[Pkg-nx-group] New situation with NX 3.0 and debian

Stefan Lippers-Hollmann vger at sL-H.de
Thu Jul 5 16:06:43 UTC 2007


On Donnerstag, 5. Juli 2007, Leopold Palomo-Avellaneda wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm new in the list and I would like to help in the packaging of freeNX.
> Yesterday I met to Fabian Franz (FreeNX author) and we have been talking
> about FreeNX.
> He is preparing a new structure for the code and I asked him about the
> problems of having freeNX in a debian box. It's strange but there are
> random people trying to make packages of freeNX and this group, but
> nothing more or less stable.

FreeNX is the least of the problems, although it begs to question if it is consistently maintained (it certainly wasn't in 2006). 

> FreeNX it's only some scripts that use the nx-core from Nomachine. This
> core is gpl and freeNx too, so by now there's no problem about licenses.

What is seriously required here is upstream work, to get rid of private source copies/ forks, which first means distinguishing changes from upstream, trying to merge differences at their respective upstreams (no chance for the X related parts, as those are distributed under the GPL2-only, the same goes for nxssh versus OpenSSH - although this fork can probably be reverted) - unfortunately NoMachine hasn't been very receptive to patches in the past.

> The source code of nx-core, I have to addmitt that I have found it like a
> mesh. There's a lot of packages and the main package nx-x11 it's a part
> of the xfree/xorg. Fabian told me that nx-core 2.x is based on "some"
> version of xfree, but the new one nx-core 3.0 is based on "some" version
> xorg.

The real serious issue are the NX libraries, which (still with NX 3.0) duplicate a lot of code from other upstream projects:
- the whole X source tree (X.org 6.6 this time, instead of a radom XFree86 4.3 development snapshot in the past)
- esound 0.2.36, in comparison to an ancient pre- woody version until now
- samba 3.0
- GKrellM 2.2.10
- OpenSSH 4.4p1
TightVNC and rdesktop forks have fortunately been dropped with NX 3.0.

> I don't understand the svn of pkg-nx group. I see that is only the debian
> part, but in the freeNX I think that it's the source code of the project.
> So, please, could someone explain me the structure and the main idea?
> Because in this repository is where the source of nx have to go or only
> the debian files?

Getting the sources to build and "run" isn't easy, but can be made possible in reasonable time, getting it into a state for debian archive inclusion is next to impossible without *serious* changes. That's probably the reason for most stalled attempts at packaging NX.

> Also, there's a project of a free client
> http://code.2x.com/linuxterminalserver/downloads
> with a GPL licences that it will be interesting to add to the project.

In that public svn is not only the client and library parts, but also the perl based and mature nxnode/ nxserver 1.5 source under the GPL2, 2X Software Ltd. is also very receptive to patches (including svn write access) and easily reachable.

My personal plan was to get 2X NX 1.5/ 1.6 to build following FHS path names last year (very, very initial hacking here: http://sidux.com/files/wip/), with the prospect of slowly merging in changes from more current updates of NoMachine's GPLed sources and trying to trim down private copies of forks from other projects - until I hit the limits of my barely existing perl knowledge (nxnode/ nxserver's build system has a lot of non-FHS compliant hard coded paths and other issues) and serious time constraints.

> Well, there's a lot of things to do, but I hope that soon we will have
> some kind nice debian packages of the freenx project.

I "hope" that too, but it requires a lot of hard work (measured in months, not days or weeks) and actual code commits to get any closer to reality.

> Regards,
> Leo

	Stefan Lippers-Hollmann

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