What is FastX?

FastX displays your remote Linux desktops faster than regular X Windows emulator, especially over Internet connections. It is an easy-to-use client-served based X11 emulator, that allows you to connect to a remote Linux server using any browser (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari). FastX offers productive user experience over long distance and low bandwidth connections.

FastX connections are persistent, you can reconnect to your session after a network failure or unplanned reboot of your workstation. Users can also suspend their sessions, disconnect their PC and resume the session at a later time from any device.

Why should I use FastX?

FastX has the primary purpose of providing a graphical interface to our servers on slow connections from off-campus. Users should be able to easily access to debug tools like Allinea, data visualization tools like Paraview, feature rich IDEs like Eclipse and numerous GUI scientific apps (Matlab, Stata, etc...) on CRC frontends.

How do I use FastX?

With a browser

Using a Browser doesn't require any installation and is more user friendly, but is not as fast as the using the client.

  1. Direct your browser to any of our FastX capable frontends listed below:
  2. Use your ND netid and password to login
  3. Click on "Start a new session"
New session.jpg

    4. Click "GNOME" and then click on Start


    5. You now are able to access GUIs such as Matlab

Small Matlab.jpg

With the client

For potentially better performance, you may try installing the client. After you have created an account and have downloaded the client:

  1. Open the client which will look like this:


  2. To create a new connection click on the plus sign and then click SSH.
  3. Fill out the "Name" which will be the name of the connection, and the "Host" which will be the computer you are trying to connect to (for instance Once you save this information, you will be prompted for your username (NetID) and password.

    SSH connection.jpg

  4. Once you are successfully logged in you will see a screen like this:

    Client new session.jpg

  5. Click on the plus sign to begin a new session. You can choose between a GNOME (GUI) or xterm (terminal) session. If you choose GNOME, You can now access GUIs such as Matlab.

    Session type.jpg

Link to Download FastX

The FastX client can be downloaded by going to and then selecting the appropriate choice for your operating system.

License Limitations

Note that there are a limited number of licenses for FastX. If you are finished with a session, be sure to close/exit the software through the dashboard. If a session is idle for 12 consecutive hours, it will automatically be closed to free the license.