Ubuntu offers the handy User Switcher applet at the top right of the desktop to switch between the desktop of two or more users. This is cleverer than it might first seem. When it's used to switch to a second user, a new X server is started for them in addition to the existing one. You're supposed to use the applet to switch between the two users but you can switch between X servers by holding down [Ctrl ]+[Alt and hitting (F7| and (F9).
Should you need to, you can manually start your own additional X servers for users. Assuming you've created a new account, switch to a virtual console (this won't work from a terminal window!), and then login as the new user. Then type the following: $ startx -- :1
A desktop GUI will then start for the new user. To switch back to the already logged in user's desktop, hit [Ctrl +[ATt]+ F7|. To switch to the new user's desktop, hit (Ctrl)+Al t)+F9].
The above step can be repeated to create yet more concurrent desktops for other users: for example, to concurrently run a desktop for a third user, just switch to the next virtual console, login as that user, and type startx -- :2. That user's desktop will then appear, and you can switch to other desktops as described above, and back to the third user's desktop by hitting [Ctrl ]+ATt)+(F10].
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