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NX at the RACF

by Shigeki Misawa last modified May 21, 2019 11:35 AM
Contributors: Saroj Kandasamy
Instructions on how to use NX at the RACF

NX is X Window system acceleration technology that should improve the usability of X based applications over the wide area network. The RACF has set up four NX production systems on the RHIC side (nx01.rcf.bnl.gov, nx02.rcf.bnl.gov, nx06.rcf.bnl.gov ,nx07.rcf.bnl.gov)  and two NX production systems on the ATLAS side (atlasnx01.usatlas.bnl.gov, atlasnx02.usatlas.bnl.gov) for providing NX as a supported service at the RACF. All NX servers are now running the licensed version of the NoMachine NX Server ( previously both nx01 and nx02 were running FreeNX). Since the login keys for the NoMachine NX and the FreeNX servers are different, it will be necessary for users who had logged into nx01/nx02 when they were  running the FreeNX software to now use the default NoMachine ssh key.

NoMachine 5 Servers:

RHIC NX Servers:

NoMachine is now phasing out the NX 3 version software and has upgraded to NoMachine 5 software release. Hence two NX servers (nx06.rcf.bnl.gov and nx07.rcf.bnl.gov) have been set up with NoMachine 5 server software. The NoMachine server version installed is 5.3.9.

Update:

As of December 2017, all the RHIC production NX servers - nx01.rcf.bnl.gov, nx02.rcf.bnl.gov, nx06.rcf.bnl.gov and nx07.rcf.bnl.gov are running NoMachine 5 server software - version 5.3.9.

 

ATLAS NX Servers:

There are two production ATLAS NX servers - atlasnx01.usatlas.bnl.gov and atlasnx02.usatlas.bnl.gov. Both the NX servers are running NoMachine 5 server software - version 5.3.9.

atlasnx01 used to be running NX 3 version software and is now updated to NoMachine 5 software as of December 2017

Instructions for using NoMachine 4 software are given below.

Instructions for using NoMachine 5 software

Instructions for using NoMachine 6 software

NoMachine NX servers:

Instructions for using the nx01/nx02/nx06/nx07/atlasnx01/atlasnx02 are as follows:

(Follow steps 1 to 3 for all NoMachine client versions)

  1. Download and install on your desktop the NX client software from http://www.nomachine.com
    • Downloads -> Enterprise Products Evaluation -> NoMachine Enterprise Client
      (Windows users may need to install additional NX fonts along with the NX Client)
  2. Make sure you have ssh-agent running on your desktop and have added your key to the ssh-agent.
    • RHIC Users - Set up an SSH tunnel from your desktop as follows (replace nx01 with nx02 if logging into nx02 and so on):
    ssh -L 7025:nx01.rcf.bnl.gov:22 -l username rssh01.rhic.bnl.gov
    • 7025 should be replaced with a random high numbered open port (between 4096 and 65535) on your desktop.
    • There are four NX servers: nx01.rcf.bnl.gov, nx02.rcf.bnl.gov, nx06.rcf.bnl.gov and nx07.rcf.bnl.gov. Either one can be used.
    • username is your RACF username
    • rssh01.rhic.bnl.gov can be replaced with any of the other three RCF SSH gateways.
    • ATLAS Users - Set up an SSH tunnel from your desktop as follows (atlasgw01 or atlasgw02 can be used). From the two ATLAS NX servers, either atlasnx01.usatlas.bnl.gov or atlasnx02.usatlas.bnl.gov can be used.
    ssh -L 7025:atlasnx01.usatlas.bnl.gov:22 -l username atlasgw01.usatlas.bnl.gov
  3. Start up the NX client application (for NoMachine version 3)
  4. Configure the NX client software (for NoMachine version 3):
    1. Click on the Configure button
    2. In the General tab, set the Host to localhost
    3. Set port to the port number chosen in step 3
    4. Click on the Key... button
    5. For new users, the key that shows up is the default NoMachine SSH key that will be used. For previous users of the FreeNX server, click on the Default button. This is the default NoMachine SSH key.
    6. Save the NX server key by pressing the Save button (This will return you back to the main configuration window)
    7. Select UNIX/GNOME as the desktop.
    8. Choose the desired connectivity (value depends on your bandwidth to BNL).
    9. Save the new configuration by pressing the Save button
    10. Return to the main NX client window by pressing the OK button in the configuration window.
  5. Log in using the configuration created above.
    1. Note that you need to explicitly set your username in the login window to your RACF username
    2. Use your RACF Kerberos password for the password.

Once you are logged in, you will be presented with a standard GNOME desktop.  From the desktop, you can launch an xterm and proceed to log into one of the selected set of Star or Phenix or USATLAS interactive analysis nodes (rcas6005-rcas6010 and rcas2071-rcas2079 and acas0001-acas0011 respectively). X applications on the destination analysis node will be rendered on the NX test bed and transmitted in an optimized way to your desktop. In addition to the previously mentioned rcas nodes, rcf2 is also accessible from the NX test bed.

