Does NethServer 8 meet our needs?

I’m new here! Hello!

We are not users of NethServer yet. We currently use ClearOS Business, on a ClearBOX machine, with Kopano (via WebApp).
Because of the EOL for CentOS/ClearOS this June, we need to find another solution.
We’re still investigating, and NethServer 8 looks very attractive.
However, we (2 people in the company) are maybe fervent Open Source supporters, but not really ‘in the know’. We do know a lot more about how to book European tours for bands :slight_smile:
Therefore, a few questions on NethServer 8:

  • we currently use (mainly): - gateway/firewall; - Kopano e-mail/Public Contacts/Public Calendars; - file server; - SMTP server; - anti-virus/-spam; - 100GB backup in the cloud; - network consists of 2 workstations with Kubuntu, the ClearBOX, a VoIP-switchboard and two phones, a printer, an internet-radio. Question: does NethServer 8 offer/cover/handle all of this?
  • we’ve already spotted that we’ll need to add a server OS. What’s best, Debian or Ubuntu?
  • apart from the backup in the cloud, we do prefer to have everything on-premise
  • how can we export larger amounts of Contacts from NS8’s e-mail-program, in one go? To a csv-file for instance? This because of our mail-outs/newsletters via a separate provider
  • in Contacts, can we add Custom Categories/Labels to each Contact Card? And make a selection on those Categories/Labels?
  • what is the best desk-client for NethServer 8 when it comes to e-mail/contacts/calendars? Or is WebTop the way to go?
  • why should we use NethServer 8, you think, and not Univention / EGroupware / Kolab / Kopanion by Linudata?
  • if we would take out paid Support, is there also a vegetarian version of the fiorentina-deal? :wink:

Many thanks!
Best from Nijmegen, The Netherlands


Hi Rob

And welcome to the NethServer community!

I’ll try to answer your questions as best as possible.

NS8 will not include the Firewall component, that is split of to the new NethSecurity project. The positive part, NS8 can manage NerthSecurity later…
Due to the usage of Containers (Podman) much more will be possible very soon!

Of those two, Debian. I use Debian myself. “Officially” supported is Rocky.

This is possible.

I use NextCloud as Adressbook / Calendar, this is possible here. WebTop I’ve never used, nor SoGo.

Possible with NextCloud.

Generally, I prefer Thunderbird, it supports CalDAV / CrdDAV for Adressboks and Calendar on Nextcloud more or less directly. On Mac, no client is needed, I still often alöso install TB there.
On Linux, Thunderbird.

Simple, we have the best and most friendly Forum!
Did you get as detailed an answer elsewhere as here? :slight_smile:


You may need to help here with the “business part” of this.

I hope my answers will help you to decide!
You’re not the first ClearOS migrant welcomed here!

If you have more / detailed questions, don’t hesitate to PM me directly.

Best regards to Nijmegen, a town I last visited when the train still ran to Germany (Border Station). Long time ago…

My 2 cents


Ubuntu is not supported. Supported options are Debian 12 or EL9 (Rocky or Alma primarily).

For a desktop client, probably Thunderbird.

Hi @RobBerends the phrase up here is… Imprecise.
4 distros are currently officially supported (project declers that the installation is possibile), three are “derivatives” from CentOS, last is Debian 12.

However, only Rocky Linux 9 can be the base for a “supported system” (one that you buy the subscription for, which includes more support options and more refined update path). The same applies for a specific virtualization environment (currently i don’t remember which one). A fellow forumer had issues with virtualized debian + NS8, magically disappeared after he reinstalled the VM using Rocky Linux 9 as underlying OS.

On the topic defining question… I can’t answer for sure.
NS8 and your current setup cannot be completely paired, due to different structure and different design. I mean… it’s not like changing complicated light bulbs, some new electrician repurpose and design is necessary to make the new one work quite like the new one.

