Introducing new members on community - 12 Oct 15

Yes folks, you know, it’s Monday AGAIN!

This time I decided to split the Welcome topic since its monolithic nature (45 mins reading time) so let’s try this new experiment :smile: and as we are used I want give a big warm welcome to our new members:
@rothere @erstearns @Freddy_Brignardello @Mwdslayer @jjans @syntaxerrormmm @Iwson @javierponceg @bladedavid @painkiller895 @Tintolaw @DHSupport @CyberCam - 13 new users

One of the things that I always find valuable when joining a new community is getting an idea of who new people are and what new people do. It helps me to make connections and to find the right people to bounce ideas around with.

So new friends:

  • Who are you?
  • What you’re working on?
  • What brings you to NethServer!
  • What interesting software do you have found lately? How you spent your free time?
  • Do you have already tested/installed NethServer?

If you haven’t read it yet please give a look our Getting Started Topic


Hello Alessandro and thanks for the warm welcome.
It is a pleasure for me to be able to speak with such an active and supportive community.

My name is Emiliano Vavassori, I’m adviser at Bergamo Linux User Group (BgLUG). Bergamo is a small but nice city in the north of Italy, come visit it :smile:

With BgLUG we activated a new project, trying to bring Linux and FOSS in schools (mainly, primary and secondary): “Linux va a scuola” (which translated is Linux goes to school) and NethServer Community edition is involved being our main infrastructure server :wink:

Our projects is based on a technical part, which I try to explain in few words, plus big training sessions provided to all the teachers:

  • A base system training, provided by us;
  • A technical training for non-professional ITs, aiming to making the school autonomous for the support of the labs, also provided by us;
  • A office automation suite training, provided by with the help of LibreItalia (LibreOffice Italian community);
  • Additional specific software courses, based on the needs of the teachers (read: Geogebra, Stellarium, Epoptes).

At the moment, NethServer is a primary domain controller, providing to its Edubuntu clients:

  • Centralized authentication (winbind);
  • Roaming profiles (based on SMB shares);
  • Centralized installation of packages via custom NethGui interface (see nethserver-networkpackagemanager and doraemon);
  • Configuration management of clients via git and ansible-pull;
  • Transparent proxying with SSL.

Also, we configured onboard an Ubuntu repository with apt-mirror, to be able to provide via unattended-upgrades all the security patches Canonical will put out for its LTS distributions.

We unfortunately don’t have a page for the project, yet. You may check out our GitHub repositories, in which you may find:

I am here for any other questions you may have about the project :slight_smile:

Let’s meet at Fosdem 2016, by the way :wink:



Whoa! :fireworks: It looks an amazing job! How many installation do you have of such environment? How many PCs?
Could you please write down a HowTo that explains how build those stuff? It might be pretty interesting!
Do you have any screenshot of NethGui extension? How it looks like?
Guess that @gecco would be attracted by this :smile:


For the moment, we installed a single lab, for which we are going to start training from next November. There’s a single server plus about 26 client machines. This is the first production run, and there should be certainly room for improvements, on the next schools we have already in queue.

Here’s a photo of client machines in the Lab installing themselves via PXE from NethServer:

Will try to do it! It is probably going to be done in some time, as we clearly want to finish our own documentation, but I will share them for sure :smile:

Here they are :smile:

Main page

Editing a role — 1

Editing a role — 2

They are not so sexy, but at the moment they are working fine and are integrated inside the clean NethServer web GUI.

Oh, did I mention that you may try the whole setup using virtual machines with VirtualBox, Vagrant, git and ansible? Install these softwares, then configure (within VirtualBox) a host-only interface on network (not, disable the integrated DHCP on that interface, then do:

git clone test cd test
# this would take some time, as it downloads a base box from vagrant box add syntaxerrormmm/nethserver
vagrant up ./

Right after its configuration, you will have a NethServer virtual installation already configured (root password: vagrant). Please pay attention at the first steps within the scripts: it asks to configure your future NethServer with all the information needed :smile:

Cheers :wink:

Additional — syntaxerrormmm

Ansible will configure the server to create a fully working PXE environment to install clients via preseed (in italian at the moment, sorry), but to make preseeding work you need a complete local mirror of all repositories related to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS + some PPAs. Ansible will configure apt-mirror to do so and to make it synchronized via cron, but please be aware that to complete the full repository as we intended, you will need at least 280 GB of virtual space plus a lot of time and bandwidth. This could be simply unfeasible for most of the people.

