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 😉 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 😉 ).

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 😉
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 🙂

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: http://overlays.gentoo.org/proj/gnustep/wiki

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