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Next Knoppix Release to Feature GPL'd FreeNX

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the x-for-everyone dept.

Debian 238

linuxtag-reporter writes "The first day of LinuxTag, Europe's biggest Free Software event (expecting 25,000 visitors) already has one big highlight. It seems that Fabian Franz from the Knoppix Project hacked up a 'FreeNX Server' based on NoMachine's NX technology (poor NoMachine might lose business now). Fabian Franz presented a first preview of the 'GPL Edition' in a live demo together with Kurt Pfeifle. The demo showed sessions going from Germany to Italy just based on a slow WLAN connectivity (shared with hundreds of visitors). A connection lost due to bad network conditions was easily re-connected to, and a deliberately suspended session was revitalized too -- it was just like 'screen' with a GUI! A report on the official LinuxTag webpage says FreeNX will be publically released for the first time as part of the upcoming Knoppix-3.6 release. The Kalyxo project is building and hosting Debian packages of FreeNX and NX/GPL for everyone to use."

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238 comments

hooray (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518129)

for whatever

another example (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518167)

of oss spreading more

Terminal services (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518194)

Is this the same behaviour as in Windows Terminal Services?

Re:Terminal services (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518767)

Essentially. Except it uses X with some additional compression techniques.

What do these things do? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518205)

Besides being part of a future Knoppix release, what is NX?

Please assume that some readers (me, others?) don't know what "screen" is.

Maybe I should google for "linux screen knoppix" - that would be useful...

I could click on the nomachine.com link, but why should I have to?

-ac

Re:What do these things do? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518270)

So, you're saying that you should be able to get a full and complete understanding of a technical system solution from a Slashdot article blurb without doing any research of your own or without reading any of the links?

Wow...

Laziness, thy name is Anonymous Coward.

Re:What do these things do? (5, Insightful)

KilobyteKnight (91023) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518769)

So, you're saying that you should be able to get a full and complete understanding of a technical system solution from a Slashdot article blurb without doing any research of your own or without reading any of the links?

I believe what what the poster meant was that a news posting should at least have a basic overview of what the heck it's about.

I know what Knoppix is, I know what screen is, but I don't have a clue what NX is. Even descriptive adjectives would help.

I'm interested in finding out what NX is. Since the link is Sashdotted I can't at the moment. I've gotten side tracked by your anonymous flame. I will probably have forgotten about it by later today. So I'm left wondering.

The editors here signed million dollar contracts, revenue is coming in from ads and subscriptions, they've been at it for years.... you'd think they'd have learned at least a few basic journalism techniques.

I see a lot of wrong information posted as news. The most descriptive news items are typically when they lucked out and copied a good paragraph from the story link. Heck, they aren't even good at checking to see if they've already posted the story on their own site.

It's just laziness. I'd expect such from volunteers... but as I pointed out, they're getting paid well.

Re:What do these things do? (3, Funny)

tachin (590622) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518298)

I could click on the nomachine.com link, but why should I have to? Maybe because that's the whole point of the web...you know...hyperlinks and all..?

Re:What do these things do? (2, Insightful)

Aumaden (598628) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518455)

AC: I could click on the nomachine.com link, but why should I have to?

tachin: Maybe because that's the whole point of the web...you know...hyperlinks and all..?

Hah! I was right the whole point of posting an article on Slashdot is to beat nomachine.com into a quivering mass of submission!

Seriously though, simply explaining what "NX" meant might have spared nomachine's server for at least a few more minutes.

Re:What do these things do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518491)

What's the point when all of the links in the article are down.

Re:What do these things do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518309)

The search "GNU screen" might be more fruitful. It's a very nice software which lets you attach and detach virtual screens to/from shell processes.

It also inspired Ratpoison, the One window manager.

Re:What do these things do? (5, Informative)

Leomania (137289) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518335)

From the manpage for screen:

"Screen is a full-screen window manager that multiplexes a
physical terminal between several processes (typically
interactive shells)."

I use it all the time; start an interactive job while I'm at work on a particular machine using screen, disconnect using "CTRL-A d" then go home, log into the same machine, issue the command "screen -r" and I'm right back into that shell session.