 

Reverting to the default NX client ssh key

(NoMachine version 3 Client)

Reverting to the default key is done by clicking on the key button, clicking on the Default button in the "General - Key management" window that pops up. And finally, pressing the Save button to save the default key..

 

Note that the NX servers should NOT be used for analysis or computation. This type of activity should be done on the rcas nodes mentioned in the previous paragraph.

 

Debugging help

The following are steps you can take to help debug the service

  • Try logging into nx01/nx02/nx06/nx07/atlasnx01/atlasnx02 from the ssh gateways (ssh nx01/nx02/nx06/nx07/atlasnx01/atlasnx02 from the gateway).
  • If you can log into nx01/nx02/nx06/nx07/atlasnx01/atlasnx02, the next step is to set up the ssh tunnel as outlined in step 3 above and try to connect to nx01/nx02/nx06/nx07/atlasnx01/atlasnx02 with ssh using your RACF username with the command "
    ssh -l [username] localhost -p 7025
    where 7025 is replaced with the port number used in the ssh command that set up the tunnel.
  • If these above steps succeed, then try NX again using the steps at the top. If this still fails, send output window that pops up after the "detail" but is pressed in the NX window. (For NoMachine Version 3 client)

 

Instructions for  Windows Users using Putty

For setting up the SSH tunnel in Putty, open up the Putty configuration Window (for rssh01 or any of the other three RACF SSH gateways or the ATLAS SSH gateways) and set the below details:

Under Connection -> Data -> Put in the RACF username

Under SSH -> X11 -> Check the Enable X11 forwarding option

Under SSH -> Tunnels -> Set the source port ( similar to the port number chosen in step 3 in the instructions)

Set Destination: nx01.rcf.bnl.gov:22 (or nx02.rcf.bnl.gov:22 or atlasnx01.usatlas.bnl.gov:22 and so on for other NX servers and then click Add)

Save the session and follow the  instructions for the NX client.

 

Instructions for NoMachine Player

1. Make sure the ssh-agent is running(with the key added) and set up the SSH tunnel as mentioned in the instructions above.

2. Start the NoMachine player Application.

3. Select New Connection. Give it a general name, Host - localhost, Port - port number chosen when setting up the tunnel.

4. Choose Use the NoMachine login. The default NoMachine SSH key is already in use here.

5. Go back to the connections (the first screen) page and click on the general connection name created. Then enter the RACF Kerberos  credentials and proceed.

6. Select on the Create a new session link  and then select Gnome type and proceed.

 

Instructions for NoMachine Client (NoMachine 4 version)

Download the latest NoMachine Client software from the www.nomachine.com page

Downloads -> Enterprise Products Evaluation -> NoMachine Enterprise Client

1. Make sure the ssh-agent is running (with the key added) and set up the SSH tunnel as mentioned in the instructions above.

2. Start the NoMachine Client Application.

3.Click on the icon Add a computer.

Under Name - specify any general name, Host - localhost, Protocol - SSH, Port - port number chosen when setting up the tunnel.

4. Click on the Advanced button - Choose the Use the NoMachine login option. The default NoMachine Ssh key is already in use here.

5. Continue with the connection. Click the Connect button. Then enter the RACF Kerberos credentials and proceed.

6. Then select the icon Create a new virtual desktop - select Create a new GNOME/KDE virtual desktop option and proceed.

 

 

Instructions for NoMachine Client (NoMachine 5 version)

Download the latest NoMachine Client Software from the www.nomachine.com page

Downloads -> Enterprise Products Evaluation -> NoMachine Enterprise Client

1. Make sure the ssh-agent is running ( with the key added) and set up the SSH tunnel as mentioned in the instructions above.

2. Start the NoMachine Client Application.

3. Select New Connection

4. Select the SSH protocol option

5. Enter Host - localhost / Port - port number chosen when setting up the tunnel.

6. Authenticate using the NoMachine login option

7. Skip the alternate server key option.

8. HTTP Proxy - Do not use proxy option

9. Specify any general name for the connection and click on the Done button.

10. Connect and login with the RACF kerberos credentials. Click on the New desktop - select either GNOME/KDE virtual desktop and proceed

 

 

Instructions for NoMachine Client (NoMachine 6 version)

Download the latest NoMachine Client Software from the www.nomachine.com page

Downloads -> Enterprise Products Evaluation -> NoMachine Enterprise Client

1. Make sure the ssh-agent is running ( with the key added) and set up the SSH tunnel as mentioned in the instructions above.

2. Start the NoMachine Client Application.

3. Select New Connection

4. Select the SSH protocol option

5. Enter Host - localhost / Port - port number chosen when setting up the tunnel.

6. Authenticate using the Password option

7. HTTP Proxy - Do not use proxy option

8. Specify any general name for the connection and click on the Done button.

9. Connect and login with the RACF kerberos credentials. Click on the New desktop - select either GNOME/KDE virtual desktop and proceed


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