User1 runs startx on tty1, and then user2 runs startx on tty2. On tty1, the graphical environment is Awesome Window Manager (X11), and on tty2 it is Cinnamon desktop (X11). For graphical applications such as Nextcloud, Firefox, etc., on tty1, the network connectivity cuts off when user2 is on tty2. However, non-graphical/terminal applications on tty1 keep their network connection while user2 is on tty2. Therefore, video or audio can be streamed fine from the terminal on tty1 while user2 is on tty2. However, it is not possible to stream video or audio from Firefox or from any graphical application on tty1 while the other user is on tty2. How can I maintain network connectivity for graphical applications on tty1 while user2 is on tty2?

I am using Debian Bullseye with Network Manager, but I could also just use the /etc/network/interfaces file.

Also, this used to work for me on a previous version of Debian. I believe it was Debian 9.

Thank you!

  • 1
    The problem probably isn't the network. How do you know it's the network?
    – user253751
    May 12 at 20:14
  • I do not think it is the network. I think it has something to do with how X11 works.
    – jbrock
    May 12 at 20:55

1 Answer 1


This is unrelated to network

Your system has the notion of sessions and seats. The former being, roughly, "a user being logged in", and the latter, roughly, "the wholeness of devices like keyboards, mice, microphones, speakers and screens that a user uses to interact with the system".

Only the session that currently owns the seat can play music. So, you switching between concurrently running sessions leads to the now seatless session not playing audio anymore.

That's by design (it's what you want if you share the computer between multiple people, usually).

So, your network connectivity is maintained; don't worry. It's just that your way of observing it is interrupted. Thus, your networking applications continue to work and there's nothing you need to do.

  • I did thoroughly narrow down the scenario and communicated that in the description in my question. So, for example, audio does continue to work when the other user is on their session. It also continues to work if streamed (from online) from the terminal. However, the stream cuts off if it is a graphical application. Thanks
    – jbrock
    May 13 at 22:15

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