These days, I mostly use TightVNC [tightvnc.com] over a VPN pipe instead, which gives me the graphical equivalent of this.

Hope this helps.

- Leo

Re:What do these things do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518396)

Thanks!

Re:What do these things do? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518763)

This brings me on to a question I have wondered for a while. I am no linux/X guru and everyone I have asked this to before has ignored me or not known. and my searching abilities obviously arent up to scratch.

Is there a way of reattatching a running X application to a different X server without having to kill it & re-open it? I use screen all the time for IRC and I use tightVNC as well, but sometimes VNC can get a bit heavy on my connection. It would be nice if I could take a single running X application with me without havign to take the whole desktop.

Thanks in advance.

Re:What do these things do? (1)

telloc (144372) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518410)

Well, I did click the link, and I'm not sure what the hell it is either.

Correct me if I'm wrong (2, Interesting)

Tim_F (12524) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518215)

But an F/OSS hacker has taken a company's proprietary work and made it available for free, even giving it a similar name.

Why is this a good thing?

If F/OSS developers want to speed up Linux, the corporate environment is where they should be looking. By doing this they have enabled corporations to get something for free which could cause a company (and a lot of potential Linux users) to go out of business.

How are the developers supposed to feed their children if they're unemployed?

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518272)

How am I supposed to feed my children (as a professional slashdot poster) with you constantly posting comments for free?

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (4, Insightful)

hackel (10452) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518301)

Heh, you obviously don't understand the point of Free software. In general, having that product available as Free software will attract much more users than the few at that particular company that might go out of business. If they are -smart-, they will assist the open source development effort, and re-tailor their business to provide expert integration solutions of FreeNX, etc.
It's all about -service- and developing code, not re-selling code over and over again without doing any work. That's the difference. They don't have to go out of business, just change their old business model.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

timts (766509) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518637)

free doesnot necessarily mean more users, it could be the opposite. the software has to be good first to gain its popularity, many people around me dont care about paying $30 for something they like.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

merdark (550117) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518790)

You FOSS types like to go on about 'changing their old business model'. But you never give *any* evidence, other than a few isolated cases, that this is possible in practise.

My hypothesis is that FOSS style business models cannot replace the current proprietary models. If everything were to go FOSS, then I think a LOT of programmers would be out of jobs. I dont' have any proof of this either, but I will point out that it's human nature not to pay for things they get for free. Selling services might work for corporations, but you'd lose 90% of the home market. That's a LOT of money and people who become unemployed.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518823)

If it's released under the GPL it certainly isn't free software. Sure I can use it or it's souce code without paying anyone a dime, but if I want to take that code and modify it and resell a compiled version of it then there are some seriously hampering strings attached. A BSD style license, now that is truely free software. I can do whatever the hell I want to do with it as long as I give the authors proper credit. GPL = free code with strings attached, BSD style license = free code that actually free.

You are wrong (5, Informative)

RenatoRam (446720) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518310)

NoMachine had opensourced the NX products, so anybody has the legal right of forking and renaming it.

Nothing particularly new: firms will continue to give money to NoMachine for support and administration tools.

Have fun...

Re:You are wrong (1)

warpSpeed (67927) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518661)

Nothing particularly new: firms will continue to give money to NoMachine for support and administration tools.

And... NoMachine is free to incorporate anything put into the forked versions of the code back into its code tree.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (5, Informative)

agoliveira (188870) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518325)

Actually, you are wrong indeed.
All the core NX technology is GPL. The proprietary part is based on them. What Fabian did was to take those components and create it's own version of this part.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518476)

...and that sure is a nice reward to them for doing a GPL release.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518733)

Well if the GPL released code is only part of a system then what use is it without the non-GPL parts? In that case, why bother GPL-ing them at all? Unless you expect someone to finish off the missing bits...

This way they can have the core of their system updated, bug fixed etc by an OSS community, while still selling their value-add version.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (4, Insightful)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518347)

But an F/OSS hacker has taken a company's proprietary work and made it available for free, even giving it a similar name.

