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ID: DT10K00060
Version: NX 4
Added on: 2013-10-18
Last update: 2014-04-28
Guide to the Functionality in the Menu Panel

Table of Contents

1. Welcome to the Menu Panel Guide 4
2. What is the Menu Panel 4

2.1. Access the Menu Panel 5
3. Input 6
4. Devices 8

4.1. Connect a Disk 8

4.1.1. Selecting Private or Public 12

4.1.2. Disconnect a Disk 13

4.2. Connect a Printer 13

4.2.1. Disconnect a Printer 14

4.3. Connect a USB Device 14

4.3.1. Disconnect a USB Device 15

4.4. Connect a Network Port (advanced users) 15

4.4.1. Connect a Custom Network Port 19

4.4.2. Disconnect a Network Port 20

4.5. Smart Card Readers 21
5. Display 22

5.1. Fit to Window 23

5.2. Resize Remote Screen 23

5.3. Fullscreen 24

5.4 Fullscreen On All Screens 24

5.5 Iconize 24

5.6 Change Settings 24
6. Audio 26

6.1 Change Settings 27
7. Mic In 29

7.1 Change Settings 30
8. Recording 30

8.1 Start a New Recording 31

8.2 Save Recording to Disk 33

8.3 Open a Recording 34

8.4 Change Settings 34
9. Connection 35
Appendix – The Monitor 37

 

 

1. Welcome to the Menu Panel Guide

This guide is an introduction to the Menu Panel present in NoMachine software version 4 or higher. It illustrates the functionality available via the Menu Panel during a connection to the remote or virtual desktop. For guidance on installation and configuration of the software, please consult the Installation & Configuration Guides available on the website: http://www.nomachine.com/documents.

 

2. What is the Menu Panel

The session menu is a panel which appears during the life of your remote connection to give you access to a number of features and functionality ranging from printing, sharing disks, multi-media, screen capture, and more. It is designed to be consistent across operating systems whether you are using Mac, Windows or Linux or other platforms.

To make the most of the functionality on offer, you should use version 4 or later on both the devices you are using (to connect from and to connect to). The rest of this Guide will explain what the icons in the screenshot below represent and how to interact with them: Input, Devices, Display, Audio, Mic in, Recording, Connection.


For details on using the Whiteboard, file-transfer and seeing who's connected to your desktop, consult the Appendix dedicated to the Monitor.

 

Fig. 1 – Session menu icons (from left to right): Input, Devices, Display, Audio, Mic in, Recording, Connection

 

2.1. Access the Menu Panel

Once the remote session to your desktop is open and running, to access the Menu Panel, enter the key combination Ctrl+Alt+0 or move your cursor to the page-peel in the top right-hand corner of the window.

 

 

Fig. 2 – 'Page-peel' on the top right to access the session menu (e.g. connecting to an Ubuntu desktop)

 

These settings can be changed according to your own preference. Proceed to section “3 - Input” to learn more about configuring the page-peel and hot-key combinations to your own requirements.

 

3. Input

 

Fig. 3 – Menu Panel > Input

The above panel lets you fine-tune keyboard input, mouse and pointer activity, as well as menu appearance to your own requirements.

Input:

Keyboard

Enable 'Grab the keyboard' when the client has focus. Checking it disables the capturing of Alt-Tab and PrintScreen keys locally and allows you to use the Alt-Tab key combination to switch to a different remote window rather than switching to your NX session window.

Mouse
Check to 'Hide the mouse cursor' of the remote computer when connecting to another desktop which is not your own.

Enable 'Emulate right mouse button' (users connecting from Mac) to use Ctrl + mouse click in place of right-button on mouse.

Menu
Check the box to “use hot-key menu access" and personalize the keys to be used. Set to Ctrl-Alt-0 by default.

Disable or enable 'Page-peel' and choose a corner that won't interfere with your browser or file commands (top right, bottom right, bottom left, or top left). Hovering over the corner to display a page curl effect will quickly pull up the Menu when clicked.

'Enabled extended mode' – show larger page-peel to make it easier to click/tap on.
'Enable fading effects' to show menu with fade-in and fade-out enhancements.
'Display the menu panel covering all screen' – choose how the menu should appear, covering all available window space or be an overlay.

 

4. Devices

The first time you want to use any of the following in your session: printers, disks, USB devices, network ports and smart card readers you must connect the device first, after which that device will always be available in your session until you 'Disconnect' it.


