NoMachine NX Desktop on Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin – No menus?

NoMachine NX is a perfect solution to connect to your remote Ubuntu desktop. But ever since Canonical introduced Unity, NoMachine doesn’t seem so perfect anymore: client successfully connects to the NX server, but the menus never show up, and there’s no Unity side bar.

Here’s what works in 12.04 Precise Pangolin:

On the remote machine open up this file: /usr/NX/etc/node.cfg and edit it as a superuser:

sudo vim /usr/NX/etc/node.cfg

Towards the end of the file, look forĀ CommandStartGnome and change it to

CommandStartGnome = "/usr/bin/gnome-session --session=ubuntu-2d"

Save the file, and Unity should now work in 2D mode the next time you connect and the menus and the sidebar will show up.

15 Replies to “NoMachine NX Desktop on Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin – No menus?”

    1. Thanks for the explanation. I hope NX4 comes out soon – it seems to be taking forever. Until then the described workaround seems to be a good alternative.

  1. You can also set the gnome 2 menu with
    CommandStartGnome = “/usr/bin/gnome-session –session=gnome-classic”
    if you installed gnome-shell

  2. Your instructions do not seem to have any effect. No matter what session parameter I provide, NX 3.5 always tries to load Unity-3d. The only thing that fixes the problem is to remove /tmp/unit_* files.

    Any thoughts?

    Is there a way to “restart” the node as you can do with the nxserver executable?

  3. Thank you very much. I did a fresh 12.04.1 installation (was using NX on 10.04LTS before) and your remedy (using CommandStartGnome = “/usr/bin/gnome-session –session=ubuntu-2d”) fixed the issue for me. Cheers

  4. I almost gave up on being able to run NX on my Ubuntu 12.04 system, when I came across this solution. NX works quite well, with the change to node.cfg. And for those of you who are Mac users, you may want to try Open NX Client, a free nx client that plays nice with nxserver 3.x. You don’t need to upgrade to the paid 4.x version thats supposed to be Mountain Lion compatible.

  5. Thank you very much. It worked for me. The other method that consist in setting an application to run in the nxclient doesn’t work. It isdescribed here : http://www.humans-enabled.com/2012/04/how-to-install-freenx-server-on-ubuntu.html

    Also, it doesn’t work if a session on the local host with the account we try to access with nxclient is already opened. Apparently it is because of the presence of some files in /tmp. After closing the local session or using another account it works perfectly.

    I’m very thankful because I want to use Ubuntu Desktop on a rented dedicated server. NoMachine is so easy to use and so efficient, it is excellent. I hope they find a good solution for further Ubuntu releases.

  6. this doesn’t work for me.
    it loads the icons fine, but there is no file menu or anything on the desktop. If I don’t do it, no icons show up, so that means nautilus is at least loading
    any ideas

  7. Thanks =)

    This is probably old now, but I got NX4 preview working with GNOME3 now, too slot for remote use though with all the fancy gfx…

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