NX 4.0 Non-free

“Version 4 of the software, in fact, will be only available under a closed source license”

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NoMachine always had an awkward relationship with FLOSS. They provided no-cost trials and FLOSS clients but kept the “server” non-free. Now the whole thing will be non-free. With X deprecated by Ubuntu, perhaps they thought they needed to cash-in while they could. We still have DXPC and openSSH along with varieties of VNC. FreeNX never seemed to flourish.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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4 Responses to NX 4.0 Non-free

  1. oldman says:

    “True, software costs time/money to produce/distribute but it is a pain to have to use cripple-ware with arbitrary limits.”

    The free edition of NX is fully functional, just limited to 2 users at a time. Two connections is quite enough for most casual system administration use as well as for those users who use it (As I do) to remote access their linux servers.

    The product is drop dead easy to use. Just install 3 packages on the server and the client on your remote desktop add the ID’s that are authorized to connect remotely to a config file and you are done – it just works.

    While X11 “works” for you and has in the past worked for me, Setting up X11 over SSH is simply just enough of more work to set up to make a product like NX worthwhile to me and my place of business.

    Bottom line, I would hardly call the Free version of NX server crippleware.

  2. True, software costs time/money to produce/distribute but it is a pain to have to use cripple-ware with arbitrary limits.

    What was the failure of other X11s? SSH is often doing the transport either way and it is remarkably resilient. Round-trips are the killer I would guess. X11 does too many needless round-trips. I recently did ssh into my servers back at the school over satellite. The delay was severe just typing to BASH. Each round-trip is 45000 miles through space. It might as well have been to the Moon.

    In the long run NoMachine’s choice may stimulate FreeNX to be a little more active. Mostly it was useful for system administrators and X11+SSH works well enough in many cases. There are thin clients that use NX but they can usually use RDP or SSH too.

    Another possibility is that the move to Wayland could free up X11 devs to optimize the algorithm one way or another or even replace it. There’s nothing sacred about X11 but it works very well in many cases. My whole lab depends on it to make it easy for me to control/monitor students. I use SSH frequently for command/control of all kinds of operations.

  3. oldman says:

    We use the Nomachines NX product extensively. It is the ONLY X11 implementation that can successfully throw X11 sessions between our servers 8400 Miles away and the US. The 2 user version is free BTW and the 20 user version is quite reasonable at $600/year

    The simple fact is that sometimes good software costs money – period.

  4. Ray says:

    Oh well, time to fork. 😀

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