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Userful Corporation
Type Private
Founded 1999
Headquarters File:Flag of Canada.svg Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Key people Timothy Griffin (President and CEO) </BR> Alan McNaughton (VP Operations) </BR> Beverley Gallagher (VP Strategic Partnerships) </BR> Daniel Griffin (VP Public Computing)
Employees Approximately 40

Userful is a desktop virtualization company that develops software to create Linux-based remotely managed virtual desktops that enable up to 10 users to simultaneously share one computer. The company’s approach is similar to thin clients but promises better streaming video and audio performance at lower costs.[1] Userful, based in Calgary, Alberta is a privately held for-profit company with resellers.[2]

In February 2009, Userful announced what is claims to be the world's largest desktop virtualization deployment, 356,800 virtual desktops in Brazil. [3]



Current President and CEO, Timothy Griffin founded Userful Corporation in 1999. The company commenced work on a kernel-based approach to a multi-station platform computer, but later abandoned the idea due to a problem with multiple video card support.

After the release of Desktop Multiplier in 2002, Userful Corporation has focused primarily on public libraries for deployment. Userful is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with a second office located in Victoria, BC, Canada.[4]

Hardware, software and security

Userful PC Multiplier leverages off basic dual-head GPU technology and USB inputs to turn a monitor, keyboard and mouse into a complete workstation. The user has a range of environments to work in, all of which are fully customisable.

PC Multiplier comes as a set of installable packages for Linux or as a Live CD for non-Linux systems. It works with most graphics cards supported by X.Org/XFree86 and has been tested on most major distributions, including Debian, Fedora, Mandriva Linux, SLED, SuSE and Ubuntu.[5]

The hardware components comprised within Userful desktop is standard aside from the customizable administration tools. Standard Unix features and configuration options consist in the software and security model of Userful Desktop.

The benefit of ten user workstations linked through a single computer involves dual-head video cards and USB hubs. A keyboard including a USB mouse and monitor are accompanied with each user workstation, optionally including an external USB diskette drive. [6]

Userful Desktop is a Linux-based operating system that combines a mixture of proprietary administrative tools with a modified Red Hat distribution with a GNOME desktop. [4][citation needed]

Through this combined mixture, the result forms Userful Desktop: A thin client application that creates as many as 10 workstation terminals from a single computer box.[7]

Userful's software can be customized through a Web portal that allows administrators to adjust hundreds of settings—from putting a time limit on the computer's use, to privacy protectors that clean the computer when a person logs out. Settings and updates are automatically rolled out to every computer linked to the system. Usage reports allow administrators to see how the system is running as a whole or drill down to one individual station to see how it is being used.[8]

According to Userful Corporation’s CEO and President, Timothy Griffin, the system’s foundation is strong user permissions, multiple-user login and Security Enhanced Linux (SE Linux).

To ensure precautionary safety measures, only the default kernel is in the boot menu, enabling the computer to boot only from the hard drive. A command line is not supplied on the desktop. Although disk and flash drives are automatically mounted on the desktop, this security risk[clarification needed] is secured by limiting the time of login for each user and deleting the users’ home directories once log out occurs.[4]


Userful Desktop is being marketed as a solution to reduce time and costs through administration. Other key features of Userful Desktop include its friendliness to the environment, due to the dramatic reduction of computer systems required. [8]

See also


External links

Personal tools

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