NoMachine 4 implements its own protocol for secure communication over the network. The products targeting commercial use, so both of the Enterprise Server and Terminal Server families, additionally support the SSH protocol out of the box. All products use the NX protocol as default. There are multiple reasons for using our own protocol rather than SSH.
The first is performance. Tunneling over SSH means that our packets have to traverse at least 1 additional process before coming to the destination (at least the SSHD process, if we don’t run a separate SSH client). This is an additional process for each machine traversed, so in a multi-node server there are at least two. Then with SSH we have processes communicating through pipes (like multiple separate commands piped in a shell), so we are adding a further encryption stage at each hop.
With NX we can simply hand over the SSL context from one process to the next (as Apache does) and relay connections by only running encryption end-to-end. We can’t provide the details, but we were in a situation where a display packet, to come to the client, had to traverse 12 processes and be encrypted 3 times. Not so with the NX protocol.
Additionally, when using the NX protocol, audio and video can use UDP. Not that we couldn’t use a UDP side-channel with SSH, but it would have been hard to explain to managers in a company that, yes, we use SSH for the connection but then most data is not going through SSH. There are additional tiny details, like the efficiency of the crypto key used, that adds to the speed, or the fact that SSHD is a single-threaded process while with NX everything is multi-threaded and can run on platforms, like iOS, where multi-process is not an option.
A second reason is that, using SSH, we can’t simply support a number of features we need in NX, like keeping a NX users separate from the system users, supporting guest connections and redirecting users to different machines without having to create system accounts. Unless recurring to workarounds. That is what we did with the use of the “NoMachine login”. These workarounds are perfectly in the spirit of SSH but were judged “questionable” by some, simply because they by-passed PAM and let NoMachine create users and check passwords on its own. With the NX protocol these “questionable” uses of SSHD are gone.
A third reason is Windows. We ported the OpenSSH client and server to native Windows and released it on the same licensing terms of OpenSSH. This was done to offer the same set of features on all platforms, but it's not in our plans to develop further SSH for Windows.
A fourth reason is supportability. It’s hard to support something you have no control over how it is used or configured. SSH is an extremely powerful and configurable tool. When users install NoMachine and NoMachine doesn’t work because the SSH client or server are configured to do something special that we could not foresee, users tend to blame NoMachine. This is well within their rights to do so, but now having two distinct protocol options, enterprise users can still use SSH if they want, but at least we will know if a problem they report is due to SSH or NoMachine.
NoMachine's commitment has always been to provide packages for the widest range of most frequently used platforms and operating systems. NoMachine software runs on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux operating systems, the minimum required versions are:
Mac OS X 10.5
Red Hat Enterprise 4.4
Open SUSE 10.x
Debian GNU Linux 4.0 Etch
Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron
For a complete list of platforms supported by the current version of NoMachine products, please refer to the download page of each product.
Rest assured that the NoMachine development team will continue to work hard to add support for further environments and/or processor architectures in the future; and will take into account the latest versions of the supported operating systems as per support policies already in place.
In general NoMachine should work with the latest version of the Operating System, unless major changes in the OS require NoMachine to align its own software. In that case, a period of at least 30 days is generally required to ensure full compatibility. You might also be interested at NoMachine policies to support pre-release versions of operating systems:
Regarding earlier versions of Operating Systems, in order to ensure a consistently high quality remote access software across the most popular platforms, as well as because of some technical considerations related to the evolution of NX software, NoMachine 4 is no longer supporting the following OS versions.
If you create a support ticket on our website or are seeking help in one of the forums, in most cases our support team will ask you to send them your log files. Within these log files various connection and software problems are being recorded, and they will help us to identify the possible cause of the problem you are encountering.
Submitting logs requires that you create a compressed archive of the NoMachine /var/log directory, and then send this archive by e-mail to appropriate email address, specifying the number of the support ticket or a link to the post in the forum. There are specific steps to follow to extract the logs (once you have reproduced the problem you are reporting). At the bottom of this article you will find the link to those instructions.
Locating the /var/log folder of NoMachine on Windows
NoMachine's /var/log folder on Windows is:
%PROGRAMDATA%/NoMachine/var/log on Windows Vista, 7 and 8
Documents and Settings/All Users/NoMachine/var/log on Windows XP
To compress it, right-click the file or folder, point to Send To, and then click Compressed (zipped) Folder.
Locating the /var/log folder of NoMachine on Mac OS X
The NoMachine /var/log folder on Mac OS X is:
To compress it, control-click or right-click the folder and then from the pop-up menu, choose and click on Create Archive.
