Building FreeNX (0.4) on Ubuntu Hoary

From a clean install of Ubuntu/Hoary, I used the following to build FreeNX from source. This also works with Debian/Sarge.

Add the following to your apt source.list and run an update:

deb ./
deb-src ./

Install the following build-depends packages:
sudo apt-get install cdbs autotools-dev patchutils autoconf bzip2 zlib1g-dev libpng12-dev libjpeg-dev xlibs-dev libfreetype6-dev libmikmod2-dev libssl-dev libxaw7-dev automake1.9

On Debian sarge you might need this as well:
sudo apt-get install build-essential

Pull the sources (~40Mb):
apt-get source nx freenx.

Build the debs:
cd nx-; fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage -b; cd ..; sudo dpkg -i *.deb; cd freenx-0.4.0/; fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage -b; cd .. ; sudo dpkg -i freenx_0.4.0-0pre1_all.deb .

Bob’s your uncle.

I’ve got FreeNX working well in a Xen based instance of Hoary using the FreeNX defaults with the !M keys. I’m able to connect from the three !M NX clients I tried: Linux, Windows and OSX. Sound was working with the Windows client, it required the esound daemon. I found this a little chompy, and turned it off for now. I haven’t tried this with the Linux client yet. There are a couple notes here about LTSP and sound that I might investigate at a later stage. Session suspend works, although with OSX it seems you have to kill the X11 server, as the NX client itself refuse listen to the close button.

Its possible to use a similar process for nxclient at:
deb-src ./


#1 _imc_ on 07.15.05 at 6:42 pm


gpg \-\-keyserver \-\-recv-keys FB1A399A71409CDF

gpg \-\-armor \-\-export FB1A399A71409CDF | sudo apt-key add -

sudo apt-get update

#2 The Educated New Village Boy » Blog Archive » Kolab up on 07.30.05 at 6:40 am

[...] y TV set sans monitor after setting up FreeNX using some simple instructions garnered from here (ain’t the Net convenient?). I’m still not entirely su [...]

#3 Tiago Cogumbreiro on 08.02.05 at 7:47 am

You should notice that the arguments following “gpg” should have double slash (–) instead of the big slash (–) that appears in the comment above.

#4 Greg Diebel on 08.09.05 at 6:50 am

User also needs to have fakeroot installed.

sudo apt-get install fakeroot

#5 Craig Cottingham on 08.13.05 at 6:46 am

I add the given lines to /etc/apt/sources.list, run “apt-get update”, and get:

Failed to fetch rename failed, No such file or directory (/var/lib/apt/lists/partial/\_project\_kanotix\_unstable\_.\_Release -> /var/lib/apt/lists/\_project\_kanotix\_unstable\_.\_Release).

#6 Nicholas Lee on 08.13.05 at 9:36 am

Did you run “sudo apt-get update”?? I just tried it and the respository works for me.

#7 Nicholas Lee on 08.27.05 at 8:29 am

A useful thread extending this work to building FreeNX for AMD64.

#8 Somewhere out there! » Xen disk performance on 08.29.05 at 9:05 pm

[...] I pulled out an old P4 1.8GHz, added 2Gb of memory and installed with Xen using the same basic template from the colo above. A Base domU providing NFS, particularily a NFS home directory to the desktop domU. As indicated elsewhere in this blog, the FreeNX installation from source was flawlessly. During the following week I experienced a similar annoyance, this time with the whole desktop stalling. Firefox would periodically act like Netscape waiting for a dns request. Occassionaly the whole NX desktop would halt and I’d have to wait for a few moments before it started operating again. [...]

#9 Scott S. Jones D.C. on 09.24.05 at 2:41 am

I want to run freenx…but I am worried. I recently installed stable version of debian..and run GnuCash on it now; I do NOT want to install something unstable though and hose my GnuCash installation just now when I have it working…


#10 Nicholas Lee on 09.24.05 at 8:48 pm

Gnucash and (Win32 client) NX don’t actually work that well together due to Gnucash’s handling of fonts. I haven’t tried myself to get it to work, but I think the NX fonts need to be install on the client end.

