Creating new virtual desktop sessions
NoMachine for the Enterprise offers a range of Terminal Server products which provide access to virtual Linux desktops and applications on a single server. This is called running a "virtual desktop session". When running a virtual desktop session, you are connecting to your own personal Linux desktop, or connecting as a guest to another user's Linux desktop running on the same host.
Three things you need to do first:
- Install Workstation or other Terminal Server product on the remote host you want to connect to (the server).
- Make sure you have a system account on the remote host. You will use these account credentials for authenticating.
- Install NoMachine or Enterprise Client on the devices you want to connect from (clients).
Once installed on the host you want to connect to, NoMachine server will work out-of-the-box with no special configuration required. There are two ways to connect to this Linux host: over the internet or over a local network.
Connect over a local network
All NoMachine servers are advertized to NoMachine clients when both are on the same network. If this fits your scenario, now go to the device you want to connect from.
Connect over the Internet
Your administrator should provide you with the hostname or IP address of the server you want to access. If you are responsible for the server, you can check its public IP address once you've installed the NoMachine server product. Open NoMachine from the Programs/Applications menu. In the first Welcome panel, the external IP address will be published (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1 - The first Welcome panel displays the local and external IP addresses of the host
TIP: To disable the introductory 'Welcome' panels in future, check the box "Don't show this message again". If you do, to check the IP of the host you want to connect to in the future, you can click on the !M icon in the system tray of that server host and select ‘Show the service status’.
Remotely connect to your Linux host
Step 1: Start your connection
- Make sure you are sitting at the computer you want to connect from and have installed NoMachine for your OS or the Enterprise Client package.
- Open NoMachine from the Programs/Applications menu. Click 'Continue' to go past the Welcome panel in Fig. 1.
- The next panel will present you with a choice: 'Click here to create a connection' or 'New' both offer a guided approach (Fig. 2). To configure the connection, you will need to know the IP address (or hostname) of the host you want to access.
- All NoMachine-enabled computers on the same network are advertized here.
Fig. 2 - Click on 'Click here to create a connection' to be guided through the creation of a new connection
- If you have used NoMachine in the past, any connections you created will also be listed in the 'Recent connections' panel (Fig. 3).
Fig. 3 - On a LAN, all available NoMachine computers are advertized. Desktop sessions are identifiable with the 'world' icon
- If your Linux host is in the list, double click on the icon and proceed to Step 2. Alternatively, you can insert its IP address (and port if you are using a public IP address) e.g., 126.96.36.199:29382. Hit Enter on the keyboard and wait a few seconds while NoMachine finds your computer.
TIP: If you want to be guided through creating a new connection, click on 'New'.
Step 2: Log in to the remote computer
- You will be prompted to log in using the credentials for your account on the remote host (Fig. 4).
- Click OK and wait a few seconds while NoMachine connects you.
Fig. 4 - Insert your account credentials to authenticate to the remote host
Step 3: Connect to a virtual desktop or application
- Once you have authenticated, any available desktops will be displayed here (Fig. 5). They can be your desktops previously left running, or those belonging to other users if desktop sharing is enabled. Double-click on an option. If your list is empty or you want to create a new session, select 'New desktop' or the link 'New virtual desktop or custom session'.
Fig. 5 - Any available desktops will be displayed. If no desktops are listed, create a new one via 'New desktop'
- By creating a new desktop or custom session, NoMachine server will publish the options available (Fig. 6) according to what is running on the remote server host.
- Double-click on your choice.
TIP:If you want to run a ‘single application’ or access an application in ‘rootless mode’, select Create a new custom session.
Fig. 6 - NoMachine server publishes the desktop types that have been made available
Step 4: You are connected
- Congratulations! You are now connected to a virtual Ubuntu desktop.