remote/local multi-user xwindow question

Michael Torrie torriem at
Tue Jan 3 17:41:17 MST 2012

On 01/03/2012 05:06 PM, Daniel Fussell wrote:
> I used to use freenx and found it quirky at times, but overall very 
> useful.  Then NoMachine changed something with their license on a newer 
> release, and suddenly freenx wasn't available on debian repos anymore.  
> I want to say they dropped the GPL, and started providing the new 
> version as free for personal use (for the server and client), which 
> killed the greater part of my own usage.  On top of that, they used to 
> be something like $500 a year for a site license, but when we tried to 
> get one, they wanted to charge as much as Citrix, so that idea got shot 
> down too.

NX 4 core libraries are not under the GPL, no. But NX 3 of course still
are, so I find it odd that Debian has dropped freenx and its
dependencies.  NoMachine might not be hosting canonical tarballs anymore
so really the the new canonical source for NX 3 libs is x2go.  They are
continuing to develop and support from here on out, now that NoMachine
has officially dropped support.  x2go looks to be very interesting.
Probably solves some of the more quirky aspects of NX.  It looks like
they've dropped the key-based connection (which was a bit odd but in my
opinion elegant) in favor of standard user login.  This is probably
wise, but at the same time with FreeNX I can restrict my server to
ssh-key remote login only, and still be able to access it from the NX
client, provided I had the right key in the client.

In my opinion it's going to be harder and harder for NoMachine to be
viable selling what is becoming a cheap commodity (RDP, VNC, SPICE,
etc).  I used to know the main developers and they were nice guys, so I
wish them well, but I have no interest in their commercial product and
neither does anyone I know.  SPICE is interesting, but there's not a
SPICE server I can just run like FreeNX runs.  Somehow it's integrated
with KVM.

Off topic, but I hope that if Wayland does succeed X11, that some
provision for remote desktop and, more importantly, remote apps like X11
does, will be provided.  Network transparency is still very important on
the Desktop.

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