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Creating NoMachine virtual desktop sessions on Linux

Start your journey to the next level of remote computing

NoMachine for the Enterprise offers the Terminal Server Family of products which provide access to NoMachine virtual Linux desktops and applications on a single server. This is called running a "virtual desktop session". When running a NoMachine 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.

How to start a NoMachine virtual Linux desktop session

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.


Connecting 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.


Connecting 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).
  • If this fits your scenario, now go to the device you want to connect from.
NoMachine welcome panel displays local and external IP addresses of the host

Fig. 1 - The first Welcome panel displays the local and external IP addresses of the host

  • 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 server 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 foryour OS or the Enterprise Client package.
  • Open NoMachine from the Programs/Applications menu. Click 'OK' to go past the Welcome panel in Fig. 1.
  • The next panel is the ‘Machines’ panel. Here you can create a new connection.
  • All NoMachine-enabled computers on the same network are advertized here. If you have used NoMachine in the past, any connections you created are also listed here (Fig. 3).
Click on 'Click here to create a connection' to be guided through the creation of a new remote desktop connection

Fig. 2 - The Machines Panel shows available computers on the LAN and any connections previously run

On a LAN, all available NoMachine computers are advertized. Desktop sessions are identifiable with the 'world' icon

Fig. 3 - Select 'Add' to create your first connection or 'Click here to create a connection'

  • If your Linux host is shown in the Machines panel, double click on the icon and proceed to Step 2. Otherwise, click 'Add' to start the configuration of your connection.
  • Insert the IP address of the remote server you want to access. You can also provide a memorable name for the connection. This connection name will be shown in the Machines panel.
  • Click 'Connect' to authenticate on the remote host (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4 - Insert the IP address and port and click 'Connect'

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. 5).
  • Click 'Login' and wait a few seconds while NoMachine connects you.
Insert your account credentials to authenticate to the remote host

Fig. 5 - Insert your account credentials to authenticate on the remote host

Step 3: Connect to a virtual desktop or application

  • Once you have authenticated, any available desktops are displayed here (Fig. 6). 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 'Create a new virtual desktop or custom session' (Fig. 7).
  • If you want to run a ‘single application’ or access an application in ‘rootless mode’, select 'Create a new custom session'.
Any available desktops will be displayed. Create a new one by clicking 'New desktop'

Fig. 6 - Any available desktops are displayed. If no desktops are listed, create a new one via 'New desktop'

  • If there is a choice of desktop environments installed on the remote host, NoMachine server publishes the options available.
NoMachine server publishes the desktop types available

Fig. 7 - Choose between creating a new virtual desktop or custom session

Step 4: You are connected

  • Congratulations! You are now connected to a virtual Ubuntu desktop.
A virtual Ubuntu desktop

Fig. 8 - A virtual Ubuntu desktop

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Free for home and non-commercial use


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