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Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th August
University of Wales, Swansea

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Fabian Franz - University of Karlsruhe

FreeNX - Virtualization of the Desktop

Imagine the following scenario:

You need to read and write some important mails. These mails need some graphic files attached which are only available on your personal workstation. You also need to print some documents which are stored on your own PC. The problem is that you are somewhere in the world, far away from home or your office. And you don't have the workstation in your luggage...

The only things that you have at your disposal are a "slow" ISDN internet access and a bootable KNOPPIX CD.

Now if you could only do magic! Wouldn't you then try to beam yourself to your data, email address book and personal documents, right in front of your workstion, to work with them? Or using a little less effort, beam your remote data onto your local Knoppix CD to have them available in the session? But there is no need for magic and wizardry any more. Reality now provides an even better solution.

Recent releases of Knoppix let you connect to your own PC/operating system, and fetch the complete desktop and work environment onto your local Knoppix screen. You can read and write your mails inside Knoppix, while the data are still located on your remote PC workstation. You can run and operate all programs on your own remote computer as if they were running from Knoppix. You can print all remote documents on any locally-attached printer. You can even upload digital photos you made and send them off by mail. With the FreeNX software anyone can get secure access to his or her personal desktop, wherever he or she is.

The core NX technology, developed by the friendly folks at NoMachine.com, is completely Free Software under the GPL license. NX/FreeNX allows you to run remote X11 connections also over slow links like 56k modems or ISDN (even very slow ones such as GSM modems). But NX sessions are still fast and responsive.

NX achieves this goal by using:

  • a very efficient X-protocol and bitmap compression;
  • an intelligent caching of transferred data for later re-use;
  • a sophisticated round-trip suppression scheme.

Moreover, NX can not only provide access to X11/Linux+Unix, but also to RDP/Windows and VNC/any-OS "application server" workstations. NX also allows you to suspend any X11-, RDP- or VNC-session and later reconnect to it, even from a different client workstation.

The talk will demonstrate several live connections with free and commercial clients. We will connect to commercial and free NX servers in Germany, Italy and Canada. We will show sessions to Linux, Windows, FreeBSD and Solaris desktops.

We will also run the free NX server live from a Knoppix CD. This will also feature a whole new terminal server concept. This concept allows setting up a thin client network within 10 minutes.

Then the talk will demonstrate some (still secret) new features. These features will give the user even more of an experience that resembles a scenario in which he is working with local resources only. And finally the talk will give an overview of the future of (Free)NX and how it is contributing to a revolution in network computing.

S  P O N S O R S
Red Hat
Red Hat
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Astaro Internet Security

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