As an alternative, create a tar.gz archive from command line. Run a terminal
and move to /Library/Application Support/NoMachine/var :
$ cd /Library/Application Support/NoMachine/var/
$ sudo tar cvfz NoMachine-log.tar.gz log
Locating the NoMachine /var/log directory on Linux
The NoMachine /var/log directory on Linux is:
Create a compressed archive (tar.gz) archive from command line. Run a terminal and move to /usr/NX/var :
NoMachine 4 provides unprecedented performance when streaming heavy graphical content such as videos and visualization software over any network. Additional acceleration can be obtained using H.264. Our benchmark tests have shown that up to a 30% increase in performance is possible when H.264 is used.
H.264 will be used by default if it is enabled on the server- and client-sides and provided no other encoding has been selected explicitly by the administrator. If the server or any of the clients don't support H.264, VP8 will be used as a fallback.
All server products in the NoMachine for the Enterprise range (e.g., NoMachine Workstation, Enterprise Server and so on) include the H.264 functionality, i.e., they come H.264 enabled. The free version of NoMachine and the Enterprise Client don't, so users who connect to an H.264 enabled host and want to take advantage of its acceleration will need an H.264-enabled client. This can be obtained by puchasing and installing the AVC Pack.
What is the AVC Pack?
The AVC Pack is an add-on software for the free NoMachine and Enterprise Client packages. Once installed, NoMachine's AVC Pack lets the user leverage H.264-enabled servers. Some typical scenarios:
- You have the free NoMachine product installed on both local (client) and remote (server) sides and want to take advantage of H.264 encoding. You will need to purchase and install 2 x AVC Packs: one for the local NoMachine computer and one for the remote NoMachine computer.
- You have the free NoMachine product installed on the remote computer and you are connecting from an Enterprise Client. You will need to purchase and install 2 x AVC Packs.
- You have the Enterprise Client or NoMachine installed on the local computer and you are connecting to the company's Terminal Server. You would like to use H.264 encoding for your connection to the corporate remote host. You will need to purchase and install 1 x AVC Pack for the computer that you connect from.
- You have NoMachine which you use to connect to your personal NoMachine Workstation for Linux. You would like to connect using H.264 encoding. You will need to purchase and install 1 x AVC Pack for the computer that you connect from.
The AVC Pack is available for purchase in the online store. Once purchased, you should access your customer area to download the AVC package for your operating system. Any updates we make available will be downloadable from here. The license can be installed in the following way:
1) Log in to customer area and go to "My Area" at the top right of the website
2) Proceed to "Download updates" and download the Production Version of the AVC Pack. NoMachine's built-in installer will take you through the process of installation.
3) Download the zip file you received which contains the license for AVC Pack. The license (codec) must replace the codec file which comes with the AVC Pack you downloaded. Follow the instructions in the AVC Pack Installation Guide: https://www.nomachine.com/DT02L00065
The AVC Pack is not available as evaluation. If you would like to test performance of the session via H.264 encoding, installing the libraries and codecs by hand is still possible. For those who prefer to enable H.264 by installing the necessary libraries and codecs themselves, please consult:
When you access the physical desktop remotely, your desktop is at your finger tips as if it were really in front of you rather than being on the other side of town, in the other room, or in another country. This functionality is provided by both the free to download NoMachine for Win/Mac/Linux package, and also all the products in the NoMachine for the Enterprise server range (Workstation, Small Business Server, Terminal Server, Enterprise Server, Cloud Server).
Note for Linux users: All NoMachine software server for Linux products let you connect to the physical desktop of the remote host provided there is an X server running.
When connecting to a Linux host which doesn't have an xserver running, you can run "virtual desktop sessions" by installing any of the products from the NoMachine for the Enterprise range (except Enterprise Desktop). The virtual desktop functionality allows individual multiple Linux desktops to run on the same host. Each user can have their own personal 'virtual' Linux desktop according to how the Administrator has configured it.
The virtual desktop functionality is not available on Windows or Mac.
You can run a 'virtual desktop' session, provided you have one of the following installed on a remote Linux host: Workstation, Small Business Server, Terminal Server, Enterprise Server or Cloud Server. Use either NoMachine or Enterprise Client to connect. As long as the virtual desktop functionality is enabled, the connection GUI will allow you to run a virtual desktop, or alternatively a 'Custom session' (virtual single applications on Linux).
Depending on the type of server product installed, you will be able to run from 4 virtual desktops to an unlimited number. User numbers are unlimited in that you can have as many user name accounts as needed. It is the number of concurrent virtual desktops which is considered. For example, in the case of Workstation, only 4 virtual desktops will be allowed at any given time; with Small Business Server that number is 10, and with the Terminal/Enterprise/Cloud Servers that number is unlimited.