There are two ways to connect a device:

  • The link 'Click to connect a device' which is a guided procedure for connecting devices
  • By clicking on 'Connect a disk' icon


This section will deal with the second of these options.

 

4.1. Connect a Disk

Choose this option if you want to make disk folders and their content available from local to remote or from remote to local. By connecting a local disk, you will be exporting the folder to the remote desktop. By connecting a remote disk, you will be importing to the local desktop. Provided the session is running, you will be able to copy files by dragging from the respective folder you just connected on to the desktop you are working on. E.g., if you just imported a remote folder to your local desktop, open the folder and drag the files outside the folder in order to copy them. For file-transfer between desktops, please consult section dedicated to The Monitor.

 

Fig. 4 - Connect a disk to make folders available between devices

 

Step 1 - Click on the disk you want to connect e.g. the local Mac disk '/' in Local disks (Fig. 5)

Step 2 - Check 'Export this disk at session startup' if you want this to be mounted/connected every time you run the session to the remote desktop (Fig. 6)

Step 3 - You can provide a unique name for this disk or folder for easier identification if you want

Step 4 - Click Connect, and wait for a green dot to light up next to your selected disk

Step 5 - Click Done

 

Fig. 5 – Select the disk you want to connect from those available

 

The dialog will tell you the location for the folder that you want to share before you decide to connect it (Fig. 6). If you don't wish to select Connect, click 'Done' to go back to the previous panel.

 

Fig. 6 – Check Import/Export this disk at start-up to always have this disk available during a session

 

Fig. 7 – The green dot indicates that this disk is connected in the session

 

Upon closing the menu you will find this disk or folder in the location/path that was indicated in the dialog before clicking Connect (Fig. 6).

 

4.1.1. Selecting Private or Public

Selecting to export or import as Private will mount the disk in different locations. Private is for a specific user, public will be visible by all users.


On Windows, selecting Public will mount the disk in C:\Users\Public. Selecting Private will place it on the user's desktop.


On Mac, selecting Public will mount the disk in /Volumes. Selecting Private will place it on the user's desktop.


On Linux, selecting Public will mount the disk in /media. Selecting Private will place it on the user's desktop.

 

4.1.2. Disconnect a Disk

To disconnect any disk, select the connected disk and click 'Disconnect'. Clicking 'Done' will take you back to the previous panel.

 

4.2. Connect a Printer

Provided you have a printer already configured on your local machine or remote host, you can choose to connect this printer to find it on the other side (local -> remote and vice-versa).


Example: if you have an open document in the remote session, you will be able to print it on your local printer. Likewise, if you have a document open on your local desktop, you can send it to the remote printer for printing provided you have a connection open.

Step 1 – Click on Connect a printer

Step 2 – Select from the available printers available (Fig. 8)

Step 3 - Click 'Import/Export this printer at session start-up' if you want this to be available each time you run the remote session

Step 4 - Click Connect, and wait for a green dot to light up next to your selected printer

Step 5 - Click Done

Fig. 8 – Click the printer that is available to you, click Connect, click Done

 

4.2.1. Disconnect a Printer

To disconnect any port or service, select the connected service and click 'Disconnect'. Clicking 'Done' will take you back to the previous panel.

 

4.3. Connect a USB Device

Share devices plugged into your local computer (client) with the remote computer (server) and vice-versa. Access USB external drives, USB webcams and microphones for VOIP support, scanners, barcode readers, and more.


E.g. External drive.


Step 1 – Plug in your USB drive on your local desktop

Step 2 - Connect to the remote/virtual desktop

Step 3 - Open the menu panel and select the external drive from 'Local devices' (Fig. 9)

Step 4 – Click Done. It will show up in your remote drives/devices when you next browse them on the remote host

 

Fig. 9 – Connect a local or remote device

 

4.3.1. Disconnect a USB Device

To disconnect any port or service, select the connected service and click 'Disconnect'. Clicking 'Done' will take you back to the previous panel.

 

4.4. Connect a Network Port (advanced users)

Redirect any traffic you receive on local ports to the remote host and vice-versa. It's a way to tunnel traffic between two machines that would normally be seen as an external connection so that it looks like a local connection. For example, your organization may be using certain ports for other services, or the remote host may not permit access over a specific port.

