NoMachine – An Advanced Remote Desktop Access Tool

Working remotely is not a new thing for Linux Administrators. Especially when he/she is not in front of the server. Generally, the GUI is not installed by default on Linux servers. But there may some Linux Administrators who choose to install GUI on Linux servers.

When your server has a GUI, you may want to remote the server with full desktop experience. To do that you may install VNC Server on that server. In this article, we will cover about NoMachine as an alternate Remote Desktop Tool.

What is NoMachine

NoMachine is a remote desktop tool. Just like VNC. So what is the difference between NoMachine with the other? The most important factor is speed. The NX protocol provides near local speed responsiveness over high latency and low bandwidth links. So it feels like you were directly in front of your computer.

Install NoMachine In Linux

Access Any Remote Desktop

Features

NoMachine version 4.0 has many key features. When you connected to NoMachine-enabled computer, you can work with any content such as documents, music, videos, as if you were in front of your computer. You can also have the same desktop environment from where ever you are connected.

Share Documents

Share Documents

If you want to print files or documents on the remote computer, you can print them in the local computer. If you put your USB flash disk into your local computer, you can also put the files into the remote computer.

Drive Sharing

Drive Sharing

For more detail features, you can visit NoMachine website.

Scenario’s

Since the advantage of NX protocol is speed, you may see these scenario’s works. Working remotely for mobile workers with full desktop experience Implement thin-client scenario to reduce PC procurement cost. Users can work with a low – spec PC but gain full desktop experience.

Installing NoMachine Remote Desktop Tool

For those who ever used version 3.5, they will find that version 4.0 provide only a single file. It simplifies installation process since you only need to download one single file. NoMachine supports Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and even Android.

For Linux, NoMachine is available in RPM, DEB format and TAR.GZ . Both in 32-bit and 64-bit. NoMachine DEB format can be downloaded from it’s download page. On Debian, Ubuntu and Linux Mint you may install it using dpkg command.

On 32-Bit Systems
$ sudo wget http://web04.nomachine.com/download/4.0/Linux/nomachine_4.0.352_1_i386.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i nomachine_4.0.352_1_i386.deb
On 64-Bit Systems
$ sudo wget http://web04.nomachine.com/download/4.0/Linux/nomachine_4.0.352_1_amd64.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i nomachine_4.0.352_1_amd64.deb

On RHEL, CentOS and Fedora, you may install it using the RPM command.

On 32-Bit Systems
# wget http://web04.nomachine.com/download/4.0/Linux/nomachine_4.0.352_1_i686.rpm
# rpm -ivh nomachine_4.0.352_1_i686.rpm
On 64-Bit Systems
# wget http://web04.nomachine.com/download/4.0/Linux/nomachine_4.0.352_1_x86_64.rpm
# rpm -ivh nomachine_4.0.352_1_x86_64.rpm

Running NoMachine

Once NoMachine installed, you will find it in your Start Menu. Or you may check it via CLI using command.

/usr/NX/bin/nxplayer

When you run NoMachine for the first time, there is a wizard to help you configure your first connection. Here are the steps:

Create a Connection

You will be asked to create a connection. It will include Name (connection), Host (destination), Protocol and Port. By default, NX protocol will work on port 4000. But you can switch to SSH protocol if you want.

Create a Connection

Create a Connection

Then a confirmation screen will appear. You can press Connect button to run the connection.

Confirmation Screen

Confirmation Screen

Verify Host Authenticity

When you run NoMachine for the first time, NoMachine will ask you to verify the destination host authenticity.

Verify Host Authenticity

Verify Host Authenticity

Provide User Credential to Login

Now you will be asked to provide user credential to login to the destination host. If the destination host allows Guest login, you may click “Login as a guest user” parameter. You can save the user password in the configuration file if you want. Just click “Save this password in the configuration file parameter”. Next time, you will not need to enter password again to connect.