I will release (in the near future, I hope) some changes within ansible playbooks to make the mirroring part optional, adjusting accordingly the preseed files and the ansible-pull playbook for the clients, and providing a better internationalization to the client installation.


Whoa! That’s really good! You’re on top of it, we MUST meet at fosdem!
So, come on with the howto! This could be a very interesting package, love it.


I dig a bit inside you Github repositories: I’m impressed! Keep up with the good work! :smile:


Thanks for the warm welcome… from Bergamo, Italia! It is just beautiful right next to the Alps. Well, I’m in a semi-tropical, always green setting in northern Argentina, sandwiched between Paraguay and Brasil. Like I’ve said, I’m in charge of technology in a school of about 600 students (200 on each level: primary, secondary and junior-college). I have a background in industrial electronics engineering but not much in system administration of computer science.

I was, for the last few years, becoming accounted with different servers (Windows, Linux, etc.) and I think the best I can do is to find a simple pre-packaged distro that I and others can manage from a Web GUI. So far I’ve played with pfSense (which I have right now as a gateway, main router, firewall and DHCP), ZeroShell (which can act as main domain controller with Kerberos, Radius, etc.), various TurnKey options, SME, Zentyal, Karoshi (Linux Schools) and NethServer.

As far as being of any helpto the NS community, I’ve had some past experience with building web-sites with PHP and mySQL (for building a lab request/report system) and can manage Adobe PhotoShop/Illustrator/InDesign very well as I’m currently designing our page yearbook. As far as languages… 99.99% proficient in either Spanish or English as I’ve lived exactly half my life in Argentina/Uruguay and the other half in the USA. If you need anything translated to Spanish or write technical guides/manuals in either language, count me in! I can understand a lot of italian and portuguese.

Right now I like the modularity of Karoshi were a main server can control others through a SSH session. You can delegate and move functions around other machines. You should really check that out. BUT it is based on Ubuntu, the interface is not very intuitive even for simple tasks as adding/deleting users or moving them from one group to another, etc. It is a bit buggy and I don’t feel 100% confortable to go online with it.

I’ve really liked the NethServer GUI, very simple but elegant, easy to manage, etc. and seems more mature. If I can have one machine as a domain controller and authentication (LDAP, Radius, etc.) and a second or third with large amounts of storage for OwnCloud and Moodle, I am set.

The User and Group interface in NethServer is very easy to manage and I can delegate the data entry to any secretary or student helper (such as adding new or dropping old students, regrouping from one year/class/assignature to another, etc.)

For our school (and probably many others) I would need:

Central authentication and grouping functions by: Admin and Teaching Staff, Students, Visitors (for special events, parents), etc. and then Teaching Staff and Students could be subgrouped by level (Primary, Secondary, College), years (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and Assignatures (Math 101, English 201, Science 301, etc.).
Then special groups for allowing more or less Internet access based on merit and grades.

In the end, what I would like is to divide my LAN into several VLANS: IT Admin (myself, access to all servers GUIs, printers, etc.), Security (IP cameras, alarms, etc), Office Staff (which already have their own domain and servers), Academics (library resources, Moodle and OwnCloud for students and staff), Visitors (anyone needing quick internet access by vouchers/portal or pre-assigned users for special events). Our WAPs will have various SSIDs for those functions.

Gateway/Firewall for managing internet, based on the LDAP grouping. Some countries/states require specific content filtering for explicit and graphic content.

