How to Configure a Remote Desktop

NoMachine Overview

NoMachine is a remote desktop application, allowing you to access your cloud instance as remote Desktop. The application is available for a wide range of operating systems and different devices like Android or iOS. Its features include sharing network devices, session recording, file transfer, multimedia capability and browser-based access. The tool is based on the NX protocol which was developed in 2001 to improve the performance of the native X display protocol so it could be used over slower connections.

Requirements:

Installing a Desktop Environment

1 . Start by updating the arp packet cache and the software already installed on the instance:

apt update && apt upgrade -y

2 . Install the Ubuntu desktop environment and required packages:

apt install ubuntu-desktop gnome-panel gnome-settings-daemon metacity nautilus gnome-terminal -y

Creating a Regular User

For security reasons it is recommended to create a regular user to access the graphical interface of your server.

1 . Create the user with the adduser command:

adduser timmy

Note: Replace timmy with the name of your user.

When asked enter the personal details of the user as well as the password its confirmation.

2 . Optional: Install sudo and add the user to the sudoers file to launch actions with root permissions:

  • Install sudo:
    apt install sudo
    
  • Add the user to the sudoers file:
    adduser timmy sudo
    

    A message like the following will appear:

    Adding user `timmy' to group `sudo' ...
    Adding user timmy to group sudo
    Done.
    

Installing the NoMachine Application on the Instance

1 . Download the NoMachine Server application

cd /tmp && wget https://download.nomachine.com/download/6.8/Linux/nomachine_6.8.1_1_amd64.deb

2 . Install the application with dpkg:

dpkg -i nomachine_6.8.1_1_amd64.deb

You will see an output like the following:

Preparing to unpack nomachine_6.8.1_1_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking nomachine (6.8.1-1) ...
Setting up nomachine (6.8.1-1) ...
NX> 700 Starting install at: Tue Oct 15 09:47:13 2019.
NX> 700 Installing: nxclient version: 6.8.1.
NX> 700 Using installation profile: Ubuntu.
NX> 700 Install log is: /usr/NX/var/log/nxinstall.log.
NX> 700 Compiling the USB module.
NX> 700 Installing: nxplayer version: 6.8.1.
NX> 700 Using installation profile: Ubuntu.
NX> 700 Install log is: /usr/NX/var/log/nxinstall.log.
NX> 700 To connect the remote printer to the local desktop,
NX> 700 the user account must be a member of the CUPS System Group: lpadmin.
NX> 700 Installing: nxnode version: 6.8.1.
NX> 700 Using installation profile: Ubuntu.
NX> 700 Install log is: /usr/NX/var/log/nxinstall.log.
NX> 700 Creating configuration in: /usr/NX/etc/node.cfg.
NX> 700 Installing: nxserver version: 6.8.1.
NX> 700 Using installation profile: Ubuntu.
NX> 700 Install log is: /usr/NX/var/log/nxinstall.log.
NX> 700 Creating configuration in: /usr/NX/etc/server.cfg.
NX> 700 Install completed at: Tue Oct 15 09:47:27 2019.
NX> 700 NoMachine was configured to run the following services:
NX> 700 NX service on port: 4000

Your server is now ready and listening for connections.

Installing and Configuring the NoMachine Application on the Client

To connect to your instance, you need to download the NoMachine Application for your Operating system. It is available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS and Android. Choose the version corresponding to your operating system and install it on your computer.

1 . Start the Nomachine client and click on New to create a new connection:

Nomachine new connection

2 . Choose Password as authentication method and confirm:

Nomachine new connection

3 . Enter the Login and Password of your regular user, created in a previous step and confirm: Nomachine new connection

4 . Give a Name to the configuration, save it and double click on it to connect to your instance:

Nomachine new connection

5 . You are now logged into your cloud instance having a Remote Desktop. You can for example start a web browser to surf on the Internet: Nomachine new connection

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