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NX Compression Technology To Go Closed Source

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the thanks-anyhoow dept.

Open Source 286

An anonymous reader writes "NoMachine has sneakily revealed it is closing its source of the NX compression technology with NX 4.0: 'This release marks an important milestone in the history of the company. Version 4.0 of the software, in fact, will be only available under a closed source license.'"

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Sneakily revealed? (5, Funny)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636012)

"NoMachine has sneakily revealed..."

That's quite remarkable.

Re:Sneakily revealed? (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636048)

It would appear they've achieved the impossible.

Congrats NoMachine! No matter how often I try to sneakily reveal something, I'm either too sneaky and nothing is revealed, or its revealed and not very sneaky at all!

Buried in tl;dr (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636136)

It would appear they've achieved the impossible.

Not impossible. To me, "sneakily reveal" sounds like "bury in a tl;dr changelog".

Re:Buried in tl;dr (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636224)

The problem with trying to hide something in a tl;dr changelog is that Someone - somewhere - WILL read the change log, and likely make mention of anything out of the ordinary on their blog.

In fact - I went to renew my Xbox live Gold membership a month ago or so... And they said that the terms and conditions of the service had changed since I last was on Gold. So I decided I would read through them. However - to continue this anecdote and help explain why it might be remotely funny - is that I had previously set my regional settings of my Xbox to Spain, and language to Spanish - so that when I got achievements in Halo 3 they came up as a different language. It's true, you can go and change it to like, Korean, then get some achievements, and no matter what language you go from there on out - they will come up in whatever language you achieved them in. I did this for a while, finding it to be of great amusement when someone new came over to my house and just happened to look at which achievements I had.

Anyways, so this ended up backfiring on me because the EULA and TOC of Live was now in Spanish, but I thought perhaps there was English at the bottom. However, there is no fast scroll when looking at the TOC - its very slow and you have to hold the analog stick down. To my dismay, there wasn't English. Afraid that going next would Mean I accepted to terms I didn't actually agree too - I quickly pulled up my computer and typed it in verbatim the entire thing into Google Translator.

If you've ever tried reading legalese in a language you do not understand - I highly recommend you NEVER EVER try it. Even after going through an internet translator you still will have no idea what the heck they are saying.

In hindsight I probably just should have not accepted the terms, gone and changed my language settings, and then gone through it - but I guess that seems obvious now, it didn't back then.

Re:Buried in tl;dr (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636434)

I was about to say something snarky and suggest you should have read it online, except that it seems pretty difficult to find. I haven't found it yet. Maybe you can't read it unless you are on the XBox, which would be rather bothersome?

Re:Buried in tl;dr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636666)

Google, dude [google.com] . It's right there, on the first result [xbox.com] .

Re:Buried in tl;dr (5, Funny)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636774)

Anyways, so this ended up backfiring on me because the EULA and TOC of Live was now in Spanish,

Nobody expects the Spanish interpretation!

Re:Buried in tl;dr (4, Insightful)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636476)

Well, I thought exactly the same thing as the grandparent - "sneakily revealed" is a fairly remarkable statement.

The link is "http://www.nomachine.com/news-read.php?idnews=331", so it would appear that it's on a regular news portion of their site - hardly sneaky. Furthermore, it's mentioned in the very first paragraph.

Rome, Italy, December 21, 2010 - NoMachine, a global leader in cross platform remote access and application delivery solutions, announced a software preview of its upcoming new products and technologies which offer a completely redesigned client GUI and restructure its flagship suite of NX Server. The new products will not only extend the current functionalities of NX application delivery and remote access products, there will also be new naming conventions adopted. This release marks an important milestone in the history of the company. Version 4 of the software, in fact, will be only available under a closed source license.

Beats me how they're being sneaky about doing it, at any rate. Shall we agree that the summary is (shock, stunner, surprise!) badly written, or at least very biased, and go on to debating the impact of the move?

Re:Sneakily revealed? (3, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636214)

It would appear they've achieved the impossible.

It's part of their new NX 4.0 implementation - they have other forms of encryption likes AES and 3DES but Sneaky Reveal is their own proprietary encryption algorithm.

Re:Sneakily revealed? (1)

jelle (14827) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636408)

Hmm... "proprietary encryption"?

http://www.interhack.net/people/cmcurtin/snake-oil-faq.html [interhack.net]

Re:Sneakily revealed? (3, Funny)

fucket (1256188) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636940)

Hmm... 'Hmm... "proprietary encryption"?'?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joke [wikipedia.org]

Re:Sneakily revealed? (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636622)

"Sneaky Reveal" is also apparently a part of their new lingerie line. The part for playful adults.

