Black screen after updating a few days go

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    I am running the free versions of NoMachine on my remote Ubuntu 12.04 PC (with Gnome) and my local Windows 7 PC for the last year or so with no issues. The remote machine has dual monitors and I’m using the NX protocol to connect.

    A few days ago I was physically using the remote Ubuntu machine and NoMachine popped up a window saying it needed to update. So I let it update. Later that night when I tried to connect from my Windows 7 PC it seemed to connect, but I was just presented with a black screen. Normally the screen starts out black but when I move the mouse I get a login prompt but that didn’t work. I tried switching to the other display via ALT-2 and but it was also black.

    So I tried manually updating NoMachine on my Windows 7 PC. That didn’t help.

    The next day or so I got another NoMachine update window while physically using my remote Ubuntu box. I let it up update again hoping that it would fix the issue. But alas when I got home it still has the same problem.

    I saw another thread which mentioned disabling acceleration for display processing, which I tried on my Windows 7 PC but it didn’t help.

    At this point I’m tempted to try a complete re-installation on both the client and server, but before I go there any ideas?


    Can you check value key PhysicalDesktopMode in server configuration file?

    cat /usr/NX/etc/server.cfg |grep PhysicalDesktopMode

    If there is 0 – you cannot interact with the physical desktop because it’s view-only-mode. The following fix was introduced to fix this broken key:

    If you don’t have enabled view-only-mode please run debug, reproduce issue and send all logs from server and client side to forum[at]nomachine[dot]com or attach them here (size is restricted). Instructions about debug and collecting logs you can find there:


    So the cat reveals:

    cat /usr/NX/etc/server.cfg |grep PhysicalDesktopMode
    PhysicalDesktopMode 0

    Should I edit the file and change it to a “1” or “2”? The file is currently read only but I could force it… Then do I need to restart NoMachine on my server? If so it’s not obvious how to do that.

    Thanks for the help!


    FYI, changing the PhysicalDesktopMode value fixed the issue for me.

    Thanks for the help!


    Restart isn’t necessary 😉 Sorry if that wasn’t specified, but glad to hear the issue is now fixed.

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