[FreeNX-kNX] FreeNX 0.4.1 "LinuxTag Edition" Release Announcement

Fabian Franz FabianFranz at gmx.de
Tue Jun 28 22:01:08 UTC 2005

Hash: SHA1


during LinuxTag 2005 we released FreeNX 0.4.1. First the ChangeLog from our
Berlios-hosted CVS (http://freshmeat.net/redir/freenx/56028/url_cvs/freenx):

24.06.2005 FreeNX 0.4.1 "LinuxTag Edition"
  * Fixed a small security problem giving access to session database.
  * Added support for 1.5.0 OSS components. (especially rootless mode)
  * Fixed Filesharing over the Internet. (Thanks to rogierm at users.berlios.de)
  * Fixed Resume on Windows with non-fullscreen sessions.
  * Added suspend/resume support for 1.5.0 OSS components.
  * Fixed display of suspended sessions in nxserver --list.

You can get FreeNX 0.4.1 from BerliOS:


This FreeNX version works with...
 ... the latest stable NoMachine NX GPL'ed 1.4.0 core components, as 
     well as with ...
 ... the "in-development" NoMachine NX GPL'ed 1.5.0 core components 
     (Snapshot 3). 

Note, that you need to download these from either

 --> http://www.nomachine.com/sources/development/
     (read http://www.nomachine.com/news_read.php?idnews=156), or

 --> http://www.nomachine.com/sources/
     (read http://www.nomachine.com/documentation/building-components.php)

and compile them on your own, or look for pre-compiled binary packages from
your OS vendor.

Now some more detailed explanations.

[FIX]: Security
- -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

A bug in the session authentication code made authentication even "succeed"
when the supplied password was wrong. However, the session startup did fail,
of course. The only information an intruder could have gotten (or can still 
get if you keep running 0.4.0!) are the facts contained in the session 
database (like seen with "nxserver --list").

This bug did also lead to confusing "Killed by signal 15 errors" where a
"Username or Password wrong" should have been reported.

Just version 0.4.0 was affected. If you use this version you are strongly
advised to update.

[FEATURE:] Support for 1.5.0 NoMachine NX Source Components
- -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

FreeNX 0.4.1 is the first version to officially support the newly released
NoMachine snapshots of the GPL'ed NX 1.5.0 version core components. But 
please be aware that not all cases have been tested, yet.

Especially interesting new features in NoMachine's 1.5.0 are:

- - stable rootless nxagent:
- --------------------------
  This feature adds roundtrip suppression to single application window mode
  sessions. (Before, single applications benefitted from NX compression and 
  NX caching only -- thus they were "faster" than any other remote GUI with 
  single apps, but slower than a full-featured desktop session).
  To activate, use the ENABLE_ROOTLESS_MODE parameter in node.conf.
  (Single applications like the KDE groupware client "Kontact" on Windows 
  for example have never been so fast.)

- - fullscreen toggle mode / seamless resize with mouse drag:
- -----------------------------------------------------------
  This feature enables to resize the NX window by dragging its borders with
  the mouse. It also allows to press "[Ctrl]+[Alt]+[f]" which then toggles
  between fullscreen and normal windowed mode. Works _just_ great (at least
  from Linux NX Client to Linux FreeNX server).

- - applications keep running while in suspended state:
- -----------------------------------------------------
  Before, all contained applications where sent to sleep upon the suspending
  of a session. (This made f.e. your compilation running in a konsole window
  pause, or your IRC log containing gaps, or your kmail program not reacting
  when you tried to shut it down with dcop commands). Now, all applications
  stay awake and keep running when a session is suspended.

We encourage all distributors to keep shipping pre-compiled binaries of the 
old and stable version of the 1.4.0 NoMachine NX release; but if time permits 
please also make optional 1.5.0 packages to enable a wide testing of the new 

We, on our personal NX servers, will install 1.5.0 source snapshot components
(3rd snapshot is out since about 2 weeks) at least optionally, because it 
does work so great for us.

[FIX]: Filesharing over Internet
- -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Whenever you develop some software like FreeNX, you should also do "real
life" tests. For 0.4.0 Samba filesharing we did forget this "rule" and did
test it just on our local network...

Anyway its fixed and works now.

Thanks go to <rogierm at users.berlios.de> for spotting and reporting this bug.

[FIX]: Resume/Suspend Issues on Windows
- -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Probably the most important part for those using MS Windows is the fix for 
session suspend/resume on MS Windows in non-fullscreen sessions. Sorry for
the hassle that it did work in 0.3.1 in window-ed, but not in fullscreen 
mode, and that in 0.4.0 it did work just with fullscreen but not with 
window-ed mode. It was a quite tricky bug....

Many thanks go to `psycho, who helped me debug this issue on IRC.

[FIX]: Display Tweaks
- -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

"nxserver --list" did display the IP of the NX client from its last 
connection for suspended sessions. The commercial NX Server does display 
a "-" instead, which is more convenient. As it was more of a cosmetic fix, 
it got integrated even after the freeze for 0.4.1.

Thanks go to Kurt Pfeifle who did notice it.

 Future Plans

We hope you enjoy this release. From now on we will work on implementing
the planned new features for the 0.5.0 release. 

Some of the coming features we already showed in their proof-of-concept 
state during our main presentation at LinuxTag.

- - Load Balancing:

  Yeah, its true. It will finally be there in 0.5.0. For the time being 
  just with a round-robin random algorithm. After having thought about 
  it for months in one night I finally had the right idea; I wrote it
  down on paper and now I have already an initial (still private) 

- - Seamless zeroconfig printing from Unix to Unix:

  0.5.0 will feature zeroconfig printing from Unix to Unix using CUPS.
  LinuxTag visitors could see this exclusively for the first time:
  - I did open "kprinter on my local machine" to show all locally
    installed printers on the NX client.
  - I did connect to the remote machine with an NX session and I did
    open up Konqueror.
  - I clicked "Print..", and the remote kprinter did offer all my local
    printers for my convenient selection.
  - Moreover, I could access, control and change all driver settings.
  - Finally, I clicked "Print" and, voila!, it got printed correctly to 
    my local printer attached to the NX client (in this case it was a 
    "special PDF printer", due to lack of a physical one).
  Note, that this will work *without* *any* *configuration* *by* *the*
  *user* whatsoever. If you can print from your local machine in non-NX
  session mode via CUPS, you can also print to the very same printers
  from every NX session you run to a remote NX server that has CUPS

  After our talk I had the chance to test the code with a real HP
  printer on the HP booth.

  Kudos to the CUPS developers for writing such an ingenious printing

  The "clou" of this implementation is in three points:
  * it is secure. When a NX server hosts multiple NX sessions, each
    NX user can only see and access his own printers attached to his
    own local NX client.
  * it is fully-featured. If a user has access to driver settings when
    working locally ("non-raw" print queues), he also has access to the 
    very same driver settings when printing from an NX session that runs 
    on a remote host.
  * it is seamless. No NX user needs to configure anything special. If
    the local NX client "sees" and has access to any printer (picked up
    via CUPS browsing or installed locally doesn't matter), the very
    same printers will appear in any NX session. (And there is no need
    to change anything in the NoMachine NX client either).

For the FreeNX-Team,


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