No sales department here, so no pitch to run out. Until now, NS was… 100% matching payed version vs no subscription version. No fees, no user pack licence, no addition modules or option “only for cash” available.

Still no sales pitch: it’s not the best time to migrate to NS… at least now.
NS7 is stable, works like a champ, can be the perfect drop-in replacement for your setup (even ot having the same package list) however has the same issue of ClearOS: CentOS 7 EOS.
NS8 is growing… pants and pains. Most of the cogs and wheels are spinning fine, however while declared stable, IMO it needs a lot of polishing, refining,… getting older and more tested.

Take all the time you need before make a decision, but don’t forget that you can try the full brew today of NS8 for evaluation. There are some unavoidable system requirements, however… it’s 100% available.

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I would almost call this a counter sales pitch…


Are you still that pissed off Nethesis removed the awful firewall from NS7 in NS8?
That bad that you haven’t really even attempted to migrate a client?

Life’s Tough!

My 2 cents

And another - I can name both - had them dissapear after moving from the same virtualized environment from Rocky to Debian. No issues since with Debian.

Undecided so far.

But I do prefer Debian.
Rocky, so far has not brought anything to the Linux community, just parroting anothers work or integration. He didn’t do anything different years ago with Centos…

My 2 cents

@Andy_Wismer what’s reported it’s honestly what I think. Anyone can lookup for posts about that and find every spec of that. Also, could find the bugs reported for NS8.

You can do your pitch and talk about what you like about NS8, I won’t define anyone a believer for considering the current status of NS8 “good enough” to be deployed… tomorrow March 12th.

For the firewall part, today there’s no stable NethSec release, nor NS8 module for managing it. Aside what you think about my opinion of Nethesis, this is the status, not my idea.

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Actually, there is a module for managing it. it just needs to be worked on abit more, as the final release candidate of nethsecurity comes to play.

I’m sure that developers are crunching for deliver more modules and something is there.
Yet, not released as stable.

I just want to be equally balanced.

I have migrated clients, they are still productive on NS8 today, no major issues.
You have sucessfully evaded answering my direct question if you have tried to migrate a client, but I’ll repeat it again: Have you?

If, by today, you haven’t tried, in my opinion you have just disqualified yourself from ANY discussion or “educated” opinion about NS8!

Microsoft, by that measure “releases” a lot of software they “call” stable. 4 weeks later, the next patch of “fixes” for their bananaware…

Stable, and labeled as stable or released are per se NOT the same thing.

migration is a diffferent topic even, just from scratch attempted running barebones NS8 in prodcution, with supported components in ns7 core. firewall aside.

the system is pretty stable, and as stated in different topics on the forum, Ns is a platform, and since its fundamentally different than ns7, while sticking to the core, users might begin tinkering new ways to do things, since the same were not possible before, and this in the process, identify bugs or issues that could not have been accounted for by the dev team.


This specific topic here is about a possible migration from ClearOS to NS8.

If anyone presents critic like @pike and he hasn’t even tried a migration, then he’s just not qualified here in a support question to answer, simple. It’s all hot air, you can’t have an opinion about something you haven’t tried or done. Then it’s not called an opinion, but a prejudice!

This is a support question, and as having helped at least two active users here on this Forum migrate from ClearOS to NS (7/8) I do feel being able to provide qualified support.

My 2 cents

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@RobBerends i would tell you, NEthserver, as well as nethsecurity(in the near future) can and would meet and surpass your expecations if migrating from clearos.

webtop should be more than enough, in combination with ejabberd to meet your email and communication needs.

Nethvoice, currently in beta2, should soon enough be a wonderful solution for your voip needs, and is far superior than anything else i have tested so far self hostable.

While thunderbird would be great for local email, emclient for simple users would equally work well, and has built-in chat supported by ejabberd.

as an app author , i would be more than happy to assist you in implementing apps you might require to run on Nethserver 8, so long as they have docker supported installations not promises, but i would try.

the OSS version of Nethserver should be enough, however you can pay for business support, which is equally inexpensive. or you can go in on Enterprise license(not yet ready) Nethserver believes in providing value.