Why is this a good thing?


Have they taken (ie stolen) the company's work? Or did they simply re-implement a commercial product's functionality from scratch? In the latter case I don't believe there is anything wrong with that (and seemingly neither do you, since you seem to be in support of Linux). In fact I consider that to be a very good thing. Complaining about that is like complaining that couples getting married and having sex out of love is hurting prostitution.

Finkployd

As far as I remember... (2, Informative)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518354)

As far as I remember, NoMachine's NX software is based on GPL code, which means they had no choice but to release the source code.

I remember trying to build it from source when it first came out, but it proved rather tricky. It's nice that someone's now put in the time to make an easy-to-compile distribution of it.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (3, Insightful)

zgornz (318679) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518357)

NX is a PUBLIC standard, they WANT other implementations of it. Nothing becomes real mainstream if it's closed, look at HTTP/FTP/SMTP/VNC those are all standards. Then you have closed things, like IM where there are a million different closed protocols (and yes a few open ones).

Knoppix is implementing a protocol that NX released, they also released a proprietary implementation of it. Obviously they want people to buy theirs, but they published the protocol so that others could use it to. (In turn making their protocol stronger, and their product stronger)

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (4, Funny)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518433)

Nothing becomes real mainstream if it's closed

Yeah, that Windows product will never catch on!

Sorry. I had to. I couldn't help it. The voices told me to.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518478)

Isn't that the whole point of free software? To create software that is not dependant on a single entity?

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (3, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518757)

But an F/OSS hacker has taken a company's proprietary work

If I understand correctly, (s)he only took their Free work. The core of the NoMachine product is GPL.

and made it available for free ... Why is this a good thing?

Speaking strictly from a capitalist standpoint, it is good because it reduces the cost to businesses that wish to use this technology. Similarly, the freeness of HTTP software (client and server) has been a great boon to corporations that wish to provide easy access to information about their product lines. This has in turn lead to consumers making more informed decisions, which is one of the keystones of free market capitalism. (that's just the good part, in response to your question, see below for a look at the bad part)

even giving it a similar name.

The similarity in the name is the "NX" part. I believe NX is a Free protocol. This is much like referring to both Sendmail and Postfix as SMTP engines.

If F/OSS developers want to speed up Linux, the corporate environment is where they should be looking. By doing this they have enabled corporations to get something for free

Very well said. This statemtnt (which clearly supports FLOSS) seems to be in contrast to the rest of your post.

which could cause a company (and a lot of potential Linux users) to go out of business.

All competition has this effect, whether from proprietary or Free sources. Are Chevrolet and Ford evil because they caused Yugo to go out of business?

How are the developers supposed to feed their children if they're unemployed?

They can't. But this makes a leap from "FreeNX removed or reduced the ability to charge twice for solving a problem once" to "developers will be unemployed." That is a spurious leap. The ideal situation, from an economic standpoint, would be for each solution to each problem to be developed once, and the development effort compensated once, freeing the development resource to move on to the next problem. The increased pool of available software labour resources would reduce the time delay businesses incur in solving their information problems, but does not necessarily reduce the time value of solving any given problem the first time. If we begin to approach software development as a temporally-oriented problem solving service, one cannot accurately predict the effect on the wages paid - the economic shift is too great to predict the result on the supply side - but the demand side will be very happy indeed.

We have not yet developed the economic models to make this a practical reality yet, but with FLOSS operating in tension with proprietary software, the economic stage has been set. This is the typical first stage in every major economic advancement - new technology, in this case zero cost reproduction of information, makes new economic models possible. The shift to the implementation of those new economic models must necessarily occur after the technological advancement, and so a period of market inefficiency occurs. It's not a bad thing, any more than Ford's assembly line was bad for Daimler Benz.

Poor NoMachine indeed. (5, Funny)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518218)

(poor NoMachine might lose business now).

This is compounded by higher bandwidth charges due to their present Slashdotting. They'll be tits up in no time.