User Credentials

User Credentials

Connecting to Destination Host

After providing user credential, NX will show you a first guide to use NoMachine. There are a lot of icons that you can click on it. It covers the screen, input, devices, display, audio, mic, recording and connection.

NoMachine Wizard 1

NoMachine Wizard 1

NoMachine Wizard 2

NoMachine Wizard 2

NoMachine Wizard 3

NoMachine Wizard 3

NoMachine Wizard 4

NoMachine Wizard 4

After you finish with the guide, then you will see your destination host appear with full desktop capacity. On the destination host, a notification will show if a user is connected or disconnected.

User Connected

User Connected

User Disconnected

User Disconnected

Although NoMachine is basically free, Free Edition has a limit of 2 concurrent connections only. If you need to have more concurrent connections, you may use the Enterprise Edition. And before you choose what solution you need, you should look at NoMachine feature comparison.

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Pungki Arianto

Currently I am a Linux/Unix administrator. But I also play Windows both in server and desktop area. Interested in information technology, information security and writing.

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28 Responses

  1. Prasanta Shee says:

    Additionally, you can also use tools like logmein, R-HUB remote support servers teamviewer etc. for remotely accessing computers from anywhere anytime. They work well.

  2. Paulo says:

    New NX Free 4.0 version Free, non create RDP (Terminal Service) Session? is only VNC client ?

  3. Mr. Peppy says:

    “Free Edition has a limit of 2 concurrent connections only” – that’s not correct. Version 4 free edition allows only one connection. Next person gets “Error: Reached the maximum number of concurrent sessions on this server”

    https://www.nomachine.com/AR10K00703

  4. Radjammin says:

    Red hat and Ubuntu should license nomachine as their default and throw away vnc. It’s old and slow. Then they can finally finish unity and gnome. I think the only reason vnc still exists is because linux ui’s are unfinished.

  5. Gill V. says:

    I don’t think it is fair to compare NoMachine to x2go. NoMachine connects you to Linux, Window and Mac computers. x2go only lets you connect to Linux. There’s hardly any comparison. x2go is open source which could be a plus for those who actually care.

  6. jeffrey says:

    Ehm ehm… A x2go user (developer?) trashing NoMachine. Don’t forget that this is the company which built the software x2go predates. At NoMachine must be all morons if they spent 6 years (not 3) developing a new version of something that was so good. But I can understand your discontent. I’m sure it won’t be easy to keep staying on the shoulders of the giants now that the giants are gone.

    • GF says:

      NoMachine clients/servers are NOT reliable in working with each other, at least across platforms. Yeah, giants.

      • GFGF says:

        Are you sure they are not reliable? Windows to Linux, Linux to Mac, Mac to Mac, Windows to Windows, Mac to Windows, have I forgotten one? Get your facts reliable before posting fud.

  7. remoteslave says:

    NX4 is a regression. Not just because it’s closed source, but because it’s riddled with new and improved bugs (default user permissions, for one), has higher latency and worse screen quality. You have the choice of terrible visual artifacts or irritating and slow screen refreshes with multi-pass encoding (which only seems to make a difference or work at all in the highest quality.) All our LAN users complain that bleeding and ghosting text is exhausting their eyes, and it is especially pronounced using bright text on white (coding highlighting) or dark colors on black (terminal filetype highlighting.) Unless you need to run the server on a platform other than Linux, save yourself a few days of headache and just use x2go. The only reason I could endorse NX4 is if the vglserver will work for OpenGL apps, but I expect to lose a day of my life debugging that too; I bet it could also work on x2go anyhow. Amazing it took 3+ yrs of development to release this buggy VP8/264 wrapper that could benefit users of remote video or remote virtual PCs while causing headache and productivity loss to everyone else.

  8. gst says:

    There are alternatives based on this and another software called xpra

    Comparison of VNC, NX, xpra-

    http://winswitch.org/documentation/protocols/choose.html

    The open source version of NX, with session suspension-

    http://wiki.x2go.org/doku.php

    I use Winswitch, has lot of nice features.

    http://winswitch.org/about/

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