Otherwise, NX is pretty easy to add, try and remove if it’s not wanted. Especially if it is compiled from source and not additional libraries are required to be installed.

#11 Stefan Hartsuiker on 11.12.05 at 2:45 am

It turns on Sarge you also need automake1.4 and dpatch

#12 Jesper on 11.15.05 at 11:39 pm

when I try to add the key with `sudo apt-key add -´
Nothing happens? I get a blank line with the cursor, and nothing happens. Should it take long? Or am I doing something wrong?

gpg \-\-keyserver –recv-keys FB1A399A71409CDF
gpg \-\-armor \-\-export FB1A399A71409CDF
sudo apt-key add – // At this poitn I can’t get any further.

Best regards

#13 Nicholas Lee on 11.16.05 at 7:02 am

The “-” in “apt-key add -” means stdin. So you have to pipe “|” the output from “gpg \-\-armor …” to “apt-ket add -”.

#14 Kevin Ernst on 12.07.05 at 1:48 am

Debian Sarge also required “debhelper,” which wasn’t mentioned. I second the motion for adding “automake1.4″ as a requirement as well.

#15 Ragnars rablerier » FreeNX p Ubuntu Breezy AMD64 on 12.17.05 at 8:41 am

[...] Veiledning til byggingen finnes p [...]

#16 David Sharnoff on 01.21.06 at 6:19 am

Err, um, why hasn’t this been incorporated into Debian?

#17 AdrianTM on 01.25.06 at 8:46 am

Good question, why is not part of Debian?
Also that kanotix repo is not working anymore and all of the links I found on the web don’t work, that’s frustrating.

#18 Nicholas Lee on 01.25.06 at 11:11 am

I’ll probably redo this work sometime soon for the latest version of FreeNX resources. However FreeNX itself has been slow recently. I think the developers have been focused more on klik. I’ve personally been too busy to follow anything up myself.

Maybe I’ll get a wiki page organised or something.

#19 Iassen Hristov on 02.11.06 at 5:58 pm

The repository seems to have moved to stable

deb stable-backports nx
deb-src stable-backports nx


#20 thibs on 02.13.06 at 12:23 pm

Just to note that dpatch is also needed to build the freenx package.
sudo apt-get install dpatch

#21 Marc on 02.17.06 at 3:46 pm

This page shows you how to do it for Ubuntu (Breezy Badger) and it’s much easier and faster (no compiling):

#22 Matt on 04.26.06 at 10:01 pm

Thanks Marc – just followed your link and it installed fine

#23 golden on 05.29.06 at 5:32 pm

Perfect pages… tnx

#24 SiD3WiNDR’s Homepage » Blog Archive » FreeNX on Debian Sarge on 10.06.06 at 10:54 am

[...] I just set up FreeNX on my Sarge machine and it works really nice! I was hoping it would be able to "receive" remote desktop (rdc) connections and channel it to an X server (to use standard Windows CE/TS thin clients with a Linux server). I found the .deb’s too late, and as such followed another howto for Ubuntu . [...]

#25 Caladan on 02.07.07 at 10:12 pm

Try to get the sources from
deb-src ./

worked for me

#26 Alex on 11.29.07 at 5:04 am

Seems none of the repositories work now… Anyone have an idea

#27 Nicholas Lee on 11.30.07 at 6:12 am

You might try this page:

#28 Jerther on 12.12.09 at 6:30 pm

I personally gave up trying to install this. Ran into too many problem and didn't even get to download the darn packages.

I moved to free solutions. It took a couple of minutes, didn't have a single configuration to do and I was up and running. Running the server on debian 5 and running the client on fedora 12.

#29 Nicholas_Lee on 12.13.09 at 6:22 am

I must admit it has been a while since I've used FreeNX. Not sure what its status is at the moment. Google also have NeatX, which is based on the Nomachine free libraries.

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