VNC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518219)

What are the key advantages between this and VNC?

That connection re-establishment sounds the same.

Is NX less bandwidth intensive (though'i'm satisfied with VNC).

The poster did say "screen with a GUI" ..I guess switching between screens .. is easier somehow in NX?

Anyone know the key advantages?

Re:VNC (5, Informative)

jrcamp (150032) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518264)

VNC performance has always been unacceptable to me, even on LAN's. NX uses the X11 protocol, but it encrypts (via SSH) and compresses by itself so you don't have to open an SSH tunnel, etc. It can also play the sound on the local host.

Re:VNC (2, Interesting)

Leomania (137289) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518530)

Like anything else, it depends upon what you're trying to do and how much performance you need/want.

Me, I use TightVNC over a VPN tunnel (cable modem) and it has acceptable performance. I do pay a performance hit when I use a graphical program such as a place & route tool (I'm an ASIC engineer) but it's by no means unusable.

Of course, I have been forced to use that same place & route tool over a 128Kbit ISDN line (years ago) so I'm quite pleased with what VNC allows me to do, both in terms of speed but more importantly in terms of freedom. When you do ASIC layout work for a living, you sacrifice a lot of family time if you can't detach/reattach ala VNC. So I'm pretty damned thankful.

That's not to say I don't welcome new applications if they better meet my needs. I'll be delighted to learn more about what NX offers just as soon as I can actually visit the proferred links!

- Leo

Re:VNC (1)

eSims (723865) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518593)

No mod points.... can't mod troll....

VNC is only unacceptably slow if it is not configured correctly. I regularly (read EVERYday) use VNC via ssh to connect to work and run my full Linux desktop as well as Windows under VMware (stupid corp policy w/ Outlook) and it is both fast and efficient.

In fact I can sit anywhere on the Coporate LAN (Fortune 500 Co) and efficiently work from my desk. I have sat at all flavors of Unix, windows, heck even a Mac to work and before long probably my Phone ;-).

My point is this: Don't discount an App (especially such a widely used app) just becuase you haven't figured out how to use it efficiently. (useability is a separate discussion.)

Re:VNC (1)

TheCrazyFinn (539383) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518744)

VNC is only acceptable until you try RDP or Citrix, and experience what performance is possible over a remote link.

RDP is king for WAN links, X11 for LAN links and VNC sucks on both. ANd yes, I've tried TightVNC, it's better than standard VNC, but still sucks in comparison with the competition

I just wish Apple would license RDP for OS X, then my life would be complete.

Re:VNC (1)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518608)

My one time using VNC (ThinVNC, IIRC) was over a dial-up connection. Unacceptable doesn't even begin to describe it.

SSH over a LAN? Bloody luxery! (Obligatory "Kids these days" comment)

Re:VNC (3, Interesting)

zoso (105166) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518561)

NX is about networking - high latency/long distance(many hops) - are enough to run X applications.

Printing support. Connect to remote NX server - and print on your local printer.

Multimedia support - launch xmms remotely and hear the sound in your headphones ....

Re:VNC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518714)

Ty summary. Well now I know what it is I say kudos to them! Anything that helps sort out the hell that is 'linux printing' is to be welcomed. (I say this as a level 10 linux zealot.)

Knoppix is great for the KDE crowd... (2, Informative)

Shoeler (180797) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518225)

For the rest of us, gnoppix [gnoppix.org] is the best bet. On a side note - what's the real benefit for gnoppix / knoppix outside of a kiosk or classroom environment?

Re:Knoppix is great for the KDE crowd... (3, Informative)

porcorosso (178451) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518289)

It's a real easy way to get debian installed on your hard drive.

Boot up, hit Ctrl-Alt-F2, type knx-hdinstall.

Re:Knoppix is great for the KDE crowd... (1)

Shoeler (180797) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518316)

I'll buy that for a dollar.

I've used gnoppix for the past few months in our teaching lab with great results. A perfect distro load each boot time.

