Recommended OpenSUSE-to-OpenSUSE-only remote desktop?


I may have to work in another state for some time, and I’d like to access my home machine desktop remotely, like this:

Server - home machine, oS 11.4 64-bit, KDE 4.7, 1920 x 1200 screen (currently set to 24-bit color depth), 1 Mbps upload speed, behind a Dlink DL-524 router I manage.

Client: laptop, oS 11.4 64-bit, KDE 4.6.5, 1280 x 800 screen (also 24-bit color depth), unknown up/down speed - probably huge at work, crappy at apart hotel.

I’d like to keep the server resolution, if possible, even if the client’s is smaller. I want to be able to star/stop KDE apps in the server, move files between folders, and fix the issues that only happen when my wife is at the keyboard (it’s a machine conspiracy, she says :)). So I’d need to connect to the server’s current session/user (which is myself, i.e., same login/password).

What do you recommend for this? I’ve read Swerdna’s tutorial for 11.2/11.2 (a million thanks, Swerdna!) and seen malcomlewis xrdp 0.6 packages for 11.4 (you rock, malcomlewis!), as well as this thread: RDP into OpenSUSE 11.2, however most seem concerned with rdp between windows and linux boxes. Is there something better/faster/simpler for oS-to-oS RDP or should I use xrdp all the same?

Thanks in advance,


Forgot to mention that ATM I have two ADSL internet connections (two different providers), the second with the telco’s HUAWEY modem/router not connected to my home network, so testing the RDP’ing through the internet will be simple, I’ll just connect the laptop to this modem/router. The upload speed on this line is about 300 Kbps.

NX from nomachine, you would need to look at moving ssh ports and fowarding on the router. Teamviewer is another, this uses a vpn connection and shouldn’t require any user interaction apart from configuring to accept…

Or You could try X11 forwarding with ssh. Last time I was configuring it all I had to do was uncomment one line in sshd config on the server (and of course expose the ssh port to the internet). When using Windows as client You need to install X server for windows for example Xming. The whole desktop will run very slow this way but You can start up specific graphical apps from the terminal session (for example konqueror, firefox, dolphin…), which I believe would allow You to do what You need.

Best regards,

Thanks malcomlewis & glistwan. I’ll take a look at these apps and report back.

Over low speed links NX can perform better then most other free products. At 300kbs your going to need the compression that NX provides. Vnc and Rdp are fine for local lans 10/100/1000mbits but even at 4-5 MB its they state to get painful. Latecy is also important concidering the interaction, the mouse cursor will lag the movement.

From what I’ve read so far I was was thinking of starting with freeNX server and (probably) the NX client (free but closed source). Does the freeNX also use compression?

I’m always a little apprehensive about using a closed-source app that will access the internet and through which my account password will be transmitted, but…

Interesting comparative review of clients here.

It seems a client worth looking at is Remmina, GTK2+ based but not gnome-dependent. The protocols are handled by plugins.
Another client not covered there is the freenx-client, available from the standard repo, current version 0.9.

It also seems that there are three NX servers:

  1. The NX free edition, same as the corporate except limited to two simultaneous connections. Current version 3.5.0;
  2. The FreeNX server, that uses NX core libraries (GPL’d), available at X11:RemodeDesktop repo, current version 0.72;
  3. The neatx server from Google, also available at X11:RemoteDesktop repo, current version 0.3.

Any ideas on which would be better - if any - for the use I outlined in my first post?

Something that’s not clear to me is how the remote client, not being in the same local network, will find the server to connect among the zillion servers on the internet, if the server’s internet connection is behind an ADLS modem that gets a new IP from the ISP every time it’s turned on. The only thing I can think of is if someone with physical access to the server access one of those “YOU IP IS…” site and tell me. Or is there a more automated way?

For some of your tasks just use ssh (not on port 22 :wink: )and be done, if
you need a GUI, just use the -X option. Now if you want to connect while
someone is using the PC and take control of the session use teamviewer6
for a no mess no configuration required option.