Re:Sneakily revealed? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637114)

Sneaky Reveal is their own proprietary encryption algorithm.

Which you should not trust, because it has not been through cryptanalytic rigor and attack attempts by the community at large.

They can publish their "Sneaky Reveal" algorithm details, and then, maybe we can take a look at it and see if the algorithm is cryptographically strong, or if it's just smoke and mirrors.

Re:Sneakily revealed? (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636356)

Indeed! I thought nothing could be seen in a NoRoo...

Oh, wait. Nevermind.

Improved? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636020)

Compression is such a slippery thing. I'll believe it is an improvement when I see a systematic study.

Assange (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636030)

Like I give a shit.

The more reason to use something else. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636036)

VNC or reverse engineer an open alternative.

Re:The more reason to use something else. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636084)

VNC sucks. Why not just keep using the open-source version of NX? They aren't taking that away.

Re:The more reason to use something else. (2)

madprof (4723) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636380)

Except VNC lets you control a Windows/Unix/Mac machine from a Windows/Unix/Mac machine just fine. Unlike NX.

Re:The more reason to use something else. (2)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637164)

VNC only offers a low form of control compared to what I get out of NX(IIRC, I never could get VNC to recognize more than 3 buttons on my mouse but I need the use of all 5), or rdesktop for that matter, and you don't need any special ports open, just SSH. And to top it off, NX offers better compression which is why they're likely closing the source. I have tried to convince NoMachine to make a Windows version but apparently they don't care about it despite my offers of wealth.

Re:The more reason to use something else. (2)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636200)

There's no need to reverse engineer anything. Version 3 is there, and no one is going to give a damn about 4.

Anyone who feels the open version lacks something is free to extend it on their own. If not... well... it's not going to stop working outright, and at least security bugs will be fixed in a timely manner.

Re:The more reason to use something else. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636668)

Anyone who feels the open version lacks something is free to extend it on their own.

Anyone is free to pick up the dog poop and trash in the city park. Not likely it's going to happen more than once in a while, unless they get paid.

Re:The more reason to use something else. (2, Informative)

harrkev (623093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636804)

Version 3 is in fact very good, but not perfect. It seems to have problems if the client is on a system with multiple monitors. Also, I have seen crashes when I full-screen SOC-Encounter. An update/bug fix would be very welcome.

This product is simply the BEST remote software for *NIX systems, period. VNC (all flavors) runs like an absolute dog compared to NX and, depending on the program, it as times completely unusable, while NX is generally very smooth.

Re:The more reason to use something else. (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636984)

Version 3 has one fatal flaw. It requires password authentication, and cannot do public key authn. If version 4 addresses this, I'd pay for it.

Re:The more reason to use something else. (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637212)

You can use PK authentication for the SSH traffic(for example if you want to thwart bruteforce attempts by allowing ONLY PK authentication) but the NX login requires a password regardless, I assume for security measures; I personally am cool with that.

Re:The more reason to use something else. (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637120)

I've never used NX because it always seemed almost insurmountable to do it "free". There was free NX available, but from everything I read, it was much more difficult to set up, and I never had the time to go through it all. Add to that the fact that it seemed necessary to pick up "freely available" parts from NoMachine. I work for a company that's very picky about licenses, and knowing that an attorney's reflexive answer is "NO!" I just stick to known-good licenses like GPL, BSD, and other things I know are already approved.

So I figure in the cumulative time it would take to navigate the maze called NX, setup, licensing, etc, I can just use vnc occasionally.

Re:The more reason to use something else. (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636958)

Why bother? The NX compression tech prior to this release is GPLed.

You don't NEED to reverse engineer anything. Just re-name it and take it down the way.

Fast remote X connection... (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636038)

Such a niche tech. Who are their customer base?

Re:Fast remote X connection... (1)

kriston (7886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636056)

Try as I might, I simply could not get this "whatever-it-is" software to work, and I know something about getting "whatever-it-is" software to work.

Nothing of value is lost here.

Re:Fast remote X connection... (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636364)

Your kidding I hope.

On my CentOS box it entailed the following gruelling sequence of steps:

$ sudo yum install nx freenx

Then, install a client, connect to your server, pretend you are working on your server.

This is useless for the runlevel 3 crowd (however my box is at 3 and it runs quite nicely).