I would urge you to deploy a test of the system, enable nethforge, and if possible genforge. since testing, you can enable t esting for both of them.

Test run the solutions provided and what is offered, and youll be blown. you have cluster support by default, you can migrate apps between servers, clone backup and restore with ease entire apps, not jut databases.

NEthsecurity will have a built-in dashboard within Nethserver, so you have a single pane of glass. and many wonderful features to work with.

I will admit that I neither like Webtop nor SoGo and do not use either.

I don’t support the use of a reverse engineered product (MS-ActiveSync) to connect open source mail (IMAP & SMTP) to clients supporting both (iPhone, Android, Mac, Windows & Linux).

Neither WebTop nor Sogo are really “mail” solutions, both are “overlays” on open source mail (IMAP and SMTP) to provide “Groupware” functionality.
NextCloud is neither, but works for me & my clients - far better than SoGo or WebTop ever could.

Seems both WebTop and SoGo have their fans, fine for them.
I’ll keep to what works for me, NextCloud & TB.

My 2 cents

HE is Enterpirse client, so trust me, they will need webtop, trsut me.

NExtcloud is great, but wont cut it for them, especially on the mail side of things.

the Calendar in Nextcloud shines, and files, the good thing is nextcloud can be integrated with webtop, but for calendar, you have to chose one. not both. however emclient has helped me manage both equally well… tried magix in outlook, but i stick to em.

I don’t think so…

WebTop is one of the worst implementations of GroupWare I’ve ever seen, and using really BAD concepts.
And to make matters worse, it is programmed in JAVA. Bad enough when it came from Sun, under Oracle…

The client is a 2 man shop, so what “Enterprise” are you talking about? Get real!


I still prefer Roundcube for mail anytime to WebTop or SoGo.
But I hardly ever need to use Webmail, same goes for my clients.

All of us have Notebooks, Smartphones. Why use Web then?

The only times my clients actually use Webmail is when those Outlook fans have their Outlook barf and are waiting for the fix…
TB hardly ever barfs.

programming language should never be an issue if you are not a maintainer or developer of plugins for said, for as long as it works well.

if its a 2 man shop then they only just need nextcloud, and maybe ejabberd especially if they are iphone guys, but nextcloud talk should be fine.

As for VOIP, i suppose its mostly for handling incoming and outgoing calls…

lets me honest, Sogo is way betetr than roundcube, and if roundcube, then just use nextcloud mail, its even more better.

hahaha… let me not comment

JAVA is a language I won’t touch if possible.

I neither like, approve nor want to support ANYTHING by Oracle. And it’s not really Oracle, it’s who controls it.

I think exactly the same about Ruby On Rails. It’s actually quite a capable framework for the language Ruby. But the creator? Program in RoR, and use the RoR Logo to illustrate the fact. He’ll sue you!
RoR may be Open Source, but the Logo isn’t!

Puppet, for example, has been around a long time. I never touched it, due to it being based on RoR.

Perl, on the other hand, is tops, especially for certain jobs. So is it’s creator, Larry Wall.


My sincerest apologies for this petty aargument you’ve been able to witness.

@pike , @oneitonitram

I think all of us , myself included, have derailed this support query beyond repair!

Thanks for the active help!

/Sarcasm off

My 2 cents


As Nethesis we’re deeply investing in Webtop and a new modern version is coming
But you’re free to choose whatever you like. Just to know, webtop will be covered by professional support

We’re working on the paid Support for NethServer 8. News are coming…

Guys please if we want to talk about those topics

  • NS8 stability
  • Webtpop vs SOGo
    and so on… please don’t use a discussion where people like @RobBerends just need help

Please open a new topic and discuss there.
We are not doing a good service to this community.

@RobBerends did you receive all your answers or you still need help^