Moving (?) from Zentyal to nethserver


I discovered nethserver via pplware website.

I have a very small deployment with Zentyal Server acting as my Domain Controller. However I feel zentyal (comunity edition) to be a gun ready to shot.

Almost no one from the official team answers to forum posts, personally I’ve faced some issues that, if I did not snapshot zentyal machine, I would have totally destroyed the VM.

So I would like to ask you guys the following:

  • Will I be able to join nethserver to my present domain and after that kill zentyal? (Zentyal machine is doing DNS too)
  • Can nethserver domain components (DNS, AD, etc) be managed with RSAT?
  • Is It possible from a quick way to mantain reverse dns zones without using nethserver DHCP? Like creating A records and automatically create the PTR record regarding that A record…?

In any case I will test nethserver but it would be nice to get your feedback about this questions.

Thanks a lot!

I can’t speak for RSAT, that’s a windows product, as far as AD, and DNS, Samba4 is not funish but that’s just me… I am going run, I wait to finish what I was doing but I will run Nethserth in Qemu and see DNS stuff

@fmoreira welcome on NethServer Community, feel free to ask anything :slight_smile:
I don’t know Zentyal Server very good but a try to answer your questions:

  1. If you want move all machines from a domain to another, you have to join the new NethServer domain, or use NethServer as an AD member, but in the latter case you can’t kill Zentyal.
  • Unfortunately not, please describe in plain terms what you wish to accomplish? Remember that NethServer is not an AD because, as for now, it doesn’t use Samba4 but Samba3, so it’s a PDC like Windows NT
  • About DNS, you can use DNS panel to get it

Maybe @WolfAddict could be more helpful than me :wink:

I don’t know Zentyal community, why do you say this?

1 Like

Probably they are changing some things in the new releases… 4.1, for example, is no more community but instead development edition…i’m planning to put a nethserver that acts as a backup domain of a zentyal one…i’ll give you feedbacks

Oh man I’was forgetting about you! You are our Zentyal expert :wink: please forgive me (Bryan Adams cit.)

Hi guys!

Thank you for your feedback. Actually I was interested in the AD. Are you going to move into Samba 4 in the near future?


Honestly I didn’t do any primary AD with Zentyal, company wouldn’t allow such a thing, and outside the company I always like to do native linux solutions. About Zentyal I’ve done only mailing for about 500 users and some web proxies and such smaller tasks.


Being myself a disappointed user of Zentyal new “direction”, I am happy to say that nethserver is a fairly nice alternative with a vibrant community.


Glad to hear this. Can you explain why? What’s happen into the zentyal world?

1 Like

In my opinion when you are deploying something “free” you have to narrow your scope very well and understand that in the worst case you only have the comunity to help you out and in the worst of the worst case you have yourself.

With that in mind Zentyal have (had?) a huge oportunity to be a great product. I honestly believe that they have the wrong business model. Just look into the price of their paid solutions…

The comunity just doesn’t exists, official team members don’t go to their forum… that’s it. Look into their forum, search for people asking for help about bugs or other issues and you’ll see that lots of them doesn’t find any answear.

There are good examples in the “free” world of how a comunity / “free product” must be. For instance pfsense IMHO.


I am also a Zentyal refugee, primarily because they recently have removed several components of the community edition, including FTP and NUT UPS support, to name a few. I also believe NethServer performs better, by that I mean the administration UI is very quick, and when I click on webpages, the response is almost instantaneous. Also, as gsiotas indicates, the community support for NethServer is incredible! Very knowledgeable and quick to respond. In my experience with Zentyal, is was the blind leading the blind.


It’s not easy to answer all questions, especially if you have a big forum.
We try to do this, every day. Because as I wrote few days ago, for us Community matters because People matter and a community is only as strong as its members are and its members are the core of a community.
Community is a fundamental business/development philosophy, not a marketing tactic.
So help us to keep this in mind and involve more and more people!
Thanks to be here, have fun!

1 Like

Since release 3.5 of Zentyal the direction of the team was to remove package and diminish functionality in favor of stability and better incorporation with Microsoft Exchange. Especially in the latest release (4.1) they removed a number of core package that multiple users depended on (including myself).

You can also check the frustration of users in the official forum of Zentyal

Personally I use it as Domain Controller / DNS server only. It does a good job for the price :slight_smile: But I don’t feel confident about the future of the free version…

Hope nethserver moves into sambe 4 in the near future :slight_smile:

@WolfAddict @fmoreira @gsiotas @todd_firkins can you make a comparative about modules available on NethServer VS those on Zentyal? I know that @WolfAddict started something about it… :wink:
It might be useful for a better overview

1 Like

I can confirm this, using zential GUI is a pain, so slow you want to seek some CLI backdoors at once :slight_smile: till you realize configuring zentyal by hand (via ssh session) is not recommended at all.

I’ll do it tomorrow.
@alefattorini ps. Infographic conversion is ongoing, this service comparison could be the other, missing half I guess.

I am moving from Zentyal too. They have stripped too many features from their product!
Your solution seems very promising.

As was the case with @gsiotas, I too was using Zentyal 3.5, and only decided to look for something else when I performed an online upgrade to version 4.0, and several modules I used had been removed, with the vague promise that the community would carry on the development of the removed modules, if the community wanted them.

Make no mistake, Zentyal has (and had) some nice features. One of my favorite things about it, that I am missing with NethServer, is a simple desktop. I know that this will lite the fuse of a spirited discussion, but that’s OK :smile: I’m prepared to hear all the arguments of a server OS vs a desktop OS blah blah…

Zentyal has a nice lightweight LDXE desktop. My gateway computer is located in an area that is remote from my main desktop, so when I am actually sitting in front of it, I like to have some of the conveniences that a GUI delivers (web browser).

Perhaps is it is understood that anyone can simply enable (temporarily) the EPEL repos, and install a simple GNOME desktop. I have done that on NethServer 6.6 final and it works fine. No noticeable performance hit because I only start the X server when I want a GUI. But, what do you think @alefattorini of NethServer having a simple desktop? You could decorate it with nice NethServer artwork to attract even more users. Just a thought.

Thanks @WolfAddict for being willing to do the comparison of features (time permitting). Will you use the current development release of Zentyal?

1 Like

@todd_firkins I’m doing it (and later upgrading it) with the latest stable both of them. Little bit fighting with spare time, but you won’t be disappointed in the end results :wink: Based on @alefattorini’s advice I’ll open a new topic for the comparison very soon (tomorrow I hope - if nobody will cross my calculations at work again)

1 Like