Are you looking for help on using the "NX" remote graphical login service? If so, see computing.help, and ignore the rest of this page.

Setting up freenx

Comprehensive freenx documentation can be found here and information on the lcfg-freenx component can be found here.

To set up your desktop so that you can access it remotely, you should include the following in the machine profile.

#include <dice/options/freenx.h>

!auth.users      mADD(nx)
!wolclient.users        mEXTRA(lmb)

/*freenx stuff*/
!ipfilter.export        mADD(ssh)
!tcpwrappers.allow_sshd mSET(sshd : localhost .ed.ac.uk .inf.ed.ac.uk)

Then run om updaterpms run and om freenx cofigure on your desktop.

On the client end, you should install an nx-client which can be found here.

Future plans for freenx

We are looking in to the possibility of setting up a pool of lab machines that would allow students to access them remotely e.g. from centrally managed desktops in the library. Initial tests have proved successful but more comprehensive testing is required before rolling this out. We would need to identify a freenx server (probably set up a virtual server).


  • Is the gateway 'pool master' function particularly resource-intensive? If not, could this just be added to the existing roles of the gateway servers, reducing the public-facing machine count? Obviously I'm not suggesting that they participate in the pool... -- GrahamDutton - 07 Jan 2011

  • As I Understand It, adding the header above will "only" allow you to connect to a new NX desktop on your machine, using SSH as the communications and authorisation protocol. This means you don't get to see your DICE desktop as you left it at work, and that you either have to open up an SSH hole in the firewall to your machine so that you can connect to it remotely. Or you tunnel ssh to your desktop via the existing (staff.)ssh.inf.ed.ac.uk machines. Or (as Chris has reminded me) use OpenVPN. The thing I like about x11vnc is that I get to my actual DICE desktop. Though the performance of NX is better than VNC -- NeilBrown - 07 Jan 2011

  • On Windows 7, MS defender popped up warnings and I had to allow nx, even worse I had to turn Kaspersky Proactive Defense off for that to accept my connection. I need to figure out how to add an exception for nx -- JenniferOxley - 10 Mar 2011 Just realised I never updated this note. It's works fine once a VPN is running - the Uni cisco one is sufficient. -- JenniferOxley - 08 Dec 2011

-- AlisonDownie - 07 Jan 2011

Topic revision: r9 - 10 Apr 2014 - 14:06:21 - ChrisCooke
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