Re:Fast remote X connection... (1)

vgerclover (1186893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636440)

For the runlevel 3 crowd ssh will always be there.

Re:Fast remote X connection... (1)

MichaelKristopeit319 (1963200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636110)

idiots...

i know some people that demand to use remote X to open a local terminal window rather than SSH'ing to the machine.

Re:Fast remote X connection... (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636406)

Ha!

In practice, NX doesn't provide more than PuTTy and XMing.

But is is impressive software.

Re:Fast remote X connection... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34637254)

Its more than just that, its kind of like GNU screen... for GUI; great for high latency / remote connections where GUI isn't a luxury.

Re:Fast remote X connection... (4, Informative)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636330)

I am a real CLI addict, but some things still require a GUI.

For example comparing a server's /etc tree with another one, and applying changes.I found Meld to be great for that. But to be able to effectively run Meld on an otherwise headless remote server, connected through a slow ADSL link, I need NX.

Plain X forwarding is fine on a LAN, but it's not really usable over ADSL.

Re:Fast remote X connection... (0)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636416)

Maybe ssh X11 forwarding with compression would help?

Re:Fast remote X connection... (1)

micheas (231635) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636828)

Maybe ssh X11 forwarding with compression would help?

What I have done to get X over ssh to work acceptably over dsl.

Set a simple theme for gtk and qt apps. Having images as the background for menu items seems to slow things down.

In addition to enabling compression, make sure that ssh is configured so that CompressionLevel is 9 instead of the default of 6.

Finally, if I am running a windowmanager remotely blackbox (and its offspring) are really light on network resources.

I have not had to do anything else to get things working acceptably.

New? (5, Informative)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636044)

Perhaps I don't remember it right, but in my recollection, NoMachine has always been a bit possessive with their (definitely impressive) technology. To the point that lesser alternatives have continued to be used and even developed.

Re:New? (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636244)

Well, they previously opened under an "open source it but make the open-source version a pain-in-the-ass to use" business model. You got a random code dump that wasn't even buildable. However, there was code there, and it was possible to fix it up, which is what the FreeNX and OpenNX projects did (along with adding a few things). With no GPL release of the core libraries, it's no longer possible to even use it as a base for a cleaned-up open-source release--- either projects will have to independently develop a fork of the previous version, or come up with something else.

Re:New? (2)

mattdm (1931) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636500)

Presumably, the success of FreeNX and the advent of OpenNX is what pushed them over the edge -- the "code dump that no one can use hahaha" model wasn't working for them.

Re:New? (4, Informative)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636564)

I'm hoping this will be the impetus for the forks to abandon all pretense of interoperability with NoMachine's crap session management and do it right.

Re:New? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636298)

Indeed. It's like they *want* people to not use it.

Re:New? (2)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636390)

Yes, they want people to use VNC, like any normal person would do. What they really want is people to depend on their product, then lock them in with a new version that is paid, but that ain't gonna happen. VNC is just fine, and X11 is free, plus every company I've ever worked for wanted to buy my Hummingbird, so why would I even bother with NoMachine? The only admin who ever recommended it to me was of the Windows side of the house, and I'm not buying. So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Re:New? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636964)

And they generally stink. "Neatx", the Google released tool based on NX, is already abandonware after a year. The authors have clearly given up on ever providing shared sessions or actually cleaning up the mess they leave in the "sessions" folder. FreeNX is workable, but also abandonware, and managing the private SSH keys for your new server is awkward and painful. It's overall performance atop the "nx" freeware source code is quite poor compared to the closed NoMachine tool.

What makes it really funny is that if you look carefully at their Windows client, it's built on CygWin.

violating software patents? (2, Interesting)

MichaelKristopeit319 (1963200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636050)

why else would they close their source when the compression industry is already saturated with near optimal free products?

Re:violating software patents? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636230)

"Optimal" is subjective.

The patents would most likely be related to speed, rather than compression ratio. For instance, all the good (fast) arithmetic encoders are still under patent. These trade a small bit of compression efficiency to avoid the expensive division per symbol that is otherwise required.

Re:violating software patents? (0)

MichaelKristopeit316 (1963192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636280)

uh... optimal is NOT subjective at all. there is a fixed and easily definable limit to the amount of lossless compression a dataset can withstand.

Re:violating software patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636374)

uh... optimal is NOT subjective at all. there is a fixed and easily definable limit to the amount of lossless compression a dataset can withstand.