Re:Knoppix is great for the KDE crowd... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518302)

Data recovery. Forensics. Learning Linux without reinstalling everything every time you trash your system. Testing hardware in a store before you purchase it. Freeing up drive space by not having an OS installed. HArdly an exaustive list.

Re:Knoppix is great for the KDE crowd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518330)

restoring windows boxes

Re:Knoppix is great for the KDE crowd... (4, Interesting)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518411)

In my case Knoppix-STD has been awesome! It's allowed me to play with wireless security tools that I had previously had a bitch of a time trying to configure in a standard Linux Distro. No driver fiddling, no recompiling, no patches, no hair pulling! i fire up Knoppix-STD, plug ni my Lucent card, run an applet to configure my wireless, and away I go with Kismet, Airsnort, Wallenreiter (sp?), Airtraf, and other tools like Ethereal. Knoppix has allowed me, a Windows user, to experience and get accustomed to Linux without having to worry about hosing a drive or sweating arcane drivers issues. If I screw something up or get lost I can simply reboot and be back to square one with no damage done. as soon as I figure out how to mount a USB FOB and install my own apps on it etc. I'll be well on my way to moving a Linux partition onto my HD full time :-)

IMO, Knoppix provides a terrific way to introduce people to Linux. You can also use it to (more) securely surf on strange computers if you want. I see someone has linked to soemthing called Gnoppix below this - I'll be checking that out next! Live Distros rock! :-)

Re:Knoppix is great for the KDE crowd... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518418)

I've found it to be a nice tool for "caulking up" holes in many ways. So far at my research/computer scientist job, I've used it to fix a windows machine (dd, repartition, fiddle a few files) and, more interestingly, run numerical-computation intensive linux applications on the new, faster (winXP pro) management computers, many of which were sitting idle.

The Quantian variant is very good for the latter; it has almost all of the basic GNU sci/math software: R, gnuplot, octave, &c. set up and ready to "just work". It also has some built-in cluster support; drop-and-churn clustering for numerical computations sounds pretty nice, though I haven't tried that yet.

Unfortunately, the NTFS support is poor. This is probably for legal reasons rather than bona-fide technical ones. :( I am presently mulching up a USB memory stick as my home directory.

Re:Knoppix is great for the KDE crowd... (4, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518434)

The biggest benefit is that you can hand a disk to someone and say, "Here, try Linux." They don't have install 'er nothin', just boot from it.

The next biggest would be that it's an ultra-super rescue disk.

And bit less important, to me at least, but still a virtue, is that you can pop it into any machine, say a friends, one at work, or a clients and run in your prefered enviroment.

KFG

Re:Knoppix is great for the KDE crowd... (4, Informative)

ldspartan (14035) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518562)

knoppix is _great_ as a recovery / analysis tool. For instance, I'm installing XP on some machine and can't figure out what kind of ethernet card it has... Linux has 'lspci', but XP just reports "Unknown network card."

I can boot into Knoppix, lspci, download the drivers I need from Intel's site, and put them on the disk for Windows to find.

Another good example is my boss, who's laptop drive crashed a few weeks ago. While he waited for a replacement, he ran everything off of Knoppix and a USB Key.

It's impressive stuff.

--
lds

Re:Knoppix is great for the KDE crowd... (4, Interesting)

IceFox (18179) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518825)

As with everything in life the hardest part is the first step. Getting users to play with this Linux thing is much easier with Knoppix. People who I interact with all the time, but never wished to try Linux were willing to give Knoppix a try. Ok so maybe they don't switch the next day, but a month later when they need a tool that they saw in Knoppix they give it another whirl or when someone else talks about Linux they think... "Yah I used that, it wasn't hard... I like Linux". Maybe when they get an extra computer they decide to load Linux on it. All because you gave them a Knoppix disk.

It is a great simple way to let management play with Linux too. Where in the management world of MSOutlook and MSProject they can't load Linux on their box, but they can give Knoppix a whirl on *their* box and play with it on their own. Then when you want to use Linux for your next project they are more likely to let you because it is something they have used and doesn't seem so foreign.

