Sunday, May 6, 2007

Your own linux desktop available from anywhere!

Here's a great way to get a basic idea of what it's like to use a linux os.

Desktop on Demand offers a free online "computer" that you can access securely from anywhere.

First go to the download page at nomachine and look for the "NX Client Desktop Edition." Download and install the version for whatever operating system you are using.

If you're on someone else's computer, you can use the java plugin I'll talk about later.

Then go to and sign up for your free account. Open a new window and check your email for your new login information. Then you'll want to login to manage your services in order to change your password to something you'll remember. After this, you can enter your username in the box to the top left of the page and select either:
  1. Desktop - This is what to use if you have installed the NX Client Desktop Edition that I mentioned previously.
  2. Desktop (java) - This is what to use if you're using someone else's or a public computer. It will ask to install a java plugin the first time. It doesn't take long.
  3. File Manager - This is what to use if you want to transfer files from the computer you are on to your remote computer.
Login to the nomachine window that pops up.

The first two options may cause windows security to freak out. Don't worry about it, just click "unblock" or "allow."

In no time, a new window should open with your brand new linux desktop. Look around and see what's there!

One of the nicest features of this remote desktop is the file sharing. Any file that you have on your remote computer can be put into one of the share folders and accessed by any other Desktop on Demand user you allow, or you can put something in the "public shares" folder and share with the entire community of users.

You can also check out gimp, the open source equivalent to photoshop.

Have fun and enjoy!

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