So then to you, "optimal" is defined by the amount of lossless compression achieved. To others, "optimal" might be influenced by something else, such as performance.

subjective |sbjektiv|
1 based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

And knock off the condescending uh while you're at it.

Re:violating software patents? (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit314 (1963188) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636522)

you're the one implying i was incorrect... i'm the one proving that the only person incorrect is you. if you find such factual evidence condescending, that should tell you something.

if a minimal processing time can be defined, and a maximum compression ration can be defined, then "optimal" is not subjective.

you're an idiot.

why do you cower? what are you afraid of?

you're completely pathetic.

Re:violating software patents? (1)

PenisLands (930247) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636864)

If I wrote a comment like yours, I'd be ashamed of myself. I don't care what you're talking about, the way you write makes me ill.

Re:violating software patents? (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit320 (1963202) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636908)

did your mother name you "PenisLands"? why do you cower behind a chosen pseudonym? what are you afraid of?

cower some more, feeb.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:violating software patents? (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636726)

Or performance on the input type. Sure lossless compression cares less what it operates on, but you can still have algorithms which make more sense for different types of input. As a trivial example, if the input to your compressor is one of five GB-long sequences known in advance, you can compress that down to 3 bits.

Re:violating software patents? (4, Interesting)

dpilot (134227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637138)

One of the antecedents of NX was a thing called "dxpc", which I used to use. It did compression, but more performance came from simply being a proxy and short-circuiting many of the round-trip communications X did. X is a very chatty protocol, and much of that chatter can be intelligently done away with. That's one of the things that dxpc, and now NX did.

A year or two back I found dxpc source, dusted it off, and it actually built cleanly. But it didn't work worth spit. I guess X has moved on.

Re:violating software patents? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636464)

there is a fixed and easily definable limit to the amount of lossless compression a dataset can withstand.

Um. Okay. How many bits are there in the optimal coding for this post?

Turns out it isn't *that* easy to define.

Re:violating software patents? (-1)

MichaelKristopeit314 (1963188) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636548)

1 bit.

define the decoder as such: if the bit is 0, the coding will render nothing. if the bit is 1, the coding will render your post.

it's more than easy. it's trivial.

you're an idiot.

Re:violating software patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636876)

Well most of your posts are certainly easily compressible :).

Re:violating software patents? (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit302 (1962652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636944)

ur mum's face are certainly easily compressible

Re:violating software patents? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636890)

> when the compression industry is already saturated with near optimal free products ...
And then,
> there is a fixed and easily definable limit to the amount of lossless compression a dataset can withstand.
And then,
> 1 bit. it's more than easy. it's trivial.

Great. Where can I get your "near optimal free product" that can losslessly compreess ANY dataset into (near) 1 bit?
What a moron.

Re:violating software patents? (0)

MichaelKristopeit301 (1962650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636942)

i was not asked to provide a product to "compreess ANY dataset" i was asked to compress a single arbitrary dataset.

you're an idiot.

why do you cower? what are you afraid of?

you're completely pathetic.

Re:violating software patents? (0)

MichaelKristopeit308 (1962664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637018)

the truth = troll

score 0 = overrated

slashdot = stagnated

Re:violating software patents? (2, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637152)

uh... optimal is NOT subjective at all.

Wrong, douche bag.

There are at least 4 metrics in the case of data compression that can be optimized for, and further that any metric can have a weighted level of importance:

1) Compression ratio.
2) Speed of compression.
3) Memory Overhead (the good compressors use a LOT of memory.. one compression competition limits memory use to "only" 1 gigabyte)
4) Recovery rate from corruption/transmission errors.

You are obviously one of those compression noobs that talks the big talk but doesnt have any applied experience in the matter.

Re:violating software patents? (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit308 (1962664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637190)

did your mother name you "Rockoon" or is that the name you were given on the first day of idiot camp?

considering the compression ratio will change from file to file, the weighted level of importance would only be relevant if it were on an average compression ratio over an arbitrarily sized series of sample files. i'm confused how you could not understand this.

also considering that those very weighted levels DEFINE THE OPTIMAL SOLUTION... you're an idiot.

why do you cower behind an assumed pseudonym? what are you afraid of?

you're completely pathetic.

Re:violating software patents? (4, Informative)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637216)

It's not a general-purpose compression product; it's specialized for the X windows protocol.

Re:violating software patents? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637234)

Pun intended? ah, given who's posting, probably not...

So what (2)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636076)

Someone will come along and make a better opensource alternative to it.

Re:So what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636116)

The problem is that they havn't despite years of opportunity.