It might surprise you the number of people who want to play around with Linux, but just haven't yet. I put up a small note that I was giving away Knoppix disks for free at work. I have given away (averaging two) a day for the last month. Try it at your work and see what happens. You might be surprised at whom is interested in playing with Linux.

-Benjamin Meyer

Knoppix sets them free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518827)

"On a side note - what's the real benefit for gnoppix / knoppix outside of a kiosk or classroom environment?"

Induction. Missionary work. Saving lost Windows souls.

You try telling a mate that you can convert them to Linux, but... you will have to repartition their drives after saving all their Windows data
then install a new OS that may or may not support
their scanner, printer, camera, DSL modem etc. But after a few hours struggling with downloading libs and rpms and hacking config files maybe you can do it.

Or.. try giving them a Knoppix CD and tell them to boot from it.

For people trying out (not decided yet) Linux it's perfect. It does what Windows does, and what lazy,
impatient, and dumb (normal) people expect to happen - you just put it in and it works.

Knoppix is a godsend to spreading Linux to home users.

Kudos to developers (5, Insightful)

Metteyya (790458) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518228)

It seems that Knoppix doesn't stop surprising everyone, being probably the most innovative Linux distro (introduced LiveCD and great hardware detection).
It would be great if other distro's developers tried going the same way - be innovative, be creative!. Now it's quite boring to have hundred of Kno* and *pix distros, every one built with philosophy "take Knoppix and replace two apps with your favourite ones".
Is there any way to financially support Knoppix?

Re:Kudos to developers (0, Troll)

glide (97627) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518274)

What the hell is "innovative" or "creative" about stealing someone elses product idea and reimplemting it under open source?

Re:Kudos to developers (1)

zulux (112259) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518367)

What the hell is "innovative" or "creative" about stealing someone elses product idea and reimplemting it under open source?

What the hell, it happens in commercial software all the time. Jucst because the Free software poeple do it now and then doesen't make it any more whong.

MS-DOS/Quick and Dirty DOS copied CP/M
Word copied WordPerfect
Excel copies Lotus 123 who copied VisiCalc
Windows coped Mac who copied Xerox

Re:Kudos to developers (2, Informative)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518407)

I should point out that NoMachine's MX was (IIRC) based on existing GPLed Free Software, so this isn't stealing any more than it was for NoMachine to take that GPLed code and make a product out of it. The source code for their stuff is on their website, it's just that another group has now taken that code and put it together in an easier-to-compile distribution. (If I understand the post correctly - I could not reach the Kalyxo webpage...)

I, for one, feel sorry for them (2, Funny)

geighaus (670864) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518229)

First, free GPL'ed version of their chief product. Now, their server is slashdotted. Damn, what a bad day for them

Re:I, for one, feel sorry for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518464)

The source was gpl all along and I don't think they will mind the extra publicity.

Better than VNC through compressed ssh? (5, Interesting)

jbwiv (266761) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518235)

I've always made out quite well with running a VNC connection through a compressed ssh pipe, like so:
$ ssh -f -CNL5901:localhost:5901 mylogin@myremotemachine

$ vncviewer localhost:1
How's NX any different/better? When it first came out, I gave it a look but didn't think speed was overly impressive...

Re:Better than VNC through compressed ssh? (5, Informative)

hackel (10452) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518337)

As the original post said, you can reconnect to disconnected sessions, which is nice. A VNC can't do that if the SSH tunnel is broken. I also currently launch VNC from inetd, and once that connection's broken, there's no way to re-connect to it. I'm definitely looking forward to checking out FreeNX!

Re:Better than VNC through compressed ssh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518597)

I break my ssh connections all the time, and can always reconnect. Why you cannot is because you are running sshd from inetd. Make sshd a standalone server and you will be able to reconnect to your VNC sessions.

Re:Better than VNC through compressed ssh? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518598)

On the server:
vncserver -localhost

On the client
ssh -L5901:localhost:5901 servername
vncviewer localhost:1

There you go. The server is persistent. If the ssh connection goes down, just reconnect and restart the viewer.

