FreeNX 0.7 in portage, Etoile 0.2 (almost) in the gnustep overlay

For the (free as in speech) remote desktop enthusiasts, nxserver-freenx-0.7.0 is now in portage. What’s new in it? Well, most patches from 0.6.0 ebuild were merged upstream, a few other bugs were fixed, and it has much better printing support (mostly untested by me, though, this requires a printer…). A patch submitted to the freenx mailing list by google folks also allows better font display (older versions displayed smaller fonts than in the commercial NX servers). One last thing, those with USE=xcb should have a working freenx again πŸ™‚

If you wonder about it, no freenx 0.7 does not use the new NX 3.0 features. However a full rewrite is under way, with modular design, NX 3.0 support, …

GNUstep users now… The gnustep overlay now holds an (almost complete) series of packages for Etoile 0.2. Run emerge etoile and remember to do as the emerge output says πŸ˜‰

Also remember that:
1. this is still a 0.2 version, do not expect macosx-on-linux (that said, the work already done is really impressive)
2. the ebuilds are still Work-In-Progress, they will probably change some more before the ebuilds work fine. As usual, feedback is welcome!

OK, next thing on my TODO list now: expat upgrade on my server!

GNUstep overlay progress

GNUstep on Gentoo users, this is for you! (other interested people can read on, of course)

The gnustep overlay is now almost 200 commits old, so it’s time for a status report (ie what’s the overlay usability status?)

  • New gnustep eclasses

These are more or less complete now (some changes still get in here and there), and are quite usable now πŸ˜‰ They still need some proper self-review, before getting reviewed by gentoo-dev folks

  • Updated base packages (and gnustep on gentoo organization)

These packages have not been changed for some time now and run fine, they’ll be ready for portage inclusion when the eclasses are

  • Packages updates

GNUstep ebuilds using the new system are easier to maintain, so the apps in the overlay behave quite well, and are up-to-date. People interested in ProjectCenter will most certainly like the the SVN pre-0.5 version available, quite an enhancement compared to stable 0.4.3 (for example this one works on ~amd64) As an enhancement, some of the gnustep-libs packages could change to the gnustep-base eclass (which does not require gnustep-gui and gnustep-back installed) instead of gnustep-2

  • Γ‰toilΓ© packages

The Γ‰toilΓ© project recently released their 0.2 version. Some packages were already in the overlay (popplerkit/vindaloo for example), I am now working on the missing ones, and adding a global ebuild to easily set it up for the user For now, all frameworks are available, most of the user applications (typewriter, grr, …) too. What’s still missing is Azalea and friends (the window manager), the Etoile background systems (that allow for macos-x style menus on top), and some integration

If you are curious about Γ‰toilΓ©, a livecd should soon be available (probably before all packages are integrated in the overlay). Or of course, the web site

End of holidays, NX updates

OK holidays are finished, let’s get back to (Gentoo) work!

NoMachine was pretty active these past weeks, fixing many bugs in NX 3.0 , that some NX users have or may have encountered:

  • users with USE=xcb, no more /etc/hosts cheat needed! The free edition server now works fine on them
  • with XDM, one could not open any new window after disconnecting and reconnecting the session
  • also a potential security issue was fixed in nxnode, please update to nxnode-3.0.0-r3

Freenx 0.7 was also released, I’ll get it into portage soon. Don’t expect the new features as in NX 3.0, this version still uses NX 2.1 libraries

And now back to clean up all the unread emails that tried to fill my poor inbox πŸ˜‰

NX 3.0 is out!

The Nomachine folks released a new major version of NX, highlights include (shamelessly taken from the release announcement):

  • Desktop sharing

NX 3.0.0 gives remote access to the local display of the Unix workstation where the server is installed, meaning that users and system administrators can now get quick access to all the computer’s resources and remotely control any NX-enabled PC over the Internet.

  • Session shadowing

Multiple users can now connect to a NX session at the same time, show and share files, demonstrate software and presentations, even chat with the other users on the server. Session shadowing is supported for all remote desktop protocols, including RDP (Windows Terminal Server) and VNC

  • Full support for the x86_64 architecture
  • Screen scaling capabilities

NX is now able to scale the content of the frame-buffer, to offer thumbnails of the remote desktop or to fit the desktop in a smaller screen.

  • Dynamic reordering of the screen updates

Based on the available bandwidth and the current level of congestion, NX will defer the most bandwidth-consuming operations to give precedence to interactivity. With browsers and office applications, for example, NX will reorder the screen updates to show first the textual output. With videos and games, NX will drop the intermediate frames,similarly to the way a media player would do in the same conditions, if the bandwidth is not sufficient to keep the frame rate of the requesting application.

  • Greatly reduced session reconnection times

Special attention was paid to ensuring that sessions can be migrated from a computer to another in literally no time. As an example, the time for reconnecting a GNOME session through a modem link went from the 2-3 minutes, required with the 2.x.x code-base, to 15 seconds.

  • Bug fixes, no more need for compatibility libstdc++

nxserver-freeedition is now bumped in portage, enjoy and test

As for freenx, the new features will need to be added, so if you want them, please send a mail to frenx mailing list or directly to Fabian Franz (the freenx developer) to motivate him πŸ˜‰ Read Fabian’s post and tell him “thanks!”

GNUstep-interested people, you’re not forgotten, the overlay heavy work is now mostly done, we’re in bug-fixing mode now. Etoile should soon release its 0.2 version (yes yes it will be added in the overlay after gnustep in gentoo is fixed)

Bye bye vmware, hello virtualbox!

When I got my new desktop box some months ago, I got motivated enough to install the “other OS” I got with it in a vmware image (vmware workstation with test license first, then vmware server/client thingy when it expired πŸ˜‰ ).

Now virtualbox provides an interesting alternative: good performance, works natively on amd64, can read vmware images, GPL edition available, …

The binary edition provides remote desktop, usb support and shared folders, but I can live without them, so that’s one less 32bit closed-source program on my box!

“Updating” the image from vmware to virtualbox took some time though. If you want to try it: this page is a must-read: How to migrate existing Windows installations to VirtualBox. All steps were needed, plus reactivation of the OS, as the ‘hardware’ changed a lot

Now waiting for openJDK and gnash (java and flash) to pimp up firefox and dump nspluginwrapper (nice temp solution, but tends to crash a LOT)

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)