Multi-pointer can be an alternative to multi-seat. Compared to multi-seat, multi-pointer is easier to setup (because no multi-seat experience), allows hardware acceleration and at least one monitor is required. Bad news? Both shared the same xorg server, most things are shared.

As of now, no window manager with active development support multi-pointers with multiple active window. Dwm does not support multi-pointer but here’s a crappy version in which the other users can only control one application through keyboard since there is only one active window at a time.

Configuring inputs

One way to configure input devices is via the xinput tool. Without any arguments given, it should list all the input devices in short format.


It will print all the master device (cursors on screen) and the slave device (physical device). Master device comes in pair, which is pointer and keyboard.

Adding master device

To create another pointer for a new user. First, we add a master device.

xinput create-master Name

Another pointer should appear in the center of the screen by now.

Assigning slave device

We will then require to assign a slave device to the master device. The id of the master and slave device can be found by using xinput.

xinput reattach <slave> <master>

By the end of this, both pointer can move simultaneously but keyboard cannot type in different application simultaneously, this is normal for window manager without multi-pointer support.

Point master device to window

Time to point the master device to the respective window, do this for both pointer and keyboard master device (not sure if specifying one works).

The window is the PID of window which can be checked with either xprop (useless sometimes) or xdotool selectwindow.

xinput set-cp <window> <master>

If the setup is successful, the other keyboard should be able to input only in the window. In which multiple user can play different games at the same time.

Cleaning up

Remove all the master device that was created.

xinput remove-master <master>

And reattach the pointer or keyboard back to the main master device.


See also