Managing NICE DCV sessions - NICE DCV

Managing NICE DCV sessions

Before your clients can connect to one, you must create a NICE DCV session on your NICE DCV server. Clients can only connect to a NICE DCV server if there's an active session.

Every NICE DCV session has the following attributes:

  • session ID — Used to identify a specific session on the NICE DCV server.

  • Owner — The NICE DCV user who created the session. By default, only an owner can connect to the session.

NICE DCV clients need this information to connect to the session.

Introduction to NICE DCV sessions

NICE DCV offers two types of sessions—console sessions and virtual sessions. The following table summarizes the differences betweeen the two types of sessions.

Session type Support Multiple sessions Required permissions Direct screen capture GPU-accelerated OpenGL support
Console Linux and Windows NICE DCV servers No, only one console session allowed on each server Only the admin user can start and close sessions Yes Yes, without additional software
Virtual Linux NICE DCV servers only Yes, multiple virtual sessions are allowed on a single server Any user can start and close sessions No, a dedicated X server (Xdcv), runs for each virtual session. The screen is captured from the X server. Yes, but requires the DCV-GL package

You can't run console and virtual sessions on the same NICE DCV server at the same time.

Console sessions

Console sessions are supported on Windows and Linux NICE DCV servers. If you're using a Windows NICE DCV server, you can only use console sessions.

Only one console session can be hosted on the NICE DCV server at a time. Console sessions are created and managed by the Administrator on Windows NICE DCV servers and the root user on Linux NICE DCV servers.

With console sessions, NICE DCV directly captures the content of the desktop screen. If the server is configured with a GPU, NICE DCV console sessions have direct access to the GPU.

Virtual Sessions

Virtual sessions are supported on Linux NICE DCV servers only.

You can host multiple virtual sessions on the same NICE DCV server at the same time. Virtual sessions are created and managed by NICE DCV users. NICE DCV users can only manage sessions that they have created. The root user can manage all virtual sessions that are currently running on the NICE DCV server.

With virtual sessions, NICE DCV starts an X server instance, Xdcv, and runs a desktop environment inside the X server. NICE DCV starts a new dedicated X server instance for each virtual session. Each virtual session uses the display provided by its X server instance.


While NICE DCV ensures that each virtual session has an independent Xdcv display, many other system resources, including files in the user's home folder, D-Bus services, and devices, are per-user and thus will be shared and accessible across multiple virtual sessions for the same user.

You should not run multiple virtual sessions on the same NICE DCV server for the same user at the same time, unless you have set up your Operating System to mitigate possible concerns about the shared resources.

If the dcv-gl package is installed and licensed, NICE DCV virtual sessions share access to the server's GPUs. To share hardware-based OpenGL across multiple virtual sessions, you must connect the virtual X server instance to the GPU by configuring the dcv-gl.conf file.