I hope you all had an amazing and relaxing holiday for those of you who celebrated and that you’re all getting extra excited for the new year.
Please mark my words, 2016 is going to be an incredible year for NethServer project! We believe that NethServer will change the world for system administrators and I think this next year will be when the rest of the world notices too.
By way of introduction as suggested:
I just discovered that NethServer existed a few months back. I downloaded a copy and installed it in Virtual Box. The install went well and I was impressed with the speed and functionality of the web interface. I am continuing, (as time permits), to explore, learn and test the installation to see what NethServer can and can’t do .
One of the impressions that stands out is the vibrancy, enthusiasm and helpfulness of the Community and the Developers. Any issues I have posted about have resulted in very helpful and prompt responses.
I have noticed in recent years that not all open source projects have as good a community as NethServer. Some have become very commercial and the developers do not respond to the community forums. Perhaps this is somewhat understandable if their main income stream is from paid support. It is however frustrating if you are trying to install or configure something.
On a personal level I have been using Linux since the mid 90s when I first tried unsuccessfully to install Slackware from a bundle of 2.5" disks. I had more success subsequently with an early version of SuSe. I moved via RedHat, Mandrake, Ubuntu and various other distros to Mint at the moment.
I have always had an interest, in places where I have worked, in open source alternatives to MS proprietary products. I have installed and used EGroupware, Zentyal and Zarafa among others.
I have a big interest in Raspberry Pi.
To introduce myself:
My full-time job is System Specialist for Integrated Security Systems and IT, my responsibility is for servers and security systems deployment and also the networking, some little SW development in C#. From networking I am using mainly Mikrotik RouterOS (MTCNA and MTCWE certified). And as ususal in small businesses I am responsible for all IT stuff in office too from servers, databases, IIS, workstations, network…
I discovered NethServer existence about month ago when looking for some functionality to be added to my HP microserver in my wife’s office. I was looking for mailserver (groupware with Activesync), CRM with customer portal and some platform for file-sharing. Obviously, it was preceded by huge research in opensource sea, from zimbra, zarafa with z-push, eggroupware, kolab…I choose SoGo because of simplicity, functionality and stability (communities forums research). Then I found the NethServer “join” SoGo and owncloud together in one package with samba and I gave it a try.
I am newbie to linux, I set up only one MySQL (MariaDB) server on CentOS and ubnt UniFi controller on Ubuntu up to this day. I came from Windows world (GUI based guy) so I really appreciate the package which give me control of all modules virtually “on one mouse click” (I am google copy-paster now if need to achieve something in Linux console).
I am really impressed by web interface speed (compared to Zentyal) and good documentation. One of the features I like on NethServer is data-backup module, so I can backup data to home (old HDD connected to Mikrotik RB951 on USB) without big effort. I don’t need Network gateway functionality (it’s done on Mikrotik already). If I compare NethServer to Zentyal I played 2 days before with, NS interface is very fast and everything I tried was working out-of-the-box, just to install module and enjoy. I was playing with Zentyal 4.2 and apart from slow web interface, it took me some time trying to get POP3 connector working and end-up with bricked Zentyal stuck in logon screen . But what I like about Zentyal very user-friendly GUI. NS was not very intuitive for me (but documentation was very heplful). Maybe it is because I have no experience with included modules, but this is the only thing confusing for me on start. But after set-up, everything is working like a charm…
Mikrotik is love-hate relationship. Main thing I like on mikrotik is it’s virtually unlimited features/functions. The only official GUI is WinBox what is nearly “clickable CLI interface” only. So you are not limited by functions exposed by GUI like on other PPS devices (Plastic Piece of Shit), you can do anything what you want. But you must know what you are doing. Not from the Mikrotik point-of-view, but from general networking. Because if you want to configure something, you must really know how things work under the bonnet, not like “I click here to see what this is doing”. For me as very lazy person this is an advantage, because it forces me to study stuff from the ground .
But this is the exception. Generally I prefer user-friendly GUI when it comes to something I am setting for the first time. If I like it, I can study it deeply, but if it made me confused on start, there is only one option - delete VM from disk .
I promise I will look into NS deeply and write some suggestions
I run a small sales office for an Italian company in China (industrial equipment/machinery).
I started working with computers quite a while ago (1983, I guess, with a brand new Olivetti M24…) and DOS 2.11; later I followed the path to Windows and only 2 years ago I started using Linux (Mint) as my main OS.
Our office is currently using an aging SBS2008 server and it is the quest to replace/upgrade this OS that lead me to Nethserver; particularly the fact that Microsoft has terminated all the SBS line and is pushing the small/medium customers towards the cloud. This is not a viable solution here in China.
I started evaluating other types of solutions (fileserver, groupware, mail server) and then I stumbled upon a review of Nethserver and decided to give it a try. I was amazed by the ease of setting up the system and in just 1 hour I had a test mail/file server running in my home PC.
Few more weeks of work allowed me to set up a test server in the office and arrange a simple trial run during a local holiday.
The test was positive and so I decided to switch our office to Nethserver; this will happen after Chinese new year (when I will be back in China from my holidays).
As soon as I will go on-line I will report back my complete experience.
Sorry for the late response! I’m finally getting back to my NethServer investigation after a month.
My name is Kelvin Kang and I’m a technologist at heart; I enjoy learning and experimenting with new technologies especially ones that solve interesting problems for me. Professionally, I’m responsible for engineering at a local start up here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada that focuses on in-store retail experience. Although I understand these technologies, I’m less hands-on then I was 10 years ago as most of my day-to-day responsibilities now revolve in meetings
I’m looking at NethServer to setup network infrastructure for external access to both our cloud and local internal infrastructure. I’m currently working with @Nas who is guiding me through the process.
In my spare time, I don’t do anything because I have no spare time! In all seriousness, I used to be an avid snowboarder and paintballer until the arrival of my son. Now, I’m an avid father!
I have multiple installs of NethServer as I’ve been comparing it between Zentyal as well as ClearOS. NethServer looks quite promising in general.
Ehi Kelvin, sorry for the late response!
I’m happy to hear from you, how is your investigation going?
How are you using your multiple installs? Which services implemented?
Thanks for your words, make this your place. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to start (and engage in) discussions that make this community an interesting place to be.
Have a nice day!
@alefattorini My investigation is going well albeit slowly. I’ve been able to setup two gateway servers in total. The primary services turned on are VPN, Gateway, DNS and DHCP. One of the nicer features that I like about Nethserver is that machines with hostnames automatically get a DNS name as well. I’ve seen this with Active Directory but this is a really nice feature that Zentyal didn’t have. It makes management a lot easier.
I currently use OpenVPN for client connection to the servers but for network security reasons, my setup has to use IPSec Tunnels between two physical locations. I’ve just started down the exploration down this path. I have ambitions of using NethServer for work purposes as well if my experiment pans out.
All in all though, I have been very impressed with Nethserver from a product and community perspective. The support today has helped me get a lot further on this than I ever did with Zentyal. I also do have a list of nice-to-haves that would make setting this up for me from a professional perspective a much more compelling product offering.
I have it running on a virtual machine and I like it. I found it relatively easy to set up and it worked without any surprises. I have not any opportunity at the moment to run it in a live production environment.
I have also tried the Raspberry Pi version. It has potential as a home server on the Pi. I have it successfully sending and receiving mail for a test domain that I registered. Roundcube is working but I am not sure about SoGo as the url didn’t work. I need to look a little more to see if it is set up automatically in the Pi version or do I need to do more?