NX is unique in that it not only works, but it's easy to use.

The only alternatives I found were no where as pleasant to use.

Pity.

Re:So what (4, Insightful)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636262)

And nobody had created anything as good as BitKeeper either until there was suddenly a need for someone to do so when the free license was pulled.

Of course that person that came along was Linus Torvolds, not your typical hack.

Re:So what (-1, Flamebait)

MichaelKristopeit318 (1963198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636134)

implying you are incapable, or unwilling to do it yourself?

why do you believe others would not also be incapable or unwilling?

you're an ignorant hypocrite.

Re:So what (-1)

MichaelKristopeit313 (1963186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636696)

the truth = flamebait

slashdot = stagnated

Long live FreeNX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636144)

Source is out there... it will live forever.

NX is a bandaid (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636146)

Rather than bitch about how they're making it closed source, or dismissing the gesture entirely, maybe this should be taken as a sign that the problem NX solves needs a different solution. Like, oh I don't know... maybe revising the X windows protocol so it doesn't suck so hard it has its own event horizon?

Re:NX is a bandaid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636218)

yes, it is time for Y

Re:NX is a bandaid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636366)

No, no, you're going in the wrong direction.

Wayland is the future, despite being _before_ X.

Re:NX is a bandaid (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636504)

Unless I'm missing something, Wayland isn't network transparent like X is. Wayland's advantage is that it's simpler than X, so it has higher performance. For those needing network transparency, X can be run on top of Wayland, but then you're still stuck with X's obsolete protocol, rendering it not very useful on slower network connections.

Re:NX is a bandaid (4, Interesting)

spitzak (4019) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637006)

It should be possible to make Wayland "network transparent". This would be the job of the "compositor". The Compositor takes the window images and assembles them into the screen display, and also takes user interface events and sends them to the programs. There is no reason it cannot assemble a window onto a remote display by talking to the Compositor running there, and return input events from that remote display. It can take hints about what areas of the windows were updated and doing comparisons and data compression so the images are sent quickly.

This is how Microsoft does remove windowing and it works reasonably well. Also how VNC works though they don't have access to the low levels similar to the Compositor.

Re:NX is a bandaid (2)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637074)

X can be run on top of Wayland, but then you're still stuck with X's obsolete protocol,

Once again, wayland does not do a third of what X does, I repeat, wayland is NOT a suitable replacement for x, it does not handle window creation or mouse events or anything (which is what x11 is mostly used for these days)

Wayland is still useful as a screen multiplexer etc. But it does not do what most people think it does, hell read it's website with it's goals.

It is far simpler because it doesn't have anywhere near the scope of X, by itself it is useless. This is why x is still needed.

Serious attack vector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636174)

Suggest you change the public key used: See this article (Google cache as the original site appears to be behaving flaky). http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:jfMRnjYGzqMJ:www.nomachine.com/ar/view.php%3Far_id%3DAR01C00126+nx+public+key&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a [googleusercontent.com]

Missing explanatory link in summary (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636192)

Re:Missing explanatory link in summary (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637200)

In summary, it speeds X windows sessions over a remote link, by compressing and caching data going across the link.

Who's had sucess? (3, Interesting)

jvillain (546827) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636256)

I am trying to think of any company that has closed their source and been more successful and I can't think of any. It sure didn't help SSH. NX used to be really great and a number of people I know used it. But I don't know any one that still does.

Re:Who's had sucess? (4, Informative)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636544)

SSH lives on as Tectia and still has quite the revenue stream selling to companies that presume it's more secure because they have to pay for it. Commercial SSH has always just pretty much been for suckers and continues to be, the open source aspect being pretty well a moot point.

Re:Who's had sucess? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636960)

What about SAINT? (An honest question, I don't know how well they're doing.)

They got tired of google copying their work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636264)

They spent years doing something and along comes google with "yay, we can do it better and give it away for free!"

And (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636328)

we wont use it anymore.

Site is down already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636334)

Didn't take much slashdotting and www.nomachine.com is down for the count already. Somehow there is irony in seeing your browser fail to load a domain with that name.

Nobody gives a shit. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636382)

It seems to me NX came up with some good technology and they think they should therefore be able to profit greatly off of it.

Like many pieces of great technology, however, nobody gives a shit about the problem NX is trying to solve. The market is tiny for the number of people who would buy this kind of technology, so they're not going to be the next VMWare.

Their only hope is to adapt it to something that is useful and sell it to some larger company.

