The National Institute for Computational Sciences

NX Session on Nautilus

Why NX?

NX is an efficient protocol for displaying a graphical desktop running on a remote system. NX is like VNC in that its servers send bitmaps to the client, so it tends to be more efficient than X (and hence more usable over poor network connections). Unlike VNC, current NX clients and servers make it easy to configure the NX connection based on the quality of their network connection, so that more data is sent when the user has a good, high bandwidth connection and less data if the connection is poor. Also, NX is more secure than the standard VNC approach.

To set up the NX client please follow the steps below:

  1. Download OpenNX client software from the OpenNX website and install it on your local computer.
  2. Double-click the Connection Wizard to set-up the NX client.
  3. Set Session to Nautilus.
  4. Set the host as (If you want to use the "resume" feature, use a specific login node: or Click "Next".
  5. Set the Desktop to “Unix” and “GNOME”. Click "Next".
  6. Verify “Enable SSL encryption of all traffic” is enabled. (If not, you may have to deselect “Use SmartCard”). Click "Next".
  7. Click “Finish”.
  8. The OpenNX Connection Wizard program may show an error page after it completes on some platforms. If the page pops up, please select “OK”.

Configuring Session properties

  1. Run the NX client.
  2. Click the “Configure” box.
  3. Users must get the private key, client.id_dsa.key, from /data/nx on one of the Nautilus login nodes: or
  4. Import the private key by selecting the “Key…” button located under the port number. Copy and paste the entire key including “---BEGIN DSA PRIVATE KEY---“ and “---END DSA PRIVATE KEY---“ into the NX client’s key dialog box.
  5. Click “Save”.
  6. Click “Apply” and “OK”. Your configuration is now complete.

Logging into NX

  1. Login: NICS username
  2. Password: OTP token (pin + 6-digit number)
  3. Click “Login”