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Is there any specific technology that allows me to multiple login to the same computer?

This is useful when I have only one license for an application, and I need multiple users to access it simultaneously. The fact that I have only once license, one installation eases the upgrade and maintenance too.

I am using Windows

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Which platform? Linux can always do it, Windows will need some convincing for this. Are you sure the app licence allows this? – Peter Smit Aug 17 '09 at 8:07
Check the license agreement of your software. This isn't necessarily a solution for your problem and whatever solution you find, it may break your license. – innaM Aug 17 '09 at 8:39
The example you've given would be a license violation, since the license only allows one user to use the application. Please provide a better example. – Wim ten Brink Aug 17 '09 at 10:17
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I know that some users of a software product that my employer sells are installing the application in a Terminal Server environment, with multiple users logging into the same system through remote desktop/terminal services applications. This seems to provide them with the same solution that you're looking for. Unfortunately for those customers, we don't support this solution so if they have any installation problems or other conflicts, they'll have to solve it themselves or pay an additional fee for extra support. (Because we might need to hire a specialist to solve it for them.)

These users do make sure they've purchased multiple licenses, which is a good thing since the application does check how many users are using the specific version. Our software will block any access if the number of users exceeds the number of licenses. The application that you want to share might have the same restriction.

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Assuming you are using Windows you can use Remote Desktop on a Server OS to handle this. Pro editions don't allow multiple users to login at once.

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Sorry! I must have misread your answer. Are you saying that Windows XP Pro disallow multiple users login? – Graviton Aug 17 '09 at 8:25
You can have multiple user logins defined but only one active user at any one time running on the console or via RDP. In Windows you need to look at running Terminal Services on a Server edition however this would bring extra license costs and would almost certainly invalidate the license for the application you mention. – Chris W Aug 17 '09 at 8:42
If you don't mind being a bit dodgey (and let's be honest, you're trying to get around a license restriction already) you CAN enable multiple sessions/logins to an XP machine via Remote Desktop, but it will most likely void any support and your license agreement.…. Use at your own risk - I havent used this method myself so I can't vouch for it. – Mark Henderson Aug 17 '09 at 8:58
@Farseeker, are you suggesting illegal activities with your remark? While it would work, if this is a company computer then the company is at risk of getting a huge fine for doing this "simple hack"! For use at home, okay. But in a business environment definitely a big No!No!... – Wim ten Brink Aug 17 '09 at 10:25
Hmm, not suggesting anything, education isn't a crime :) In fact we make a real point of making sure that we license everything to the letter in our own shop... – Mark Henderson Aug 18 '09 at 1:54

Contact the vendor and ensure your license allows what you are trying to achieve and that they support this configuration, so that if things dont work as expected or some other issues arise (ie: application configuration corruption, multiple copies not instantiated) you can get some help.

Also test this in a test environment with multiple users simulation real work loads to ensure it does operate at a multi-user level if supported by the company that supports it.

If the company does not support this, or it violates your license then you possibly could look at using a virtual environment that is created by the IT department and rolled out to the licensed users. Then you only have to ensure each user has the latest VM for patches and updates and ensure the application writes it's data to a network share thus not having to worry about replacing the VM on the clients machine anytime you need to provide some fixes or hotfixes.

Your requirements may vary and none of this information may help you in your requirements but it may give you some food for thought :)

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Microsoft actually built this functionality into Windows, and intentionally associates a given user session with a "Desktop" resource. When you use Remote Desktop (a.k.a Terminal Services) to connect to a Windows computer, that connection is associated with a different "Desktop" and therefore runs completely separately from someone logged in at the console or on another remote session. It goes likewise for Fast User Switching.

However, the sales and marketing part of the company noted that if two people are logged on to the computer at the same time, it's kind of like running two copies of Windows simultaneously, even though you've only paid for one.

So the consumer versions of Windows restrict you to one user logged on at a time. When someone else logs on, all existing sessions are suspended. This isn't a technical limitation, it's an artificially-imposed restriction.

The "Server" versions of Windows generously allow you to have two users logged on to a single server simultaneously. You can even have two instances of the same user logged on at once, and the desktop sessions will be kept separate.

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