Friday, August 19, 2005

FreeNX on Debian and Redhat

Given that the VTK installation is -uhm- challenging and not everybody has a huge computer we decided to experiment with some remote desktop applications. After a short evaluation (and believe me there isn't that much -- X, VNC, NX, and something backed by SUN) we decided to go with NX.

Early versions of FreeNX lack the GLX support which is critical for a 3D application like VTK so make sure to get a recent copy (>=1.5). Unfortunately there is no compression for GLX so make sure to reduce the triangles to make the application fast over the net...

In the Debian case you just add deb ./ to your apt-sources and then install them as usual. Run nxsetup, add a user with nxserver, and you are ready to go with one of the many clients offered at NoMachine's site. Beware: For some reasons the OS X client doesn't work with FreeNX.

The Redhat/Fedora people didn't do such a good job: I installed freenx-0.4.4-1.rh.0.noarch.rpm and nx-1.5.0-0.FC1?.1.i386.rpm from the FreeNX Fedora Howto and followed the instructions. I also carried out the following commands: nxsetup --clean --install --setup-nomachine-key Which created the nx user and his group. Unfortunately the rights for the keys sshd uses seem to be wrong in /var/lib/nxserver/home/.ssh -- I followed this guide to fix it. Lastly the public keys used by this installation are different from the ones used in the NoMachine-Clients. So you either copy the keys from somewhere on to your machine, generate the right keys, or copy the keys from your machine to the clients. I decided to go the later route and this worked fine for me.

Next week I will explain how to set-up moznx beacuse ultimately we want people just to click a link to use the VTK application and not worry about keys...


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