Step 1 - Click 'Add a new server' to import or export. Local will export to remote, remote will import to local

Step 2 – Select a service from the drop-down list. Click 'Import/Export this port at session start-up' if you want this to be available each time you run the remote session (Fig. 11)

Step 3- If selecting Custom, choose the protocol (TCP or UDP) and provide a unique name for this service for easier identification (Fig. 13 )

Step 4- Click Connect, and wait for a green dot to light up next to your selected disk

Step 5 - Click Done

 

 

Fig. 10 – Click 'Add a new server' to make a port service available

 

A predefined list of protocols used by the most popular network services such as CUPS, HTTP, FTP, SSH is available in the drop down list. You can also specify a custom port which will be forwarded and made available on the remote host just as if you were using it locally. By selecting a network service, NX will open an encrypted subnet circuit between the client computer and the server installed and will safely traverse firewalls that prohibit or filter certain services over specific ports.


For example, an FTP server set up on a host may only be usable on the LAN at an organization and you therefore can't use it from outside the company network. Additionally, the fact that FTP is not encrypted can raise concerns. Connecting from an FTP client to the FTP server will be insecure or simply be blocked.


Via NoMachine's Network Ports, you can establish a connection to the remote server and forward the FTP port from there to the local computer. NoMachine will create an IP for the user (for example, Fig. 12) and display it in the GUI panel once connected. The user will be able to connect from their FTP local client using the IP and port, and all file transfers and other operations will be transmitted to the FTP server using a secure and encrypted NoMachine transport tunnel.

 

Fig.11 – Importing the FTP service from remote to local. Service > FTP > Connect > Done

 

Fig. 12 – FTP server now connected on local port 21 IP 10.46.17.93

 

4.4.1. Connect a Custom Network Port

Import or export a custom network port such as TCP or UDP. For example, to export a service from the local PC that uses UDP to communicate (e.g. DNS, VoIP), choose the UDP option in the NoMachine GUI. The protocol selected must be consistent with the one required by the service specification.

Fig. 13 – Connecting a Custom Port

 

4.4.2. Disconnect a Network Port

To disconnect any port or service, select the connected service and click 'Disconnect'. Clicking 'Done' will take you back to the previous panel.

 

Fig. 14 – Disconnecting a service is easy. Select the service to disconnect

 

4.5. Smart Card Readers

This service will make a smart card reader attached to the client (player) machine available on the server machine. Any application on the server that supports smart cards can be used just as if the reader was attached to the server machine. For example, a user can use the key stored on the card to authenticate to a server somewhere, or use it to digitally sign a document or e-mail. It is necessary to provide the path to NoMachine's libpkcs11.so library, where normally you would provide the path to your standard libopensc library.

Step 1 - Plug in the smart card

Step 2 - Open NoMachine, authenticate and connect.

Step 3 – Activate the menu and select 'Smart card' in the Devices section.

Step 4 - In the GUI choose a device (the smart card reader) that you wish to make available on the remote side.

Step 5 - Connect to “mount” the smart card.

 

Fig. 15 – Menu > Smart card readers

 

When you wish to use an application that supports smart card authentication or signing a document, the application will ask the user to provide a path to the module that operates the smart card. Enter the path to /usr/NX/lib/libpkcs11.so. By default, NoMachine's smart card service uses the libpkcs11 library to handle the devices. If you wish to provide your own library to do this process, specify the path to the desired module.

 

5. Display

Change how you view the remote desktop, and adjust the performance to optimize the visual quality. When connecting the first time, and the client window size is smaller than the remote display, 'viewport' will be activated to allow you to move about within the window (pointing the cursor towards the edges of the window).

 

Fig. 16 – Menu panel > Display

 

5.1. Fit to Window

Enable or disable showing the session content at the same size as the remote display (1:1). Diisabled by default (no border activated around the icon), when the window size is smaller than the remote display, 'viewport' will be activated to allow you to move about within the window (pointing the cursor towards the edges of the window). When enabled (border activated around the icon), if the remote display is smaller than the client window, the desktop will be stretched to fit the window. If the remote display is bigger than the window, it will be shrunk to fit the window.

 

5.2. Resize Remote Screen

Enable or disable resize of the remote window. Disabled by default. When enabled (border activated around the icon), changing the dimension of the session window will resize the desktop to always fit the dimension of the NoMachine window. Disabling will let you resize the window without scaling.

