How do I get NoMachine NX running on Windows XP Embedded?

Matthew Nawrocki explains how to add the NULL device driver to Windows XP Embedded to access an X Windows session via NoMachine NX.

Windows XP Embedded is an excellent operating system used for thin-client PCs and work terminals that can connect to a main server that contains the entire application database. Now suppose you want to access an X Windows session via Windows XP Embedded via NoMachine NX on your company's UNIX-based box.

For those who are not in the know, NoMachine NX is a software product designed for accessing Linux/FreeBSD/Solaris desktops remotely, similar to that of TightVNC. However, as much as you try to get a connection, you simply cannot establish one (Figure A). Well, there is a very important fact that all IT administrators need to know about.

Figure A

Cannot establish a connection

Unlike standard, run-of-the-mill Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Embedded lacks one key ingredient to make the handshake with the server happen, the NULL device driver, which acts as an equivalent to the NULL device in UNIX-based operating systems. This is needed in order for NoMachine NX to make a connection. The following steps will guide you through the process of adding the device.

This blog post is also available in the PDF format in a TechRepublic Download.

Install NULL device driver

First, download the null device driver zip file. This contains all you will need to install the device.

Next, extract the null.sys file in the zip to:


Enter regedit and point to the following key:


Right click the entry and select "Permissions..." (Figure B)

Figure B

Select the empty checkbox next to Full Control for Everyone, and then click OK. (Figure C)

Figure C

Full Control for Everyone

Extract the null.reg file out of the zip file and launch it. Click Yes to merge the entries into the registry and then reboot your system in order for the changes to take effect.

Once you are back at the desktop, NoMachine NX should now successfully connect to the X Window session.

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