How to setup FreeNX server and Client in Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid)

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FreeNX is a system that allows you to access your desktop from another machine over the Internet. You can use this to login graphically to your desktop from a remote location. One example of its use would be to have a FreeNX server set up on your home computer, and graphically logging in to the home computer from your work computer, using a FreeNX client.
Installing the FreeNX server in Ubuntu 8.10

You need to add the following source list to your /etc/apt/sources.list file

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

deb intrepid main
deb-src intrepid main

deb intrepid main
deb-src intrepid main

Save and Exit the file

To add the public key of FreeNX PPA using the following command

sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver 2a8e3034d018a4ce

Update the source list using the following comamnd

sudo apt-get update

Install FreeNX server using the following comamnd

sudo apt-get install freenx-server

Note:- Changing default ssh port  is Optional

Install ssh in ubuntu

sudo apt-get install ssh

On some machines or networks, port 22 may be blocked or not allowed. For example, some providers block port 22. To make the SSH server listen on port 877, you can do the following

Edit the file /etc/ssh/sshd_config

sudo gedit /etc/ssh/sshd_config


Port 22

and change it to

Port 877

You then need to restart SSHD. Try

sudo /etc/init.d/ssh restart

Edit the file /etc/nxserver/node.conf

sudo gedit /etc/nxserver/node.conf


# The port number where local ’sshd’ is listening.


and change it to

# The port number where local ’sshd’ is listening.


Save and exit the file That is, change the port number to the one that sshd is listening to, and uncomment the line.

If you want to start or stop Freenx server use the following commands

For start

sudo /etc/init.d/freenx-server start

For stop

sudo /etc/init.d/freenx-server stop

Install Freenx client in Ubuntu

Use the following comamnd to install freenx client in ubuntu

sudo apt-get insall nxclient

Opensource client

If you want to install opensource client for freenx use QTNX,QTNX NX client for QT install qtnx using the following command

sudo apt-get install qtnx

Install Freenx client in windows

You can download freenx windows client from here and install.

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14 Responses

  1. nhasian says:

    why would you use this instead of Ubuntu’s built in remote desktop vnc software?

  2. Brett Howard says:

    In answer to the FreeNX is a faster and much more robust product. VNC (what ubuntu uses by default) is more of a home user type of thing but it does ok where as FreeNX is more of a business application. Sorta like the different between XP Home and XP Pro.

  3. Brett Howard says:

    I should also add that depending on your implementation of VNC FreeNX can be MUCH more secure as well… If you’ve ever used VNC and felt that it was acting slowly this is a great reason to give FreeNX a try.

  4. Seraphyn says:

    You’ve to put nx in sshd_config at AllowUsers and btw, PermitRootLogin should be set to no.

  5. name says:

    why would you use ubuntu for this, why not mandriva, fedora or cent os

  6. bill clement says:

    no doubt, I wouldn’t use ubuntu for anything but a desktop, if even that. use a real linux system for real work. mandriva fedora slackware, something thats been around awhile.

  7. Wei says:

    I have used FreeNX/Nx client for a while and it is sooo much faster than VNC it is not even funny. Once you get used to the speed and responsiveness, you don’t ever wanna go back to VNC. It is like broadband and dialup. 🙂

    I work from home and my work computer is a CentOS box.

  8. nbensa says:

    @name and @”bill clement”

    You fanboys are killing Linux.

    Please, grow up. Use whatever you like and leave the rest live with their own choices.

  9. dreadmonkey says:

    I have been using for about a month now. Works great and is quite speedy. I don’t notice much of a different between local on the lan or offsite. I have one question though, has anyone figured out do the drive mounting for file transfer?

  10. samuli says:

    I tested this on Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy) and I managed to install QtNX with a few additional tweaks:

    * Replace “intrepid” with “hardy” in sources.list
    * sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver ED649F97DE6BFD99

  11. Theo says:

    Hi Brett,
    I updated sources.list and added the key as you have shown. I then tried to do a reload using sanaptic packet manager but I get the following

    W: GPG error: intrepid Release: The following signatures couldn’t be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY ED649F97DE6BFD99

    Is there a way I can fix this and install freenx?
    Thanks for a great article.

  12. Seth says:

    Theo – follow this link and it should help you out.

  13. Jean-Claude says:

    Love FreeNX….it’s a great app, just trying to get File Transfer / Sharing working….What ports have to be opened to allow File Sharing over the Internet?

  14. John says:


    If you leave the default encryption of everything alone, nothing except the ssh port needs to be let through the firewall, on the server side.

    (under advanced tab, make sure “dsable encryption” box at top is -not- checked)

    If you leave it at the default “encrypt all traffic”, it will push X, file shares, etc. all across ssh, somewhat akin to how Microsoft RDP pushes file shares across it’s own encrypted port (3389 tcp for them).

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