[needs-packaging] FreeNX

Bug #183801 reported by Jo-Erlend Schinstad on 2008-01-17
This bug affects 12 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
FreeNX Server
Fix Released

Bug Description

FreeNX would make Ubuntu desktops available on Windows, Mac and other Linux computers over low bandwidth, high latency internet connections. We _need_ to have FreeNX in the repositories.

License: GPLv2
Website: http://freenx.berlios.de/

description: updated

website of FreeNX: http://freenx.berlios.de/

James Clemence (jvc26) wrote :

I'd like to echo this request, having freeNX in the repositories would be really helpful, and given its rising popularity many people would benefit from this addition.


JPHein (jp-jphein) wrote :

I would like to see this packaged as well.
How can I help make this happen?
Here is the brainstorm entry for this: http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/6193/
<a href="http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/6193/">
<img src="http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/6193/image/1/" />

James Clemence (jvc26) wrote :

Is there any further news on this one?


Holger Krause (holger-krause) wrote :

There's a PPA for freenx-server maintained by freenx-Team available at https://launchpad.net/~freenx-team/+archive

It works really well with hardy, the current 8.10 keyboard issues seem to be solved as well.

AFAIK there won't be any packages in official repositories any time soon.

Doesn't look that way, for some strange reason. Well, there are some security issues with the NX technology as is, but those seem to be theoretical, not practical. Packages are able to display confirmations, so that shouldn't reallt prevent it from being available in the repos.

Thanks, Mr. Krause. I was meaning to post a reply to this thread about that. The packages in that repo seems to work fine. I haven't checked the source of it though.

Can someone answer exactly why freenx isn't a viable candidate fox inclusion into the repositories? I have yet to have a satisfactory explanation!

GPL, so shouldn't have license problems.

From http://developer.berlios.de/project/showfiles.php?group_id=2978 it seems freenx hasn't been maintained upstream since mid-2008. Is the project still alive? If not, consider neatx.

description: updated

NeatX _is_ dead. They announced that a few years ago and there is nothing that would make anyone think they'd be interested in developing it further. If the choice is between FreeNX and NeatX, then the correct choice is, without a doubt FreeNX. However, there are more choices. It seems to me that X2go is the best place to focus energy if we want to focus on NX, or xrdp if we're willing to go there. xrdp seems to be very much in the spirit of free and open source software, but very poor in communications, whereas x2go seems to be good at communications but lacking in the understanding of FLOSS development.

Please read dates when you scroll the web.

Jeremy Wilkins (wjeremy) wrote :

I am one of the supporters of the FreeNX project for Ubuntu and although I cannot speak for x2go, I do know both the benefits and disadvantages of FreeNX. I am a proponent for FreeNX, but there are several problems.

There are indeed inherent security flaws that exist partly due to the code base originally being forked from version 6.9 of the X server. Although many bug fix patches have been applied, there is still no guarantee that they are all applied, and because the base from which it was forked is no longer compatible with the now more modular design of X.Org it is harder to apply the patches that they have made to X to incorporate the NX conpression technology into the current X server. Also, if someone uses the default NX public key for communication (this is not recommended, but many do), you open your server to the possibility of hackers trying to hack current security flaws inherent in the nxserver script which are unknown to us. With the nxserver script being the shell of the NX user, anyone using the key gains access to this user and if an exploit is successful root access may be granted. With FreeNX being an open source project, it could become an easy target. This is avoidable, but it still needs to be addressed.

However, the benefits of the NX compression technology and communication protocols are very good and achieve near local responsiveness when connected to a desktop through it. The only other technology I have seen that is equivalent or better is Citrix for Windows servers.

Although I agree with you Jo-Erlend that FreeNX is a very good thing for the Ubuntu desktop in that it offers us a much better alternative to VNC or RDP which are both inherently more flawed and even less secure. Due to the age of the source files from which it was developed it is not ultimately a good thing for us to continue longer than we have to.

A better solution is for us to extract the fundamentals of the NX core technology and incorporate this technology as a modular and installable component of the existing X server. Fairly similar to how you would install your video drivers or custom mouse drivers. This is considerably more work than what can be achieved in a single release, so I do agree that in the mean time including the packages is a good intermediate step towards ultimately a better X remote communication technology, but should only exist as a stepping stone to our final destination.

Sha256sum (sha256sum) wrote :

I noticed today that all packages from


have been deleted, and I am affraid that no one have mirrored them =(

We have a problem!

Eugene San (eugenesan) wrote :

Thank you for you concern, but which packages exactly are missing and where from?
I don't see any activity recently.

Changed in debian:
status: Unknown → New
Jörg Frings-Fürst (jff-de) wrote :

last release 18.08.2008
change status to invalid

Changed in ubuntu:
status: Confirmed → Invalid

Why it has been marked as invalid?

karaluh (karaluh) wrote :


Changed in ubuntu:
status: Invalid → Confirmed

I'd rather see X2go than FreeNX. After all, we already have X2go clients in Ubuntu, but no FreeNX-client, as far as I can tell. And X2go is much better than FreeNX, in many different ways.

The fact that X2go may or may not be better than FreeNX does not make a request for a nice free software like freeNX to be marked as Invalid. You can always create a ticket (if not yet) for the packaging of X2go.

Jörg Frings-Fürst (jff-de) wrote :


I think 68 month after the last release the sources to old for a new build. Thats my opinion to set the status to invalid.

You may like to convince me of the contrary.


Changed in debian:
status: New → Fix Released
To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Duplicates of this bug

Other bug subscribers

Related questions

Related blueprints

Remote bug watches

Bug watches keep track of this bug in other bug trackers.