 

5.3. Fullscreen

Display your session on your monitor in full screen mode.

 

5.4. Fullscreen On All Screens

Display your remote session full screen across multiple monitors.

 

5.5. Iconize

Minimize the session window, useful when the player window is in fullscreen.

 

5.6. Change Settings

NoMachine performance has default settings which are suitable for most situations, but in some cases, such as in extreme network conditions or with particular applications, by adjusting the quality settings you can optimize your experience.

 

Fig. 17 – Menu > Display > Change settings

Quality

The slider can be changed according to the quality of image that you prefer. By default it is set in the middle. By sliding it to the right, a higher quality of image is obtained (+), with more data being encoded and transmitted. This is best suited for network connections where bandwidth is available. On the other hand, if you want to consume less bandwidth, or your network conditions are poor, moving the slider to the left (-) will mean that data will be compressed as much as possible to save on the amount of bandwidth consumed without compromising on the speed at which data is being passed.


Resolution

The default resolution is set to 1:1. 1:1 is suitable for the majority of scenarios. This means that you will see the display exactly as it is on in your player window. Lowering the resolution will carry out a down-sampling of the remote display meaning less data is being encoded and streamed (image is less sharp). Lowering the resolution setting is only recommended when you need to further reduce bandwidth consumption.


In the majority of use cases, the slider will be the defining criteria in the quality of the image and the results will be based on the current conditions of the network link. This is the case when the displayed content is in constant movement (e.g. Video). A high-quality image is transmitted regardless of a congested network as NoMachine's protocol adapts to the alteration in network conditions. However, in some circumstances, further tweaking may be useful in particular with specific network conditions or low quality connection link.


Advanced options

Disable network adaptive display quality – Checking the box will not disable the progressive refinement of the image, but will anchor the lowest quality to a fixed value, making it independent from the current network congestion. Not recommended when there is very limited bandwidth. The target quality will remain in any case the one specified in the Display quality slider.


Disable multi-pass display encoding – Default settings within the encoding will work to refine the image progressively to the target quality (as specified in the Display quality slider) starting from a lower quality version of the image during moments of inactivity of the desktop. Disabling this refinement sends the image directly with target quality. Not recommended when there is limited bandwidth.


Disable client-side image post-processing – If the client-side device has low processing power, or too much CPU is being used to decode, disabling this can help.

 

6. Audio

Enable louder (more blue bars) or lower (fewer blue bars) audio volume. NoMachine automatically detects the audio settings on the remote host to work out-of-the-box. Audio is enabled by default and can be disabled by clicking on the left of the volume slider. Disabling audio will mean you don't hear sound in your session, sound will continue to be heard on the remote host if it is enabled.

 

 

Fig. 18 – Menu panel > Audio

 

6.1. Change Settings

Audio streaming
By default, audio streaming from remote to the client is enabled. If you are using an application that doesn't require sound at all, by disabling audio streaming, the resources that would normally be used with sound enabled (regardless of whether there is sound present or not) can be freed.

Fig. 19 - Menu panel > Audio > Change settings (virtual only)

 

The slider can be moved to the right to improve audio quality or to the left to lower audio quality. By default it is in the middle which should satisfy most scenarios.


Microphone input

By default client-side microphone is disabled. Enabling microphone allows you to forward the functionality of your local mic to the remote desktop so that you can use VoIP applications residing there. The slider can be moved to the right to improve voice input quality or to the left to lower quality. By default it is in the middle which should satisfy most scenarios. When connecting to the physical desktop, you can choose to mute the sound on the remote host (server) using the check box (Fig. 20 ).

 

Fig. 20 - Menu panel > Audio > Change settings (physical only)

 

7. Mic In

Enable louder (more blue bars) or quieter (fewer blue bars) microphone volume. Or completely mute the microphone by clicking the microphone icon at the top of bottom of the bars. Disabled by default.

 

Fig. 21 - Menu panel > Mic in

 

7.1. Change settings

See section 6.1 – Microphone input

 

8. Recording

Record the content of the remote window whether it's a video/audio stream, or any other activity within an application on the desktop. Useful for creating presentations, making how-tos, or even capturing an annoying bug. The clips are saved on the local device you are connecting from in the NoMachine folder and can be opened using any player with WebM support or the NoMachine player itself.


