Summing up NX and GNUstep work

This post was quick to write, as it’s a cut-and-paste of a mail I just sent to gentoo-dev mailing list πŸ˜‰
But I think it sums up nicely both the NX packages updates, and the undergoing work in the gnustep overlay, so here it is:

On the NX servers side:

  • servers based on NX 2.1 code are now in portage, including the binary free edition from Nomachine (the NX developers), and freenx 0.6
  • both of these servers now work on ~amd64 (multilib only though)
  • 2x terminal server and client are now in portage: GPL (even the NX client) and based on Nomachine’s 1.5 code base
  • 6 (old) packages were removed from the tree, replaced by net-misc/nx
  • NX overlay provides a native 64-bit nx/freenx for the adventurous
  • bugzilla NX bugs count is down to 3 πŸ™‚

With fellow dev grobian, I’ve also started to get GNUstep in Gentoo back in shape (i.e clean, easy to use, up to date, …). You can check the progress in the new gnustep overlay:

Improvements include:

  • support for new gnustep-make 2.0
  • heavy rewrite of the gnustep eclasses and base ebuilds
  • less polluting of the user profile (no more need to source exernal scripts that tinker with the linker path)
  • easier-to-write ebuilds
  • version bumps everywhere (and a few new packages, as a promising-looking cairo backend)
  • under-the-hood fixes and enhancements here and there

Introducing the gnustep overlay

As promised, an overlay is now available if you want to try updated GNUstep packages. You can find it here, with a few update notes, overlay goals, … Enjoy and/or good luck!

# cd /usr/local # svn co portage # echo 'PORTDIR_OVERLAY="/usr/local/portage"' >> /etc/make.conf 

What do you get with it?
For now, it’s mostly behind-the-ebuild work (the new eclass is a LOT shorter, as is the gnustep-make ebuild), but there is also the latest version of the gnustep base packages, and version bumps for gworkspace and gorm, the new cairo backend (still experimental, there are still some rendering problems), …

And now, on my way to a 4-days long week-end with friends πŸ™‚

Joined the GNUstep herd

Now that NX support on Gentoo is up-to-date, I’ve started work in another Gentoo herd: gnustep!

The GNUstep project recently released a new make system, the Γ‰toilΓ© project is almost ready for its 0.2 version, and gnustep eclasses and ebuilds can benefit from a cleanup/rework, …. Lots of interesting enhancements πŸ˜‰

An overlay will soon be available for the interested people (well technically it’s already there, but it still lacks some polish!)

2X terminal server

Now that freenx and NoMachine’s free edition are in portage and working quite well, I’ve been working on getting 2X terminal server (and client) in portage. Those using the NX overlay may have already tried it πŸ˜‰ The TODO list for it is now almost empty, so you should see it appear in your favourite /usr/portage soon.

It’s always nice to have upstream around on IRC when you work on new packages πŸ™‚ You can thank 2X, the source tarballs are much smaller now. The client works on both (native) amd64 and x86, sadly the server only works on x86 for now (well in fact it’s only nxagent, but as it’s a critical part…)

On a side note, I bumped net-misc/freenet6, one of the IPv6 tunnel brokers. If you want to see the dancing kame or participate in the great IPv6 experiment (if this one helps IPv6 deploiement, I may start feeling depressed about humanity though)

NoMachine NX server free edition

Besides all the professional NX servers for enteprises, NoMachine also offers a free (as in beer) server, which offers most of the features available in the other servers (with a maximum of 2 simultaneous connections). If you’d like to discover how NoMachine’s servers work or are configured, give it a try! You may find the fonts to have a slightly different look compared to freenx.

Now that their latest maintenance release fixed a QA problem in the tarballs, ebuilds for this server will get into portage soon (net-misc/nxnode and net-misc/nxserver-freeedition, already available in the NX overlay). They will be available for x86 and multilib-amd64

Note for people who already have it installed: if you encounter license problems, the quickiest way is to remove your /usr/NX folder, and reinstall it entirely. Despite being free, this server still needs a license file, which may get clobbered by previous installs

Updated NX ebuilds now in portage

As promised, with your next “emerge –sync”, you’ll get:

  • latest nxclient 2.1 release (with desktop entries and pixmaps)
  • bumped NX 2.1 components (remote desktop looks even nicer/faster with tem)
  • freenx 0.6 release (NX 2.1 compatibility, closes some bugs)
  • last but not least: amd64 support (for multilib profiles) for all of these ebuilds!

These allowed me to clean up the open NX bugs list in bugzilla πŸ™‚

Also, if you are still using split NX components (ie net-misc/nxcomp, net-misc/nxssh, …), these will be removed soon (and are not used by NX server ebuilds anymore): the “new” package to use is net-misc/nx, which regroups all NX components (and prevents some bugs too!)

For people waiting for NoMachine’s free edition server ebuilds, they stay in the NX overlay for now (QA issue, NoMachine is working on it).

New Gentoo developer

Hi all!

Thanks to my mentor genstef, I am now a Gentoo developer. For now, I will be working on the NX-related packages in Gentoo.

If you never used it, NX technology allows you to enjoy a full remote desktop (KDE/Gnome/…) even over high latency, low bandwidth links. There is a good techical presentation here by NoMachine (the company that developed the NX protocol).

If you use it, well there already are some updated ebuilds in the NX overlay, whil will progressively get into Portage. What’s on the agenda?

  • Close bugs, clean up old versions, …
  • Bump NX libraries to 2.1 (current version is 1.5 only)
  • Add FreeNX (the GPL server) 0.6 release
  • Add ~amd64 support (thanks mulitlib)

That’s for the near future, other features are still under development (nomachine’s free edition server, native amd64 nx server, 2X server/client, …)