It would be nice to see/produce a report of visited sites, traffic and times by username and from what device (the PC in the library or a personal tablet). A database of installed/fixed devices… which could be part of an inventory and even a repair ticket system by MAC or FQDN would be interesting. I’m using

Moodle for at least a place for teachers to place teaching material (PDFs, video clips, etc.). Then it could be setup as an off-site or distance learning tool (once we get better internet and on a dedicated public IP).

OwnCloud for students to have their own private space where they can keep homework safe but access it anywhere inside of campus in their laptops, tablets or phones.

Then, there are other features that might be interesting for a web-site development (HTML, some mySQL) and programming (PHP, JavaScript, etc.) class.

Also, a library system is typically needed in any school.

My dream would be to have an integrated portal come up after authentication for each teacher/student where it shows their files (from OwnCloud and/or home directory), calendar (from OwnCloud and Moodle), current assignatures by class (from Moodle) and current/overdue library materials. Then of course have a place to see their status (disk quota, password/picture/personal info, etc.). From there, they can navigate to each module (Moodle, OwnCloud, plain internet, etc., etc.)… basically a sort-of Academic FaceBook… which Moodle almost is.

Sorry for the long and complicated and general introduction/comment/feature request. Next time I’ll keep each into their separate sections/threads… or should I create them now?

Thanks anyway for the responses as I’m trying to learn and figure things out.


Woah! We definitely need a designer here :smile: Would you like to lend a hand with promotional stuff? Based on our logo? Or these quotes?

Good to know , would you like to chime in this dicussion about NethServer vs PFsense?
Nethserver Firewall vs PFSense

Maybe you might be interested in this feature:

Briefly regarding your requests:

  • gateway/firewall you should have all you need, please open a new topic to suggest new improvements
  • moodle, please open a new feature request
  • owncloud, enjoy it :slight_smile:
  • integrated portal: you could join your forces with @syntaxerrormmm :smile:

Have a nice day and welcome again!

Would you like to write down a Howto?
@stephdl have you noted this project? Would you like to help @syntaxerrormmm to build a package? It might be an amazing module! And really useful for school projects!

Holy cows, this seems to be really interesting; it might be a good addition to our toolkit for the school project.
I’m only worried about how big this can be, but it seems worth of be known and tried out anyways.

I’m surely going to propose the software to our internal workgroup, I see a lot of potential to it.

Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to test it for some time, nor trying to integrate it sooner.

Hi all… greets from Argentina…
I’m a computer techinician and every day i’m installing and probing differents ways to improve my work.
Years ago, i’ve used BrazilFW (version 2 and version 3)… then i have a pair of years using pFsense… ipfire, smoothwall, Zentyal…etc…
Now i’m triying Nethserver … sounds good idea… fresh for this time :smile:

Well… i’m here like a test user for all that you wants :smiley:

Sorry my english :wink: but if one day create a forum in spanish… i don’t have problem to play


Hello @Freddy_Brignardello,

We do have several members here which have experience in one or more of those you’ve mentioned. I, myself, have an experience in Zentyal, as well as pfSense.

You are not the only one who’s looking for better ways, for better systems. There are a bunch of us here, you can check out the Welcome to NethServer Community post, you’ll get the idea.

Its a great idea/project, you won’t get disappointed. We’ve got good capable community here ready to walk you through any ordeal you are having with your installation.

Great! We need all the help we can get to be better. On any challenges you encounter, we do encourage you to post or report via the support section of the forum, it may be a configuration error, or a bug. In anyways, there will be guys to help you out. As you get comfortable with the system, you can ask to be part of the testing team which is more exciting. :smiley:


it’s awesome @alefattorini, @syntaxerrormmm,

I keep reading. How interesting! Immediately I share with my colleagues, :smirk: fans Zentyal

1 Like

Found Nethserver on tried it, loved it. I saw there was no media added to it so I wanted to try PlexMediaServer on it. I use Nethserver at home for persoanl use on my LAN. I’m located here in New York City, Love the warm welcome here. Guys keep up the good work! A very nice distro I have discovered.
A very happy user in Bronx NYC…