Here you can find the answers to some of the common questions about NoMachine software.
Please be sure you also visit the NoMachine Support Center for a complete source of articles & other documentation available in the
NoMachine Knowledge Base.
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. There are also forums available for the Cloud Server and Terminal Server families which can handle basic configuration and installation questions.
Customers can receive extended evaluation keys in special circumstances. Please contact our sales team for more information.
When you purchase a license for any of the NoMachine for the Enterprise products whether it's online via our store or by submitting a PO to one of our sales offices or partners, 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. The license is also made available for you to download from the Customer Area.
To activate your license you must first download and install the corresponding software product in the section "Products Download" (the software is labelled 'Product Version') from your Customer Area by logging first with the credentials mentioned above. The Production Version you download from there includes the H.264 codecs which are not available in the Enterprise Evaluation software you may have been testing.
NoMachine software is not licensed per connection, nor per connecting client to the remote host. NoMachine software is licensed per server. A server is the remote host you want to connect to. This remote host can be either a physical or virtual machine and once the appropriate server-side NoMachine package is installed, you connect to it to access a desktop or application running there. Licenses to use any of the pay-for 'server' products are available as subscriptions.
Subscriptions are currently available for Enterprise Desktop, Cloud Server and the Terminal Server range.To allow customers to try the product before purchasing, we make evaluation versions freely available for download. Depending on the product, a pay-for subscription offers a number of benefits including technical assistance and updates to the software. The duration of a subscription is by default one year, after which customers should renew to continue to receive the same benefits as before.
On the connecting client, it's possible to install either of the free NoMachine or Enterprise Client packages. These are available for a number of operating systems and you can download and install either as many times as you like. There is no fee for the free NoMachine software, nor for Enterprise Client.
This article refers to the freely available 'NoMachine' package - free for personal use. If you are using an Enterprise product from NoMachine, please log in to your Customer Area and proceed to the 'Support Enquiries' section you can find there. The support team will be able to assist you.
Remember that you need two computers to run NoMachine: the one you are connecting from and the one you which to connect to.
NoMachine for Linux
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.
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.
The NoMachine free package, tailored for personal use, never expires. By installing it on the host you want to access, you are allowed one connection to the desktop running there.
Enterprise Desktop, available as a subscription, offers a number of functionalities not available in the free version. In addition to what the free NoMachine package offers, Enterprise Desktop supports:
- simultaneous connections to the desktop
- browser-based access
- connections over SSH
- H.264 software encoding
and purchasing an annual subscription also gives you access to technical assistance via the customer area. Enterprise Desktop has a starting price of $44.50.
What the two packages have in common is that they both include the connection user interface (NoMachine player) which lets you connect to another host with NoMachine server-side software installed.
You must connect to the remote desktop to be able to then connect a local disk or a remote disk. By connecting a local disk, you will be exporting its contents to the remote desktop. By connecting a remote disk, you will be importing files to the local desktop, i.e., the client you are connecting from, effectively allowing you to access file system resources as if they were on your local computer. This is done via the session's menu panel (activated by pressing Ctrl-Alt-0) and selecting 'Connect a disk'. NoMachine will show you the disks available for connecting by distinguishing between 'Local disks' and 'Remote disks' ready to be used in the session.
Consult section 4 in 'Guide to the Functionality in the Menu Panel for Linux/Windows/Mac' in the Documents section of the Knowledge Base, or go to the Configuration section of https://www.nomachine.com/all-documents web page.
NoMachine 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: (i) the hardware (HW) or software (SW) H.264 encoder is available on server-side and (ii) the HW or SW H.264 decoder is present on client-side and provided no other encoding has been selected explicitly by the administrator.
If neither the server nor any of the clients support H.264, VP8 will be used as a fallback.
In the case of web sessions, H.264 codec is supported from v. 6 provided all the following requirements are met: (i) H.264 hardware or software encoding is available on the remote host where NoMachine sessions are run. (ii) The browser supports WebRTC/HTML5 and H.264. (iii) support for WebRTC is enabled onthe NoMachine Server.
NoMachine supports H.264 hardware acceleration for these types of sessions: (i) Connections to the remote physical desktop. (ii) Linux virtual desktops without activating X11 vector graphics mode.
H.264 HW acceleration will be soon available also for virtual desktops in X11 vector graphics mode: https://www.nomachine.com/FR11O03550
H.264 HW acceleration will also be applied to multimedia content in custom sessions.
NoMachine software on the user's computer (i.e. NoMachine used as a client or Enterprise Client) supports the H.264 hardware decoding on Windows and Mac hosts with hardware accelerated video cards (GPUs). No further action is required.
H.264 software acceleration can be used when the server or client doesn't have the necessary hardware requirements to use HW acceleration.
NoMachine supports H.264 software acceleration for these types of sessions: (i) Connections to the remote physical desktop. (ii) Linux virtual desktops without activating X11 vector graphics mode. (iii) Linux virtual desktops in X11 vector graphics mode. (iv) Multimedia content in custom sessions.
In the case of virtual desktops in X11 vector graphics mode and custom sessions, video streaming techniques, and therefore H.264 SW acceleration, are applied only to multimedia contents. The X11 vector graphics mode is not available for web sessions.
All server products distributed under a customer's subscription (e.g., NoMachine Workstation, Terminal Server and so on) include the MPEG-LA H.264 software encoding/decoding libraries. H.264 software encoding is therefore fully supported. No further action is necessary, but please be sure to download the server package from your Customer Area.
Server packages for evaluation don't include the H.264 libraries. To enable H.264 software encoding, it's necessary to compile and install the libx264 library from the NoMachine open source components. See: https://www.nomachine.com/AR10K00695 for instructions
The AVC Pack is an add-on software for the NoMachine (free) and NoMachine Enterprise Client packages.
