NoMachine User Interface
Start your journey to the next level of remote computing
With NoMachine Cloud Server products it's possible to create a centralized gateway for users that need to access hosted desktops and servers residing on the corporate network. All NoMachine Cloud Server products provide an administrative UI for conveniently adding, removing, monitoring and configuring access to these resources ("nodes") from remote. There are two ways to add a node to a Cloud Server: via the Cloud Server's administration interface or via the server settings of the node machine itself (an "inverse connection"). Adding a node this way greatly facilitates scenarios where a desktop node may be on a different network from the Cloud Server and can't be reached by the Cloud Server using a regular direct connection. Any server from the enterprise-oriented range can be easily added to a product from the Cloud Server family in a couple of clicks. If you have installed Enterprise Cloud Server or Enterprise Cloud Server Cluster, it is also possible to add servers without the NoMachine software installed ("Foreign X Servers"). However, the inverse connection method will not be possible. Here is how you can add NoMachine servers to your Cloud Server via the User Interface in just a couple of clicks.
- In order to trigger the 'add node' functionality you need to be a NoMachine administrator (notes about default administrator users and how to make a NoMachine Administrator are explained here).
- Connect to the Cloud Server to which you want to add the node.
- Make sure you log in using your administrator account.
- The 'Add node' button will be visible below the 'Edit' button (Fig. 1). You are now ready to create a Cloud Server tree. If, instead, you are sitting in front of the Cloud Server machine, go to 'Server settings' and select 'Nodes'.
Fig. 1 – 'Edit' is visible once you're logged in as administrator
Adding the node
- Click on 'Add node' (Fig. 1). This starts the process for adding a node to the Cloud Server.
- Provide a name for the node. Note that to add nodes with NoMachine software installed, you need any of the following to be running on them: Enterprise Desktop, Workstation, Small Business Terminal Server and Terminal Server. Nodes running Cloud Server can be added to Enterprise Cloud Server and Cluster products.
- Insert the IP address/host name details of the node machine that you want to associate to your Cloud Server. If appropriate, set the protocol and port (Fig. 2).
Fig. 2 – Fill in the details of the node that you are adding
- It’s possible to add the node to the Cloud Server from the node machine using an ‘inverse connection’. This method is recommended when the node host is not reachable by the Cloud Server. In this case, you must initiate the add node procedure from the node host itself. You can be sitting at the node machine physically or you can connect to it remotely using ‘Server admin’. See the section: Adding a node using the inverse connection method.
- By default, the node accepts connections as an autonomous server. If you want to change this setting, it can be configured directly on the node in 'Server settings > Clouds' using the 'Let this server work only as a node of a cloud server' option (Fig. 13). Ticking the box will disable access as a standalone server.
- Click on 'Add' to continue adding the node. Credentials of a privileged account will be requested in order to proceed.
Fig. 3 – Administrator credentials are required to finalize the process
- Wait a few seconds while the node is added.
- If you are satisfied with the configuration, click the back button to return to the tree list or alternatively remove the node and start again.
- The default settings shown in Fig. 4 (port, protocol, authentication,...) can be changed according to your requirements at this stage. This includes enabling further authentication on the node and even allowing guest access. If you prefer to edit this configuration at a later time, you can select the 'Edit node' button from the main Cloud Server tree panel later. Please refer to the 'Edit node' section for more details.
Fig. 4 – Click back if you are satisfied with the configuration or 'Remove'
- It's also possible to custom configure whether connections should be tunneled or forwarded to each node (Fig. 8). The default method is via tunneling. Tunnel will connect to the node via a tunnel created between the Cloud Server and the node. Useful when the node is behind a NAT for example and the client cannot access it directly. 'Forwarding' is useful for when the node is reachable by the client (this doesn't necessarily mean that they must be on the same network). When this method isn't possible for whatever reason, "tunnel" is used.
- To change this setting now, enable the box 'Use custom configuration for client connections', click 'Configure' and select your preference.
- Click the back button to save your configuration. Successfully added, the node appears in the list of available nodes of the Cloud Server's tree (Fig. 5).
Fig. 5 – The node is now visible in the Cloud Server's tree
Editing a node
A node's default settings should suffice for the majority of environments. Once a node has been added to a Cloud Server, these default settings can be changed according to your requirements using 'Edit node'.
- To edit a node, select the node item in the server tree list.
- Click on the 'Edit' button and select 'Edit node' (Fig. 6).
Fig. 6 – Click 'Edit node' to change default settings
- You can change the IP address/host name details and, if appropriate, the protocol and port.
- If necessary, a node can also be removed from the Cloud Server by clicking 'Remove'.
- Default settings of an added node can be changed to suit your requirements. This includes enabling further authentication on the node and even allowing guest access.
Fig. 7 – Change the IP address, port and/or protocol and other settings
- It's also possible to custom configure whether connections should be tunneled or forwarded per node. The default method is via tunneling. Tunnel will connect to the node via a tunnel created between the Cloud Server and the node. Useful when the node is behind a NAT for example and the client cannot access it directly. 'Forwarding' is useful for when the node is reachable by the client (this doesn't necessarily mean that they must be on the same network). When this method isn't possible for whatever reason, "tunnel" is used as the fallback.
- To change this setting, enable the box “Use custom configuration for client connections”, click 'Configure' and select your preference (Fig. 8).
Fig. 8 – Custom configure how clients should connect > Configure
Fig. 9 – Select tunneling or forwarding. Tunnel is the default setting
- Click back to return to the main 'Edit node' panel.
- Clicking the back button again saves the changes and connects the node to the Cloud Server with the latest configuration.
- If a node is unreachable, the 'Retry' button will be activated (Fig. 10). Click it to add the node to the Cloud Server again. This is useful, for example, when a node has been reinstalled and authentication keys and certificates have changed, but all its other settings remain unaltered. A retry will allow the node to be re-connected to the Cloud Server.
Fig. 10 – Click 'Retry' to reconnect the node to the Cloud Server
Adding a node using the inverse connection method
- Starting with version 8, it's possible to add any NoMachine server (except the free version) as a node of Cloud Server using an "inverse connection". The procedure to initiate an inverse connection must be started from the node which you want to add. Adding a node this way greatly facilitates scenarios where a desktop node may be on a different network from the Cloud Server and can't be reached by the Cloud Server using a regular direct connection. This is achieved within the 'Server settings' of the node machine. Managing the node directly from its own server settings can also facilitate the clean up of the node such as when its Cloud Server has been removed.
- Proceed to 'Server settings' of the node machine that you want to add to the target Cloud Server. You can either be sitting in front of the node computer you want to add or you can connect from remote using the 'Server admin' utility (Fig. 11).
Fig. 11 – Access the node's server settings by selecting 'Server admin'
- Select 'Clouds'.
- Click 'Add'.
Fig. 12 – Add a node to a Cloud Server from the server settings of a node using the inverse connection method
- In the 'Server name' field provide a name for the Cloud Server to which you are adding this node. This name will appear in the node’s ‘Cloud server’ list in ‘Server settings’.
- Provide a name for the node and the IP address of the target Cloud Server to which the node must be added.
Fig. 13 – Provide a name for the node and fill in the Cloud Server's IP
- Click 'Add'. You will be requested credentials with administration rights in order to proceed.
- Once the node has been correctly added, the Cloud Server will show up in the list of associated 'Cloud servers' in 'Server settings > Clouds' of the node host (Fig. 14).
- To edit details of the inverse connection, select a server in the list of 'Cloud servers'. Or remove it by clicking 'Remove' and start again.
Fig. 14– The node's Server settings > Clouds shows the list of associated Cloud Servers.