NoMachine is not AdWare crap. We don't scan your disk, track your location, read your e-mail or sell your browsing habits. For NoMachine software is a product, just like food or clothing. People should choose and buy for its quality, not because it's free. Even when we give away our software for free (as we do), free-of-cost is just a marketing tactic. We do this to make the software known and used by a larger public, so that we can improve it and make it more attractive for the paying customers. Just as we wouldn't wear clothing that tracks where we go, or eat food that tells the vendor what other food we have eaten, we don't give our users software in exchange of some of their liberties. It's an old business model, but we prefer it. Remember that when something is free the product is you.
NoMachine for Mac, Windows or Linux lets you connect to your own desktop remotely to grab forgotten documents, watch one of your videos stored on it, or play your favorite game. One connection is permitted with the free version to let you get access to the physical desktop of the remote computer.
Alternatively, you can let a friend connect to your desktop when you're working on it. It’s as if you’re sitting down in front of a computer together with them. You will both see the same desktop. Your friend can troubleshoot your computer, or you can help them. You can collaborate on a document together, watch a film, swap files, whatever you want.
If you wish to prevent remote access to your computer, you can disable connections via the GUI of the NoMachine application. You will still be able to use the application as a client GUI to connect to other NoMachine-enabled computers and desktops.
To disable connections to the local machine:
- Click on the Monitor (the !M icon) in the system tray to open the menu.
- Click on 'Show the connection status' or Click on 'Show the server status'
- Click on the 'On/Off' button.
- You can select to disable connections to your computer permanently or re-enable them at reboot.
To re-enable connections to the local machine:
- Run the NoMachine GUI from your Programs or Applications.
- Click on the 'Preferences' icon button to open the status GUI.
- Click on the 'On/Off' button to reactivate access.
When trying to connect, sometimes the NoMachine client version 4 issues the following message:
The session negotiation failed.
Error: NX access is disabled
when trying to connect to a server 4 by using the SSH protocol and the system login.
Possible reasons for getting this message are:
- The server has been stopped, i.e. it doesn't accept new connections.
Be sure that the server is up and running, you can start it from the NoMachine monitor in your system tray: select 'Show the server status' and click on 'Start the server'.
- The server has been shutdown, i.e. all NoMachine services, included the Monitor in the system tray, have been stopped.
Be sure that all NoMachine services are up and running, you can start them from the NoMachine GUI: click on the 'Show the server status' button to open the Server Status panel and click on 'Run the server'.
Running a single Linux application or an application in rootless/seamless or floating window mode is possible with any of the products that support the virtual desktop functionality: Workstation, Small Business Server, Terminal Server, Enterprise Server and Cloud Server.
All Enterprise software is available for evaluation from the website with the exception of Small Business Server Subscription and provides you with a 30-day period of evaluation, after which you can decide to purchase a subscription or continue your evaluation. To continue your evaluation you will have to make a fresh installation of the software.
Follow the link http://www.nomachine.com/download-enterprise and download the product you would like to test. The software available on our website comes with the evaluation keys already in place, and is activated upon successful installation.
Technical assistance from the team is not available with evaluation software. The online knowledge base and documents section is a good place to start for questions concerning installation, configuration and eventual troubleshooting. Should you encounter issues that you can't find answers for, please use the Contact Us link to send us your questions.
Customers can receive extended evaluation keys in special circumstances. Please contact our sales team for more information.
In order to run a virtual desktop session on Linux, you need to install any of the Linux products from the Enterprise range, with the exception of Enterprise Desktop, on the remote host. NoMachine for the Enterprise products can be downloaded from here: http://www.nomachine.com/download-enterprise
To connect, you can use the NoMachine or Enterprise Client packages.
The free to download NoMachine for Linux package doesn't support the 'virtual desktop' functionality. It connects to the physical desktop of the remote host.
Once authenticated to a host with virtual desktop support enabled, you will see a button '+' to let you 'Create a new virtual desktop', or click on the 'New virtual desktop or custom session' link. Any sessions that you previously ran from the client computer you are connecting from will be listed in the connection list of this panel.
The NoMachine service is not available or the access was disabled on host ---.---.---.---
When getting this message you are likely trying to connect to a NoMachine 4 server which doesn't support SSH. All enterprise-oriented products (in the NoMachine for the Enterprise) support SSH connections. The free to download NoMachine product doesn't.
If you are trying to connect using a connection file created with NoMachine 3, you will have to select the NX protocol in connection settings -> Edit -> protocol.