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE 11.4 (x86_64) Kernel
up 4 days 4:34, 3 users, load average: 0.02, 0.10, 0.12
GPU GeForce 8600 GTS Silent - Driver Version: 280.13

You would need to use say dnydns and the update client.

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE 11.4 (x86_64) Kernel
up 4 days 4:38, 3 users, load average: 0.03, 0.07, 0.11
GPU GeForce 8600 GTS Silent - Driver Version: 280.13

Yes. It seems that it’s the NX core that handle this, not freeNX.

Hi, malcomlewis, thank you for your insights, they are most appreciated.

I am curious about how all this remote stuff works, networking is a tough nut to crack, full of nuances and whatnot. So please bear with me, I’m a noob in this. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the port 22 tip, I didn’t think about it. That’s a security risk, using the standard port, or is it because it is usually blocked by ISPs?

Does the -X option does compression too? From what I have been reading it seems that NX or similar would be better for what I need. It’s not like I want to login a new session as root for maintenance tasks - which I could do in a terminal, mainly thanks to the fantastic ncurses yast - but connect to my normal user session and do stuff like moving/renaming files, manage a few downloads/torrents, etc, like you mention below:

I’ve downloaded their rpm package, but not installed yet. From the review I linked to in post #8 above the reviewer experienced performance issues, perhaps that’s not so anymore. But in their website it was unclear for me if I could use their package without the almost US$900,00 price tag. I suppose it’s some kind of shareware, but couldn’t find any description of the limitations/caveats of such use. The simple configuration - my server and client access their server to connect - is tempting, as it eliminates the “what’s-my-IP” issue, but it is a et-phone-home feature necessarily. :confused:

Anyway, have you used it? Just locally (LAN) or over the internet too? Had any performance issues?

There’s also this: SDB:FreeNX to existing display, which would allow me to connect to the open session - something I can do directly if I use the proprietary NX server.

So many choices, so little time… :smiley:

Teamviewer is free for personal use… Yes I use it for a couple of friends who have disabilities to help them out, one is local, one is in Europe and it works fine for me.

You can use port 22 internally, just on your router port forward a high number from the WAN side to port 22 on the LAN side is all I do, makes it easy to swap around (security by obscurity). For the ip address, you could also just send an sms to a phone to tell you if/when the ip address changes?

I normally just use the command line externally, along with webYaST, but I would give NX ago, nice things about rpms easy to install and uninstall :wink:

Hi malcomlewis,

Thanks for the tip on port 22, will do.

I think I’ll start with NX server and client. The server accept connection to display 0, something you have to go trough hoops to do with freeNX. Both do it the same way, but NX server have internal VNC server and client, so it’s transparent to the user. If things get difficult I’ll give Teamviewer a try. Google’s neatx seem to be still beta, they’re in the ironing out bugs phase.

The concern I had about NX being proprietary seems exaggerated, they’ve been around a long time (in computing terms), GPL’d the core libs at the beginning and seem open-source friendly, or at least not hostile as, say, Oracle…

Anyway, I’ll post my results here.

Thanks again for all the help.

Best regards,


I am using NX free edition within my local network.

On the NX website Under No machine NX Products Page Features and Requirements You will
find a list comparing availability of features on Free NX and other versions:
Concurrent connections and number of users are restricted to 2.

Thanks, I don’t remember seeing that when I browsed their site.

Also note that there are two different “free” NX: NX Free edition, which is NX server from nomachine, limited to two simultaneous connections, and FreeNX, an open-source script-based implementation of the GPL’d NX core libs, without limitation on number of users but with less resources - specifically, AFAICS, the built-in VNC stuff that allows NF Free Edition to piggyback on an existing local session.

I use both NX and FreeNX, with FreeNX redirecting NX connections to a different port. They play well together. As I installed 11.4, FreeNX didn’t work. So I compiled version 0.73 in my repo: [noparse][/noparse]]( . You can install it from there if you like. I assume the version in RemoteDesktop is fixed now. Though version 0.73 is better - AFAIR 0.72 doesn’t handle connections to a server running xdm correctly. If all you want are KDE or Gnome logins, 0.72 is OK. Nomachine NX has some advantages but only allows 1 connection at a time.