Session recording allows you to perform basic operations including start record, stop record, pause recording, continue recording.

 

Fig. 22 – Menu Panel > Recording

 

8.1. Start a New Recording

Click on 'Show the recording bar' (Fig. 22) to open up the recording control bar. It will appear in the middle of the desktop, but you can reposition it as you wish. Click Rec to initiate recording, Pause to temporarily interrupt the recording, Pause to continue recording, and Stop to stop recording. You will be asked whether to save, discard or resume. Saving the clip, it will be placed in the local NoMachine folder. Use Ctrl-Alt-R to bring up the recording bar at any time.

 

Fig. 23(i)– Recording the remote desktop

 

The recording bar can also be dragged to the top or bottom of the player window where it will merge with the border if this is your preference (Fig. 23ii). Hovering the cursor near the border will make the bar reappear. Click and drag it away from the top/bottom in order to return to the style of Fig. 23i.

 

Fig. 23 (ii)– Drag the recording bar to the top to make it merge with the border

 

 

8.2. Save a Recording to Disk

Clicking Stop in the recording bar will prompt NoMachine to ask you whether to discard, save or resume. Save a recording will save it to your local NoMachine folder. To start again without saving, select Discard. To continue with your recording, click Resume.

 

Fig. 24 – Save a recording to disk

 

 

8.3. Open a Recording

Click the 'Open a recording' (Fig. 22) to be able to select which recorded session you want to view using NoMachine's own player, and double click. Alternatively, you can browse to the NoMachine folder and open the clips using NoMachine's player or any other WebM-enabled player.

 

8.4. Change Settings

Modify the recording settings to your own personal preferences. Save clips in an alternative folder, and alter the quality of video and audio of your recorded clips.

Changing the quality of the video and audio here temporarily overrides the settings that you have in Display settings and Audio settings. Setting the slider to the far right allows you to record, for example, a video or game being played and maintain very high quality in the clip regardless of what the general settings are for the session as a whole. Setting the quality to low (left) will produce clips that occupy less space on your local disk. Higher quality clips (move slider to the right) will be larger.

TIP: when two or more users are sharing the same desktop and all are recording but with different quality settings, NoMachine will choose the lowest quality among them.

Fig. 25 – Change location of recorded clips and quality

 

9. Connection

Find out basic information about your remote session, including NoMachine software product & versions, server name, IP address, user name, session name, how long the session has been connected, and more.

 

Fig. 26 - Menu > Connection

 

Take a screenshot
This tool lets you take a screenshot of the remote desktop. Images are saved in the NoMachine folder.


Take the statistics
This tool lets you extract information about the amount of data being streamed whilst connected. It replaces the NX Session Administrator GUI in NX 3.5.0.


Disconnect
You can 'Disconnect' from the remote session. User will be taken back to the connection menu.

 

 

 

Appendix – The Monitor

The Monitor is a resident service available in your system tray (!M icon) . It lets you access some services outside the life of your connection, whilst others can be accessed only when you are connected to another remote (or virtual) desktop. This section will deal with the Monitor services available on the remote desktop you are connected to for simplicity.

 

Fig. 27 (i) – View of the Monitor when connecting to the remote
NoMachine server installed on Ubuntu

 

Show the server status
Fast-track access to the whiteboard, file-transfer status, and settings of the server on the host. To access the server settings, click 'Server preferences'. To modify settings or start and stop services, you will be requested to provide the username and password of the administrative account on your machine. For more information about configuring access and the other services, please consult the NoMachine Server Settings Guide.

 

Fig. 27 (ii) – The Monitor -> Show the server status

 

Show the whiteboard
Activate the local or remote whiteboard. Use it for instant messaging, drawing and sharing files with connected users. Fast-track access to file transfer.

 

Fig. 28 – The whiteboard

 

Show the recording bar
Enable the recording bar to start recording the desktop. If you access it from your local desktop, you will be able to record the local desktop.


Show the menu panel
Enable the menu instead of using hot-key combinations or page-peel.


Upload a file to the server
Transfer a file to the remote host (server) you are connected to.


Send a file to a client
Pass files to users connected to the desktop. Choose which connected user should receive the file, or pass to all connected users. Useful when collaborating with multiple users.


Yield keyboard and mouse
Pass control of keyboard and mouse to a connected user.