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Remote Graphical Login Service (NX)

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NX is a remote graphical login facility. It makes it possible to use a standard DICE desktop environment from any location on any device which can run the NX client application. (You can read more about NX technology at wikipedia.)

Installing and configuring the NX client

To use NX your device needs to have NX client software installed and correctly configured. We recommend installing NoMachine, but if that doesn't work then try installing OpenNX.

Using an NX client

The page NX sessions explains how to logout, and how to deal with suspended sessions.
The instructions for each NX client explain how to login using NoMachine and how to login using OpenNX.

NX Host Information

There are two NX servers:

Service nx.inf.ed.ac.uk
Access All users
Host hammersmith.inf.ed.ac.uk
IP address 129.215.202.146
RSA Host Key Fingerprint 42:9e:65:bd:00:08:27:68:16:23:0a:55:c5:61:72:98
ECDSA Host Key Fingerprint 1e:1b:5e:9a:12:b4:21:bc:42:e1:92:eb:e0:0c:d2:18
ED25519 Host Key Fingerprint 87:c6:63:55:16:09:bf:71:bc:94:87:c1:7e:51:43:0f

and

Service staff.nx.inf.ed.ac.uk
Access Staff, research postgraduates and visitors
Host jubilee.inf.ed.ac.uk
IP address 129.215.33.6
RSA Host Key Fingerprint d2:1d:6b:a0:76:62:14:60:0b:60:88:4a:5d:41:35:11
ECDSA Host Key Fingerprint 83:07:bc:7e:99:60:a4:04:e2:e8:4c:ac:ee:85:5e:c0
ED25519 Host Key Fingerprint 12:76:c5:02:bd:1f:80:22:2d:02:18:8c:05:61:57:6e

Limitations

The NX service is a shared facility. Please use it considerately. When you have finished using your session please logout so that resources become available for others.

The NX service is not a compute facility: it must not be used for processes which need a great deal of memory, processing power or which take days to run. These can be run on the compute servers.

To ensure fair sharing of resources, processes on the general access NX server are not allowed to use more than 2GB of memory. This means that memory-hungry software such as weka will not run; so such software is not installed on the NX servers.

Web browsing will usually work far better from your local machine than from the NX servers. If you need to access restricted School of Informatics or University web sites, then either use OpenVPN or try the https version of the web page, rather than trying to run a browser on the NX server. Additionally, web browsers can sometimes start up plugins which need lots of memory; if running on the NX servers these will then come up against the 2GB memory limit and fail to work.

Known Issues

  1. We cannot persuade GNOME to work with NX on SL7. We have therefore configured NX servers running SL7 to start MATE in place of GNOME. MATE is a development of the version of GNOME that was on SL6, so it should seem familiar to SL6 GNOME users. (Equally, we can't persuade MATE to show up as a desktop choice, so if you want to use MATE with NX, choose GNOME!) Alternatively KDE seems fine on NX on SL7: you may prefer to use that. See also Window managers on SL7.
  2. The OpenNX client does not seem to be compatible with recent versions of the Mac operating system OS X - specifically, from Yosemite (10.10) onwards. On these machines use the NoMachine client which seems fine.
  3. For the Windows 8 client the wrong keyboard layout is selected (typically us instead of uk). The only workaround is to manually configure the keyboard type using the standard preferences dialog for your desktop environment.
  4. If you're connecting from a Mac and get the message Warning: Can't create the shared memory segment. Error is 12 'Cannot allocate memory' then see this support article at nomachine.com.
Last reviewed: 
20/09/2016

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