Remote Desktop Setup

nx - No Machine

There are a variety of ways Eskimo's shell servers can be accessed graphically. The best is by using a program called nx because nx allows you to have a full graphical desktop securely over any connection. It is usable even with a dial-up modem. With a DSL or cable modem connection, nx comes real close to physically being at the console. It is available for Linux, Windows, and MacOS (even older Power PC Macs). It does not require an X-server or other special software beyond the nx client on Windows and MacOS. It's free and it's easy!

Presently, this works on the new shell server shellx.eskimo.com only. This is because the new version is not available on the older servers and the old version is configured in a different way and I have yet to be able to locate any documentation for the older version.


Please be absolutely sure to read and follow the directions completely. Do not skip steps 8-13 even if the key that is in your client looks like the one on the website. They are not the same and it will not work if you do not put the correct key in place before connecting, you will get an authentication error. You only need to do this once per host when you set the nx client up.
  1. Download the free nx client from No Machine.

  2. The first time you start the nx client, it will automatically invoke the nx connection wizard. After you've configured the connection for one server, you will need to manually invoke the connection wizard to add additional servers. Click the next button to start.

    An image of the nx connection wizard start-up screen.
  3. Fill in the session with a human understandable name for the host you will be connecting to and the hostname with the name of the host, for example, "shellx.eskimo.com". The port will default to 22 which is the standard ssh port. Leave the port set to port 22. Set the speed to the speed of your connection. This will optimize nx for your connection speed providing the best compromise of quality and update speed.

    An image of the first dialogue screen in the nx connection wizard.
  4. After you've chosen a session name, filled in the host name, and set your connection speed, click next.

    The first dialogue screen in the nx connection wizard with values
filled in.
  5. Select the operating system of the host you are connecting to. In the case of Eskimo North's hosts, choose Unix. Technically speaking, Linux is not Unix because it is not derived from Unix code. However, it is a fully POSIX compliant functional equivalent and so for the purposes of connecting with nx, choose Unix.

    Select the Desktop, Gnome and KDE are supported here. I suggest Gnome, it is the most complete and well integrated of the two and the one that we are best equipped to support.

    Choose the initial screen size. This is not terribly important as you can change your desktop dimensions on the fly once logged in using the display preferences. The screen will resize on the fly.

    Do not click on disable encryption of all traffic. There is sufficient computational resources here that you would not see a substantial increase in performance but you would decrease your security. For this reason, encryption is required by our servers.

    The second nx connection wizard dialogue screen.
  6. Once you have selected operating system, Desktop environment, and screeen size, click next.

    The second nx connection wizard dialogue screen with values filled 
in.
  7. There is no necessary configuration in the advanced section. At this point click finish. You're not really finished, there is one more thing that needs to be done in the connect dialog box before you can actually connect. But this is all for the connection wizard.

    The final nx connection wizard dialog screen offering the user an
opportunity to configure advanced options.
  8. Download shellx.key which will be needed. You might want to create a directory or folder to put it in that is easily accessible.

  9. The next thing you will see is the connect box. This is also what you will see anytime you start an nx session. However, don't type your password and login just yet. There is one more necessary configuration to do before you can login. Click on the Configure button.

    The nx connection screen.
  10. On the configure screen, in the Server section near the top, click on Key.

    The configure subscreen portion of the nx connection screen.
  11. This will bring up a general key manglement, er, management window.

    The key screen with the default key.
  12. Click on Import, and then select the file shellx.key that you previously saved.

  13. After you import the key, click Save.

    The connect configure subscreen confirmation box.
  14. Click yes in response to the "Would you like to save your settings" dialogue box.

    The connect box all configured and ready to go.
  15. Now you're ready to type in your password and possibly your login, if it is different on the machine you are originating on, and click Login. You should be rewarded briefly with a desktop from our shell server displayed right on your screen which will respond to your mouse and keyboard as if it were connected right to our server.

    This is a picture of the Gnome virtual desktop displayed on top of a MacOS 10.5.8 Desktop, the stuff at the bottom is the MacOS dock.

    The Gnome Desktop you will see once you have logged in.
  16. Enjoy! To end the session and logout, click on your username in the upper right hand portion of the screen.

  17. If you don't have a shell account here, now is an excellent time to find out what you've been missing! Click Here For a Free Two Week Trial.

Eskimo North • P.O. Box 55816 • Shoreline, WA 98155 • Tel: 206-812-0051 • Toll Free: 800-246-6874