only allowing local connections (which requires SSH to be running). On the client, the host is
localhost. So then FUS to the test user and crank up the server. FUS back to the primary account, and then start the VNC client.