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Getting started with Web-based remote access

NoMachine for the Enterprise range allows you to remotely access your computer via web using the browser. You can either connect to the physical desktop of a remote Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry or ARM host, on which you will need Enterprise Desktop installed, or the virtual desktop of a remote Linux host on which you will need a product from the Terminal Server range installed. In both cases, there's no need for additional software on the device you are connecting from since all you need to connect securely to the remote server is an HTML-enabled Web browser. Read on to know how to remotely access the physical desktop via the browser.

If, on the other hand, you want to access your Linux virtual desktop, jump to the instructions here

How to connect to the remote physical desktop via the browser

You need to check these three things first:

  • NoMachine Enterprise Desktop has to be installed on the remote computer you want to access. Once installed, Web access is already configured and ready to use out-of-the-box. For more details about installation and configuration, please see this guide https://knowledgebase.nomachine.com/DT02O00125.
  • You need to know the IP address or hostname of the Enterprise Desktop server.
  • To be able to connect to this computer remotely you need to have a valid user account on it which consists of a username and password.
  • Now move to the computer or device that you want to connect from.

Step 1: Point your browser to the appropriate URL

Point your browser to http://serverName:4080 where serverName is either the name or IP address of the remote PC or Mac you want to reach (Fig. 1). This address will be redirected to SSL and will appear as, for example, https://myserver.com:4443/nxwebplayer.

Image of browser showing serverName as URL

Fig. 1 - Insert the complete hostname/IP address in the URL field of the browser

Step 2: Insert your account credentials

As mentioned, you need a username and password to be able to log in to the remote computer. Check with your Administrator what these are if you are not sure. Click 'Login'. Proceed to Step 3.

NoMachine Login to remote desktop via the browser

Fig. 2 - Insert your username and password. Click Login

Step 3: Wait to be connected

Once logged in you should see a rotating wheel that indicates that the remote connection is loading (Fig. 3).

Rotating wheel indicates NoMachine is connecting to your remote desktop

Fig. 3 - You are being connected

Step 4: Familiarize yourself with NoMachine for remote desktop

Upon connecting, Welcome screens appear which explain all the details and options available during the remote desktop session. Your adventure with NoMachine has begun (Fig. 4).

Welcome screens will guide you through how to use NoMachine

Fig. 4 - Welcome screens will guide you through how to use NoMachine

Step 5: Your remote desktop in the browser

Congratulations! Your remote desktop is now accessible in the browser. Open and edit your documents, work with your applications, and transfer files if you need to (Fig. 5).

Remotely access a Windows desktop via the browser

Fig. 5 - Physical desktop on Windows

Use the key combination Ctrl+Alt+0 (Fig. 6) or move the mouse cursor to the corner of the screen to show page-peel. Use the systray resident icon to run the ‘NoMachine Menu’ to manage the session and services.

The NoMachine Menu during a remote desktop session

Fig. 6 - The NoMachine Menu inside your Web session, connected to a Windows desktop

How to connect to a remote virtual desktop via the browser

NoMachine’s Terminal Server range of products allows you to create and connect to virtual sessions over the Web. Virtual desktops and custom sessions (single applications run in the browser) are available only on Linux.

There's no need for additional software on the local machine and all you need to connect securely to the remote host is a Web browser.

You need to check these three things first:

  • Install any of the NoMachine products for Linux which support virtual desktops, the example below will use Workstation. Once installed, NoMachine is already configured and ready to use out-of-the-box. For more details about installation and configuration of the Workstation, please see this guide https://knowledgebase.nomachine.com/DT03O00126.
  • You need to know the IP address or hostname of the Workstation host.
  • Make sure you have account credentials to log in to your virtual Linux desktop.
  • Now move to the computer or device that you want to connect from.

Step 1: Point your browser to the appropriate URL

Point your browser to https://serverName:4443 or http://serverName:4080 where serverName is either the name or IP address of the host you want to reach (Fig. 7). This address will be redirected to SSL and will appear as, for example, https://myserver.com:4443/nxwebplayer.

Image of browser showing serverName as URL

Fig. 7 - Insert the complete hostname/IP address in the URL field of the browser

Step 2: Insert your account credentials

You need credentials for an account on the remote host. Check with your Administrator what these are if you are not sure. Click 'Login'. Proceed to Step 3.

NoMachine Login to remote desktop via the browser

Fig. 8 - Insert your username and password. Click Login

Step 3: Select from the available session list

After authenticating, the available session list appears (Fig. 9) and provided you have installed one of the products from the Terminal Server range, you can create a new desktop session or connect to an already existing one from the list. To create a new virtual desktop, click on the 'New desktop’ button at the top. If you have a virtual desktop session already running (as in our example in Fig. 9 labelled as 'Default virtual desktop on...'), just double click on the icon of that session to re-connect.

With NoMachine Terminal Server products, the physical display is made available only if you are the owner of that desktop, labelled as 'Physical display'. To learn how to connect to the physical desktop via web, please see above.

Click on new desktop to start a new virtual Linux desktop session

Fig. 9 - List of available sessions

Step 4: Connecting to the desktop

After you selected a session to create or connect to, you should see a ‘rotating wheel’ that indicates that the connection is loading (Fig. 10).

Rotating wheel indicates NoMachine is connecting to your remote desktop

Fig. 10 - Wait a moment whilst your session starts

Step 5: Get familiar with how to use the desktop

Upon connecting, 'Welcome screens' appear, which explain all the details and options available during the remote session, and your adventure with virtual Linux desktop has begun (Fig. 11)!

Welcome screens will guide you through using the session menu

Fig. 11 - Welcome screens guide you through the use of the connection menu & more

Congratulations! Your virtual desktop is now accessible in the browser. Open and edit your documents, work with your applications, and transfer files if you need to.

Remotely access an Ubuntu desktop via the browser

Fig. 12 - Default desktop on Ubuntu