The AVC Pack is not available for NoMachine servers for evaluation.
Once installed, NoMachine's AVC Pack lets the user leverage the H.264 video coding format in NoMachine sessions. The AVC pack provides the necessary encoder/decoder libraries.
Whether you will need to install it will depend on the graphics card and on what operating system is installed. When the server or client doesn't have the necessary requirements to use HW acceleration, you can install the AVC pack to use H.264 software acceleration.
You need it when you have installed NoMachine free and the host machine:
- doesn't have a GPU or
- the microarchitecture of the graphics card is not supported or
- the HW encoding is not supported by system drivers.
You will need to install a NoMachine AVC Pack on the user's computer when the computer is Windows or Mac but doesn't have a graphics card that supports hardware accelerated H.264 decoding.
If the user's computer is Linux (or Mac/Windows but the graphics card doesn't support HW acceleration) verify if the H.264 software decoder libraries (libavcodec and libavutil) are already installed on the system.
If they are installed, no further action should be necessary. Otherwise you will need to install NoMachine AVC Pack to provide the necessary H.264 SW decoding libraries. As an alternative, you can install FFMPEG as explained here: https://www.nomachine.com/AR10K00696
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 possible.
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 will be made available in the Customer Area.
i) You have the free NoMachine product installed on both local (Windows client) and remote (Linux server) sides and want to take advantage of H.264 decoding/encoding.
You will need to purchase and install 1 x AVC Pack: one for the remote NoMachine Linux computer.
Since most modern Windows and Mac computers have hardware accelerated video cards (GPUs), it won't be necessary to install an AVC pack. NoMachine will be able to interface with the system's own H.264 decoder out of-the-box.
ii) You have Enterprise Client for Windows installed locally and would like to connect to the company's NoMachine Workstation at the office.
You will need 0 x AVC Pack.
The Production Version of Workstation already ships the necessary encoding libraries and for decoding, NoMachine can automatically use the system's H.264 capabilities. On the client side the system's own decoding capabilities (HW) are used.
i) You have the free NoMachine product installed on the remote Linux computer and you are connecting from an Enterprise Client on Linux.
You will need to purchase and install 2 x AVC Packs.
Should the Enterprise Client computer have FFMPEG libraries available (used for decoding), you won't need the AVC pack. Similarly, if the Linux server-side OS had libx264 libraries readily available (used for encoding), you won't need an AVC Pack.
ii) You have the Enterprise Client or NoMachine installed on the local computer and you are connecting to the company's NoMachine Terminal Server. You would like to use H.264 decoding/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 provided of course that you don't have
FFMPEG libraries already installed as mentioned earlier.
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 (30 days evaluation version) can be downloaded from here: http://www.nomachine.com/download-enterprise
To connect, you can use the NoMachine or Enterprise Client packages or a browser.
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.
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
The NoMachine /var/log folder on Mac 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 :
When getting this message in v. 6, it's likely you are trying to connect to the remote computer using the SSH protocol but the NoMachine server is not installed there.
With previous versions, a similar message:
The NoMachine service is not available or the access was disabled on host ---.---.---.---
is issued when trying to connect to a NoMachine server v. 5 or 4 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.
In this case you will have to select the NX protocol in connection settings -> Edit connection -> protocol.
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. See also: https://www.nomachine.com/AR12K00760
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 like Workstation, Small Business Server, Terminal Server and Enterprise Terminal Server.
To run a Linux application in floating window, the option 'Create a new custom session' must be selected from the panel presented to you once you have logged in.
From there you will then be able to indicate the path to the application on the remote host and select whether to run the application in floating window or as a virtual desktop (see https://www.nomachine.com/DT04O00140#4.2. for more details about running virtual desktops and custom sessions).
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 10.7
Red Hat Enterprise 4.4
Open SUSE 10.x
Debian GNU Linux 4.0 Etch
Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron
Raspberry Pi 2/3 ARMv6/ARMv7/ARMv8
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, the following OS versions are no longer supported since NoMachine v. 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.
Using automatic updates:
The NoMachine software by default fetches our repositories every two days but updates are never installed automatically.
To disable the automatic check or change the update frequency, please refer to instructions at:
- 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:
- 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
If you are installing Enterprise Client or Terminal Server Node run respectively:
When you access the physical desktop remotely, your desktop, which might be on the other side of town, in the other room, or in another country, is at your finger tips as if it were really in front of you. This functionality is provided by both the free to download NoMachine for Win/Mac/Linux package, and the NoMachine Enterprise Desktop.
When connecting to the physical desktop of a Linux host which doesn't have an X server running (e.g. a headless machine), NoMachine is able to use its own display service (that is an embedded X server) to let users connect seamlessly a physical desktop running in background on the remote machine. Pre-requisite is having a desktop environment installed. This ability is enabled by default in NoMachine free version, but can activated also for the other server types. See: https://www.nomachine.com/FR10L02842 for more details.
By installing any of the products from the NoMachine for the Enterprise range (except Enterprise Desktop and Cloud Server) instead, you can run "virtual desktop sessions". 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, or Enterprise Terminal 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). Connections by the web are also supported.
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 Terminal Servers that number is unlimited.
Since v. 4, NoMachine 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.
When trying to connect by using the SSH protocol, sometimes the NoMachine client issues the following message:
The session negotiation failed.
Error: NX access is disabled
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 service 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 User Interface: click on 'Settings' to open the Preferences GUI and then click on the 'Server status' icon at the bottom of the panel to open the Service Status panel. Click on 'Start the server'.
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.
To access your remote desktop using NoMachine, you will need to have a user account on the remote computer you want to connect to. See our online tutorial to get started:
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.
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.
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.
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.