Re:Better than VNC through compressed ssh? (1)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518613)

"A VNC can't do that if the SSH tunnel is broken."

Huh? You can establish a new tunnel and re-connect to the still running session.

Re:Better than VNC through compressed ssh? (4, Informative)

4lex (648184) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518692)

I must be unknowingly running FreeNX (under an alias to vncviewer). If vncserver is still alive, you can *always* reconnect to the session, from any computer! I use a knoppix CD, ssh -X to my machine and vncviewer my vnc session, and it works great!

Re:Better than VNC through compressed ssh? (2, Interesting)

spif (4749) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518712)

use x0rfbserver instead. it lets you connect to an existing X session with VNC, instead of having to spawn a new Xvnc session from vncserver.

It's available as part of a Dag Wieers RPM [wieers.com], so if you're running Red Hat or Fedora Core you're set. And of course the source is a google away.

fp spOng3 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518246)

the last night of everyday...Redefin3 and promotes our Short 0f a miracle trouble. It

WTF is FreeNX?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518252)

Seriously, there is a link to CUPS ... is it some kind of internet print server?

Slashdot editors, please throw us a bone when you post a story with a new XYZ thing most of you have proably never heard of...

Re:WTF is FreeNX?? (3, Informative)

zoso (105166) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518592)

NX uses CUPS for printing support so you can print from remote servers to your local printers using the IPP 1.1 protocol. It's possible also to use my local printers exported by SAMBA which is quite useful ...

Is that like X? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518276)

Is this like the way that our tech guy can sit on the beach with his wireless X touchscreen notebook and open a remote window on the instance of an X app at any of our customer restaurants anywhere or perhaps is it like the way that he clones his own X window for a prospective client in South Africa and does a shared whiteboard demo for him?

Is it like that?

TightVNC is great (1)

jonasmit (560153) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518296)

and not a real bandwidth hog so hopefully someone can illuminate why this might be better.

Re:TightVNC is great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518523)

It simply perfomrs a lot better.

Sorry, could only find this article in german, but at least there are some nice graphics ;-D
http://www.pl-berichte.de/berichte/lt2004-nxa rtike l.html

Re:TightVNC is great (5, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518632)

TightVNC is still horrifically slow (and somewhat bandwidth-consumptive) compared to RDP -- try them side-by-side some time.

Poor NoMachine ? (2, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518311)

That looked like an apology for closed formats...Poor Adobe, they opened most of the PDF specification and lose business too, of course, doing that also helped to make their specification almost an universal standard, feasible to be used in organizations without the problems related to closed formats (arbitrary changes from vendor, disappearing vendor, low extensibility, etc) and in the long run increased the market for them.

NoMachine opening the specification of what they do just will have a different market if the use of they technology standarizes enough. That will open doors to they own extensions, support, being anyway as the visible head of that technology, etc. I think that some of the ESR writings explain a bit better the advantages of doing that.

A day late and a dollar short (0, Flamebait)

gumpish (682245) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518322)

For all of the noise that people make about how precious the network transparency of X-Windows is anytime people talk about adopting a totally different alternative, I've always been less-than-impressed that it was impossible to move a window from one X session to another or change an entire session from one $DISPLAY to another.

Re:A day late and a dollar short (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518436)

I already harfed this up in another comment, but look to the 'xmove' proxy for a now-very-aged-but-still-working demonstration of how this can be done... and why it can't, as regards the lack of (impossibility of?) sane extension handling.

Re:A day late and a dollar short (4, Funny)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518456)

emacs can do that! what other apps do you need anyway?

Re:A day late and a dollar short (0, Flamebait)

quigonn (80360) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518843)

A good text editor, probably. And in case you miss the emacs key shortcuts, there's vimacs.

Screen for a GUI... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518352)

...is something we're supposed to be able to do already. See again the now archaic 'xmove' project, a X11 proxy that still works today... as long as you don't intend to use any X extensions, or 3D, and so on. Oops. (Hey, at least you can run XMMS with it, sort of. This is actually a 'failing' of the X architecture, in that it's too flexible for its own good. Look into the reasons why xmove can't handle extensions for enlightenment.)