Please see the article below for detailed instructions on how to select the NX protocol in the NoMachine connection UI:
This same message can be also displayed in other cases, all depending on the fact the server was contacted by the client using the SSH service while the NoMachine server was either stopped or the SSH access was disabled. If you are using server version 4:
NoMachine software currently can be updated in two ways. Either by selecting the automatic updates option in the user interface, or manually by downloading the latest package from our website and then installing according to the standard procedure for your operating system.
NoMachine on Windows:
- Download and save the EXE file.
- Double click on the NoMachine executable file.
- The Setup Wizard will take you through all steps necessary for updating NoMachine.
NoMachine on Mac OS X:
- Download and save the DMG file.
- Double-click on the Disk Image to open it and double-click on the NoMachine program icon.
- The Installer will take you through through all steps necessary for updating NoMachine.
NoMachine on Linux:
You can use the graphical package manager provided by your Linux distribution or update NoMachine by command line by following instructions below.
If you don't have the sudo utility installed, log on as superuser ("root") and run the commands without sudo
- Download and save the RPM file.
- Update your NoMachine installation by running:
# rpm -Uvh <pkgName>_<pkgVersion>_<arch>.rpm
- Download and save the DEB file.
- Update your NoMachine installation by running:
$ sudo dpkg -i <pkgName>_<pkgVersion>_<arch>.deb
- Download and save the TAR.GZ file.
- Update your NoMachine installation by running:
$ cd /usr
$ sudo tar xvzf <pkgName>_<pkgVersion>_<arch>.tar.gz
$ sudo /usr/NX/nxserver --update
Enabling automatic updates:
Starting from version 4.0.365, server, client and node installations can be updated automatically. This feature, still in Beta stage, is not enabled by default. If you would like to update your installation from the NoMachine repositories instead of manually downloading and installing the new package, do the following:
- Run the NoMachine GUI (server or client) from your Programs Menu or Applications.
- Click on the 'cogs' icon - it's the last button at the top on the right
Enterprise Client is the connection GUI package that you install on the local machine in order to connect to your remote host. It is an alternative to installing a server/client package such as NoMachine (free) or any of the Enterprise server products, which all come with their own connection GUI. It's target is organizations who have strict regulatory requirements that dictate what users can or can't do with their "thin clients".
It does not expire and is free to download and use.
If you are trying to install NoMachine on Linux, bear in mind that we tested the installation on thousands of machines with thousands of different desktop environments and Linux versions, but of course we can't guarantee that it will work on your computer, with your version of Linux. So, if you have a problem, try to post it on the forums, including all the information we list in "What to provide". What we strongly suggest is to be sure you removed all residuals of version 3 you had before, especially if they were NX installations not from NoMachine. We've seen NX installations from products using our open-source software failing to uninstall correctly and interfering every attempt of NoMachine to run on the same computer later.
NoMachine for Windows or Mac
If you are on Windows or Mac, the installation should be even more straightforward. Remember that you need two computers to run NoMachine: the one connecting and the one to which you will connect. Most problems people report are connectivity problems due to the firewall or the antivirus installed on the machine accepting the connection, with the firewall or antivirus blocking access from another computer.
If you need further help, ask in the Forums and one of the Forum members will try to help.
When you purchase a license for any of the NoMachine for the Enterprise products, you will receive an email containing your customer ID and password for your dedicated customer account on the NoMachine website. There will be a license key attached to this email.
Your license key does not activate the evaluation software that you might already have installed. You must download and install the corresponding software product in the section "Download updates".
Yes. You will still be able to use your software but you will not be able to take advantage of the upgrades for it. Attempting to upgrade expired NoMachine server software will interfere with the correct functioning of it.
An active subscription of any of the NoMachine for the Enterprise, with the exception of Workstation (individual license) includes one year of:
Access to free minor and major upgrades, hot fixes and other patches
Access to technical support and resources you can trust
The Workstation Subscription provides one year of free minor and major updates. If customers require technical assistance, pay-per-incidents are available in the store for purchase. The knowledge base is also a good source of the information and trouble-shooting tips.
When you purchase any of the products in the store, the license key is sent automatically to the e-mail you specified either in your order or during the purchase process online. You will also receive a customer ID and password which you can use to log into the support center.
NoMachine (free) allows one connection. Hence it is for individual use. If you are connecting to your desktop remotely, you will not be able to have a friend connect at the same time. On the other hand, if you are working on your local desktop and you would like a colleague or friend to connect to it, so they can collaborate on a document or interact with you, they will need NoMachine installed on their computer.
You will need to create an account for them on your computer and send them your IP and port number, so they can access over the Internet. To get your IP and port number, open server settings from the monitor or connection GUI. The IP and port details which must be inserted in the connection GUI on the client side will be indicated there. Upon connecting they will see your desktop and be able to interact with you, or just view.