NoMachine NX

There are a couple of oddities of NX that I’ve found.

Gnome ignores the client window settings

This seems to be something that’s been around for a long time. Gnome explicitly sets the display resolution. There are a few bugs reporting this issue with search terms with gnome and nx and resolution. It seems that gnome has been doing this for a while, as the NX bug report and workaround shows. Moving ~/.config/monitors.xml out of the way doesn’t help with unity, and you can’t change screen resolutions with unity’s gnome because gnome-control-center explodes when run under NX. Newer gnome installs don’t have the gnome-classic session, and the fallback session (gnome-session-fallback) doesn’t help with the control center explosion. Oh well.

I read somewhere you can disable XRANDR in NX and get around it that way, but I’m done. Moved on to XFCE hoping the offset problem went away. It didn’t, but I figured out what caused it and how to fix it.

XFCE is “offset”

I could not figure out why my XFCE desktop in NX was “offset”. i.e. there was a big black gap on the top and left side of the display window, and the actual desktop graphics started down and to the right of that gap. Additionally, the panel comes up as a separate X11 window. The mouse coordinates seem normal though. To select the top left icon I have to hover in the top-left of the black area, even though the icon is offset.

It turns out this is an effect of XFCE’s window manager not quite doing the right thing (at least not compared to the other window managers such as gdm and kdm). The solution is to configure the NX client a little differently. You already have to use a custom setting to get XFCE to come up, as it seems the NX server doesn’t know what XFCE is. So set up the client as follows:

Unix, Custom and then edit the settings and configure it to run the following command: /usr/bin/xfce4-session. To get rid of the offset display you have to use “New Virtual Desktop” instead of the default “Floating Window”:

Once you use a virtual desktop everything works very nicely.

lower-case p doesn’t work

This is a weird one. Shift-p (uppercase p) works just fine. It’s not a stuck modifier, and it’s not a weird XQuartz setting. It’s a keyboard shortcut in XFCE. Solution found on StackExchange. That answer mentions two keyboard shortcuts, but my Debian Wheezy XFCE desktop only had the one. One of the comments to that answer mentions things in a little more detail:

I don’t think this related to nx or nomachine. It is just an xfce config indeed. To be more specific edit ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts.xml and remove all entries containing 'super’. See http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-1771058.html

Removing it makes my life less stressful.

xfceweirdness.png (69.6 KB) Andrew Kohlsmith, 06/13/2013 11:48 AM

picture236-1.png (41.3 KB) Andrew Kohlsmith, 06/13/2013 11:48 AM

picture236-2.png (66.5 KB) Andrew Kohlsmith, 06/13/2013 11:48 AM

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