NX has long seemed like pretty cool stuff; I'm not sure if they've baked the 3D aspect, or exactly how well it works in person, but a completely Free version -- especially if it proves a lifesaver as regards emulating 'Fast User Switching' on a single UNIX desktop -- can only improve the market for their services/support business and so on.

Strange Bedfellows (2, Funny)

daves (23318) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518359)

A quick Google search led to interesting results. What do RMS and these ladies have to do with a server?

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient& ie =UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=freenx

Is FreeNX a KDE app? (1)

hackel (10452) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518365)

I wouldn't think any server should be, but I was curious since the Kalyxo project is said to be hosting it once it's released... I sure hope it's not dependent upon kdelibs...

Description (1)

Gyorg_Lavode (520114) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518373)

Would someone in the know please describe NX software, and how it relates to screen, remove X sessions, and VNCs? It seems many people, (including myself), don't understand how all of these work, (or maybe have a basic understanding of each but no inter-relational understanding), or the state or remote GUI linux in general.

NoMachines (2, Insightful)

Qwavel (733416) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518401)

It's great that this technology can now be incorporated directly into distributions, but I'm sorry that this couldn't be done with NoMachines rather than against them.

The vast majority of companies don't create Linux products, they create Windows products, so any company that creates new software for Linux should be appreciated, even if that software is closed source.

I'm definately not suggesting that any company involved in Linux should be given a free ride, I'm just saying that we shouldn't celebrate having outflanked a company that was contributing something to Linux.

BTW, I don't know anything about NoMachines in particular. Also, generally I think that the necessity of software being open source and free depends on where it fits into your system. Personally I don't mind close source applications, but I like to have my GUI toolkit open and free.

what NX is (5, Informative)

CoJoNEs (73698) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518508)

This was linked from NoMachine's site, somehow I got to it before it died.
http://www.newsforge.com/software/03/07/10/2146247 .shtml?tid=11 [newsforge.com]
from the article:
Thin client computing lets users run applications on a remote server and display the results locally. NX Client works something like VNC (see our recent story), but instead of using Remote Frame Buffer protocol, NX Client acts as an X Window server. Thin clients help contain costs by eliminating the need to install applications at each user's desktop, and improve security by limiting the availability of applications and data. The clients themselves can be dedicated hardware devices or regular computers running thin client software.

What is NX (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518533)

NoMachine's NX is a thin client that is similar to VNC with Windows compatibility. They claim it works on a 9600 baud connection.

http://www.newsforge.com/software/03/07/10/21462 47.shtml?tid=11

Bad name (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518589)

Nobody mentioned what's FreeNX so I google'd it - it means porn in some parts of the world.

Time to think up another name?

Put it in a more positive light (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518614)

It's not that they might lose business, its inclusion in the Knoppix distro means people are more likely to be exposed to it and buy into it for their company. Don't think that as people rise up the ladder they always forget their roots. Now I'm getting into a position in life where I make the decisions about what software to deploy it's actually a major moral and financial decision how
to support and feed back into open projects.
My business thinking right now is to support small local projects (British and European for me) and broader organisations that foster and support Open projects like EFF. Funds are less likely to go to projects that are already making their own commercial noises, but of course I wish them the best of luck. Im sure they recognise that funds don't always have to flow directly to the originator, that Open source is a broad movement and sometimes unfair to contributers. So, in summary - small donations to the little local guys, and larger orgs. In the middle ground we usually hope to contribute by returning non-sensitive code imporovements back into the CVS.

Where is this project located? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9518640)

I can't locate a project page for FreeNX.

Save a mod point, send me a Gmail invite instead - duncanatlk@yahoo.com

introduction to NX (4, Informative)

zoso (105166) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518713)

There was nice article about the NX:

http://www.orangecrate.com/article.php?sid=677

Sad Day (1)

PktLoss (647983) | more than 9 years ago | (#9518833)

Is it a sad day when the papers linked to on slashdot are no more credible than the comments posted in reply to them?
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