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My question is whether QGIS can be downloaded and installed on a server for multi-user access. Rather than installing the software locally, can QGIS be stored on a server and accessed by many?

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We have a server that has multi-user (up to 20) access and each has their own virtual box, when they run it is controlled by the Virtual Box, even complete operating systems can be run on the same server. – Mapperz Jan 28 '13 at 14:40
see… for an example of this environment. – Mapperz Jan 28 '13 at 14:44
Why? (what is the use case) – Willy Jan 29 '13 at 0:10

Your need is not specific to QGIS. You might create multiple accounts for every of your users and let them access their session and QGIS via SSH and x-windows or VNC.

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