Remote Access


Local Contact Person:
See our Schedule to find your local contact, who is available by phone until 10 PM Saskatoon time. This is the main point of contact during your beamtime.

CMCF Support E-mail (
For issues arising after 10 PM, or if your local contact is not yet listed on the schedule. These emails go to all CMCF staff.

Floor Coordinator (306-657-3639):
Available on-site 24 hours a day.

HSE Department (306-227-3113) / University of Saskatchewan Security (306-966-5555)

For beamline issues arising during your data collection, your first contact should be your Local Contact. You can communicate with your local contact:

  • by phone until 10 PM CST, for urgent issues which interfere with data collection,
  • by email, best for non-urgent issues, to your Local Contact (before 10 PM CST) or to (after 10 PM CST).
  • the MxDC chat window, although it may not be monitored at all times.

Please allow up to 30 minutes for your Local Contact to respond. If you do not receive a response, stop your experiment and write an email to explaining the issue.

Critical issues related to safety, machine status, or facility issues can also be referred to the Floor Coordinator at any time. Note they will not normally be able to help with problems on the beamline.

Beamline issues after 10 pm CST may not be addressed until the following morning. In the unlikely event that you lose beamtime due to problems during the night, you will be assisted in scheduling additional beamtime whenever possible.

User Responsibilities

Only persons trained for remote control and appearing as team members on a valid session permit are allowed to operate the beamline during a remote session. To be permitted to operate the beamline remotely, you must:

  1. Register as a CLS User with the CLS User Portal.
  2. Accept the User Agreement on your CLS User Portal dashboard.
  3. Complete the Remote Beamline Specific Orientation with CMCF staff and confirm that you received the training.
  4. Appear as a team member for an active project in the CLS User Portal.

Remote users must also abide by the following code of conduct:

  • User activities shall be in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Users shall exercise high academic integrity, and respect the applicable confidentiality of information.
  • Users shall show respect for the dignity and diversity of other people. Any harassment and violence will not be tolerated. Users shall not be impaired by alcohol and/or drug use.

NX Connections

Access to the beamline is only available during your scheduled session time, or by special arrangement with CMCF staff for data processing/transfer. To connect remotely:

Download and install the NX client from

Use the following settings when configuring a new connection:

  • Protocol: NX
  • Host:
    • Port (CMCF-BM): 2222
    • Port (CMCF-ID): 2221
  • Authentication: Password
  • Proxy: Don't use a proxy

When establishing a connection:

  • Login Credentials
    • Use your group's CMCF account.
    • Contact CMCF staff if you need help logging in.
  • Desktop: Create a new virtual desktop or take over an existing active session.

Additional Notes

When you are done, close MxDC and log out of the desktop rather than simply closing the NX client window. Closing the NX client will not close your session.

Access the NoMachine menu by clicking on the top-right corner of the display or using Ctrl + Alt + 0 to:
- adjust screen display settings to suit your local monitor, larger displays supporting a minimum 1920x1080 resolution are recommended.
- mount your beamline home directory on your local computer during your NoMachine session,
- mount a local USB drive to the NoMachine session which is then available at /media/nomachine/.

Simultaneously transferring large amounts of data on the same port as data collection may negatively impact the performance of the NX client. Instead, use MxLIVE to download datasets or see Computing & Data Transfer for more data transfer options.

Connections via older client versions will also work, but without some features.

Preparing For Your Beamtime

Become familiar with the CMCF User Guide, which contains detailed information on preparing and shipping samples, software, procedures and safety concerns.

To prepare for your beamtime, consult the applicable sections of the user guide:

  1. Prepare your samples: Samples and Automounters
  2. Create an MxLIVE Shipment: MxLIVE Sample Management
  3. Ship your samples: Shipping Samples
  4. Collect data during your beamtime:

New CMCF Users must collect data with an experienced crystallography mentor familiar with CMCF software & procedures.

Starting Your Beamtime

CMCF staff will hand-over the session on the User Portal, load your samples in the automounter, and check the beamline before providing you with confirmation that the beamline is ready. This normally takes around 30-60 minutes, so expect the confirmation sometime in the first hour of your scheduled beamtime. You may login remotely while you are waiting, but please wait for confirmation before opening the data collector, MxDC.

You will need to sign-on to the active session on your CLS User Portal dashboard, indicating the appropriate team members & samples. Once you have signed-on and received confirmation from beamline staff, you may begin your experiment.

Monitoring the Beamline


Upon opening MxDC, your samples (defined in MxLIVE) along with their positions in the automounter will appear in the Samples page of MxDC. If the sample list looks out of date, click the "Refresh Sample List" button above the list of samples.

Hutch Activity

The Hutch Camera is accessed through MxDC. Move the camera and zoom in or out to view the entire hutch.

  • Robot and detector motion are forbidden while the endstation is occupied. If you see anyone in the hutch during your session, cease robot operations and contact staff by phone.

Beam Status

Beam status may be monitored in a number of ways:

  • The storage ring machine status can be found here:
  • The bottom status bar on MxDC shows the mode, shutter status, and storage ring current.
  • Watch for warnings in the Status Checks area on the Setup page of MxDC.
  • Machine status announcements (such as ring trips or mode changes) will also update on the CLS user portal

Finishing Your Experiment

When your experiment is complete, dismount your last sample, close MxDC, sign-off from the active session in the User Portal, and send an e-mail to to indicate that you are no longer using the beamline.