FreeNX Ups the Remote Linux Desktop Ante - Page 2

With FreeNX, you get a secure, fast remote desktop for Linux that connects from any major platform.

 By Carla Schroder
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Fedora/Red Hat Installation
See Rick Stout's HOWTO to find out where to download the FreeNX RPMs. You'll also find a larger variety of RPMs on rpm.pbone.net; look for freenx and nx. Install them as usual:

# rpm -Uvh nx-1.4.0-0.fdr.4.i386.rpm
# rpm -Uvh freenx-0.4.0-0.fdr.1.noarch.rpm

Again, the installer will take care of the setup. Follow the steps in the above Debian instructions to add users and you're done.

Windows Client
On a Windows PC go to nomachine.com/download/and download and install the Windows client. When you run the setup wizard it's pretty much self-explanatory. Here is a quick rundown anyway:

  • On the General tab, the host is either the IP of the Linux box or its hostname. Port is 22.
  • Desktop is Unix; desktop environment is selected from the dropdown list, or choose Custom. To run a window manager or desktop environment not included in the dropdown list, click Custom -> Settings -> Run the following command. The command to start your chosen window manager can be found on your Linux box under /home/username/.xsession. For example, the command to use for IceWM is

    exec icewm-experimental

  • On the Advanced tab, make sure that "Enable SSL encryption of all traffic" is checked

Finally, copy the client DSA key on the Linux host to the Windows client, first changing the permissions to 644. The key is stored in /var/lib/nxserver/home/.ssh/client.id_dsa.key, and must be copied to \Program Files\NX Client for Windows\Share.

Linux Client
Get the Linux client from nomachine.com/download/. Configuration is just the same as for the Windows client. Copy the client key to /usr/NX/share, and you're ready to go.

Generate New Keys
If a key is ever compromised, or you have other reasons to change it, use the nxkeygenutility:

# nxkeygen

This will automatically back up your old keys, and you'll have to copy the new client key to all authorized clients.

Help and Documentation
There are no man pages with any of the FreeNX components. Use your package managers to learn the names of the binaries. On Debian:

$ dpkg -L freenx

On RPM systems:

$ rpm -ql freenx

See the documentation and articles database at NoMachine.comto learn about additional features, such as file and printer sharing, and enabling multimedia. Yes, you can even access annoying sound effects remotely!


This article was originally published on Jun 1, 2005
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