Manage Your MythTV Box Remotely Using NX –

Manage Your MythTV Box Remotely Using NX


Tired of dealing with MythTV’s xfce tiny fonts, Bad TV resolution, cumbersome or non existent remote controls, or you simply want to manage your MythTV box remotely (i.e. from work, or on vacation) Then this article is for you.
For those of you not familiar with NX, the best way I can describe it is that, it is similar to a Windows Remote Desktop or VNC connection but considerably faster. I specifically wrote this article because I needed do have complete control over my MythTV box remotely and not be limited to what MythTV’s web interface offered. I could not find any information on the web on how to accomplish this with NX and I definitely did not want to do it with VNC because there is considerable lag. All I was able to find was information on how to configure NX with XFCE (or Xubuntu), witch even though it helped a little it did not provide a complete solution to the Mythbuntu – NX scenario. For this article I am using Mythbuntu version 9.10 Karmic Koala for the server and Ubuntu Linux for the Client OS however the configuration will be exactly the same for a Windows NX client or any other OS capable of running the NX client.
Note: The following tutorial works for Windows as well as Linux clients.

Configuring your NX Server

1) On your Mythbuntu machine go to NoMachine’s website click on the Download Tab and click on NX Free Edition for Linux and download and install the DEB packages for the Client, Node and Server and install them in that same order.

Configuring your NX Client

2) On your client machine go to NoMachine’s website and download the Windows or DEB package (Ubuntu – Linux) for the free NX Client and install it.

3) Once installed on the client machine open the NX Client.

4) Go Though the initial wizard and provide information requested.

5) Click on the Configure Button

6) Under Server make sure the IP of your MythTV box is correct and leave port number as is.

7) Under the Display section modify display values to whatever you deem proper.

8 ) Under the Desktop section set it to Unix and Custom and click on the Settings button

9) Under Application set it to run the following command and enter xfce4-session in the blank field.

10) Under Options set it to New Virtual Desktop and click ok

Login and… voila! you are done! now you can control your MythTV box remotely without having to deal with XFCE’s minuscule fonts, bad TV resolution, or cumbersome remote controls, or you can even schedule recordings from work!

Note: Stick with NoMachine’s products for the server and client. At the beginning I tried with FreeNX and NoMachine’s NX Client and I did not have good results.


  1. Patrick, 28. May 2011, 21:38

    I have a laptop as my mythfrontend with the vga out into my sony tv. When I use VNC I am able to control the screen in a functional but laggy way… When I setup NX as described, connecting to the frontend gives me a new/second front end screen that actually changes channels because I can hear the audio of the tv changing. However the first/original mythfrontend menu remains on screen and is not under my control.

    What’s the trick or am I missing something obvious like NX is cannot be used as a vnc replacement in this manner. Perhaps I have to disable vnc on the frontend?

    ahh I suspect it will be something like I have to start my onscreen session/display via NX and detach from it in a similar manner to the console tool “screen”.

    suggestions? hints?

  2. Pablo, 9. September 2010, 12:38

    For those of you that are not able to log in as root, here is the fix:

    Edit /usr/NX/etc/server.cfg and change EnableAdministratorLogin = “1”

    I haven’t had this problem with Mythbuntu, but other regular Ubuntu users have reported this problem.

  3. Bryan, 31. December 2009, 9:21

    Update: The Frontend now shows up as well. Both on Windows and Linux machines. Great tool all around.

  4. Bryan, 21. December 2009, 6:50

    Just saying thanks for this very helpful article. It got me up and running in no time. The way I use it now is doing the ripping on the backend machine. Editing all the tags with EasyTag I do on another machine which is connected to the backend via the nomachine client. Launching the Frontend though on the client has not been succesful.


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