Re:Nobody gives a shit. (2)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636810)

Not sure why you'd think that. There are a lot of people who want to do remote X (more remote than LAN), and NX currently seems to be the best, most convenient tool for that job.

Re:Nobody gives a shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34637228)

Actually it's not. VNC runs rings around it. You can run VNC client without installing any software through a web browser with Java. When you disconnect VNC, your applications still run and are there when you reconnect. VNC servers are available for Mac, Windows and Unix. Why anyone would even onside using NX is beyond me,

Re:Nobody gives a shit. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636884)

Actually. No one gives a shit because real technologists don't give a fuck about the whole open source movement.

Re:Nobody gives a shit. (4, Informative)

AaronW (33736) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637246)

I was just using NX last night to connect to my Linux work machine from home. I've used VNC but my experience is that NX is much faster over my internet connection (20/8) than VNC was over a LAN, and this is running NX on Windows in a VM on my Linux box (because I've had some issues with the VPN in Linux).

NX is a lot more intelligent than VNC in that it caches a lot of stuff on the client side and is X aware. I.e. it keeps track of X bitmaps and will use jpeg compression on them when sending them across, renders fonts locally, etc. It is *MUCH* more responsive than running an X app remotely over ssh.

I've found NX to be quite usable even when the available bandwidth is fairly low whereas VNC would be useless. It actually seemed faster to run my web browser over NX rather than running it locally.

Sometimes I wish it could behave more like running a remote X application without having to bring up the entire desktop, but other than I'm a convert.

I've also seen a lot of VNC servers get borked where a VNC session suddenly starts gobbling up 100% of the CPU. I don't know if that's been fixed yet, but it was a major problem when I used it.

Part of it was good... (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636426)

Specifically, the core tech isn't too shabby. Their session management stuff with awkward use of ssh keys and a separate user on top of the user's real account, a real awkward mess. I use a complete separate management of nxagent/nxproxy that doesn't use any extraneous user and it's nice.

The real shame is their strategy seemed to be oriented around selling their crappy session management stuff and giving away the quality stuff.

Er... (5, Informative)

Michael Hunt (585391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636446)

The reason that the "core" bits of NX were always Free is because dxpc (and, thus, mlview-dxpc, from which NX sprang) is only available under the GPL.

If i was involved in dxpc (or mlview-dxpc, really, although I'd imagine most of those changes are owned by the NX folks) development I'd be lawyering up at this point, if only to get some kind of proof that I wasn't being ripped off.

ssh is the hero here, not NX (0)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636478)

I am not busting on NX - I like their software - but the real star of the show is ssh... without which NX is nothing.

And ssh remains open.

Played with a simplified scripted version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636600)

It seems like the project never bothered to get polished, but it is a handy frontend to nxagent/nxproxy with manual tweaking:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/simplenx/develop [sourceforge.net]

It won't work with nxclient at all or anything, but I don't need to be root on the server to get it working.

NX significantly better than SSH+XMing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636608)

NX is significantly better than running X over SSH. X protocols are very chatty to the point of being unusable when remotely administering a server not on the local LAN. The NX server and NX protocol have optimized away a lot of the network roundtrips found in the X protocols.

For example, I have a server hosted on a datacenter about 10 miles from me. It is running Ubuntu Server 10.10 with Gnome desktop. My pings to my server are 15ms and my upload bandwidth is 384 kilobytes/sec. When I access it with XMing over Putty/SSH the desktop is unusable (with or without SSH compression enabled). I can see each dialog or window individually redraw. However, when I use NX over SSH, it is almost as fast as if I were sitting in front of the server. There are a few things that are laggier, but overall, with NX the GUI on the server is very usable.

NX also has excellent built-in session suspend/resume support. You can get something similar with X, but it is not built-in, you have to install and run additional programs.

I have also tried using VNC to administer the server but found it nowhere near as smooth as NX.

Re:NX significantly better (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636658)

But better enough to pay for it? Most will say that its not. Some will.

Well (1)

sajuuk (1371145) | more than 3 years ago | (#34636626)

Time to find an alternative to NoMachine then. I guess I could just go back to using nothing but the shell to remote-manage my web server.

Time to change to x2go as NX service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34636860)

just use the x2go server from the linux4africa project

source fork? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34637142)

who smells source fork?

Re:source fork? (1)

AaronW (33736) | more than 3 years ago | (#34637260)

This seems the obvious solution to me. If their previous releases were under GPL, there's nothing stopping anyone from releasing a fork.

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