NX start guide

Installing NX NoMachine client

Download the enterprise version of the client from the NX Client download page.

NoMachine NX Client Configuration

NoMachine NX requires keys in OpenSSH format, therefore the existing key needs to be converted into OpenSSH format if you’re working on Windows and using PuTTY.

  1. Start the NoMachine client and press Continue till you see the screen listing your connections, titled Machines.

  2. Press Add to create a new connection.

  3. In the Addres pane,

    1. choose a name for the connection, e.g., “genius”,

    2. change the Protocol to SSH,

    3. choose the hostname:

      • for Genius (Tier-2): nx.hpc.kuleuven.be and port 22.

      • for BrENIAC (Tier-1): nx-tier1.hpc.kuleuven.be and port 22.


        These login nodes cannot be used to access the cluster from the terminal.

  4. In the Configuration pane,

    1. choose Use key-based authentication with a key you provide,

    2. press Modify and browse for your private key. This should be in OpenSSH format (not .ppk).

      • For Android users it is easy to transfer your key and save it in the chosen location with the Box (KU Leuven) or Dropbox (UHasselt) apps.

      • For iOS users (iPad running iOS 5 or later) it is possible to transfer the key with iTunes. Connect your device through iTunes, go to the connected device, choose the \”apps" tab, scroll down to \”file sharing". Select the NoMachine client and add files to NoMachine Documents. Remember to Sync your device.

      • Browse your file on a mobile device from the given location.

  5. Press Connect.

  6. Enter your username (vsc-account) and passphrase for your private key and press “ok”.

  7. If you are creating for the first time choose Create a new virtual desktop. Otherwise please refer to the section on how to reconnec to an NX session for instructions.

  8. Read the useful information regarding your session displayed on several screens. This step is very important in case of mobile devices – once you miss the instructions it is not so easy to figure out how to operate NoMachine on your device. You can optionally choose not to show these messages again.

Once connected you will see the virtual Linux desktop.

Reconnecting to an NX session

When you leave a session without logging out, you can reconnect to that session. This is of course a great feature if your network connection is not very stable. It also helps you to work more efficiently since you can simply resume your work where you left off.

When reconnecting choose your desktop from all the listed ones. If there are too many you can use the option find a user or a desktop and type your username (vsc-account). Once you found your desktop press connect.

Note that when you don’t want your session to persist, you should select Log out from the System menu.

How to start using NX on Genius?

  1. Once your desktop is open, you can use all available GUI designed software that is listed within the Applications menu. Software is divided into several groups:

    • Accessories (e.g. Calculator, Character Map, Emacs, Gedit, GVim),

    • Graphics (e.g. gThumb Image Viewer, Xpdf PDF Viewer),

    • Internet (e.g. Firefox with pdf support, Filezilla),

    • HPC (modules related to HPC use: Computation sub-menu with MATLAB, RStudio and SAS, Visualisation sub-menu with Paraview and VisIt),

    • Programming (e.g. Meld Diff Viewer, Microsoft Visual Studio Code),

    • System tools (e.g. File Browser, Terminal).

  2. Running the applications in the text mode requires having a terminal open. To launch the terminal please go to Applications -> System tools -> Terminal. From Terminal all the commands available on regular login node can be used.

  3. Some more information can be found on slides from our lunchbox session. In the slides you can find the information how to connect the local HDD to the NX session for easier transfer of data between the cluster and your local computer.

Attached documents