My needs are still very small compared to those who setup big systems. Nethserver, so far, has been awesome, offering packages to install and a very intuitive and easy to use UI and system. The community also has been super helpful, one of the best I have seen around especially in this type of industry where there is, at times, a lot of elitism and whenever someone new comes around asking questions that seem to make “no sense” to them or not with the right terminology, you just don’t get an answer.
So why did I decide to install Nethserver. Well this started a few months ago. I’ve been working in the IT industry for 20 years doing Software Development but was always interested in learning how to set my own things, just did get quite the chance or the time. With the pandemic, I really needed to get my own things setup. I decided to learn. One of the first drivers to set Nethserver was I got tired of always having to configure a new off the shelf router each time, not being able to import my previous configuration. It took time and not only that, the functionalities were very limited. So my first try was to install Nethserver as a Firewall / Router, DNS (of course) and VPN. The latter was very important. There were times I would want to get access to my network internally while I was away. I did experience some issues initially with an AD, it didn’t work out well, probably due to my lack of experience, tried to remove it but I realized it was not so easy to go back so I gave up on that.
A few months later, I changed my architecture a bit. I now use OPNSense as my firewall and Nethserver internally as a DNS server (I run a split-brain DNS setup). I also installed the AD which I use for a common user base for some services, right now just Dokuwiki. I have Zabbix installed to monitor the temperatures and health of my systems. I want to setup my own mail server to be a bit more independent from Google for some emails. Thinking of enabling web hosting for a personal project I’m working on and helping a friend test his web pages… There may be other things in the future. Nethserver has just been great. Like I said, super useful community, a lot of documentation, on its own this is worth a lot!!
For anything else, like setting a Plex server (which I did recently on a low powered CPU, actually embedded CPU, J1900), I installed Proxmox, created a Ubuntu Server VM and installed Plex on it. Proxmox is to be able to easily back it up. And it works well! I was amazed especially on a CPU like that and only 8 gigs of memory. I used Ubuntu because I knew that best but probably would try Debian in the future.
I am still learning. In fact I have a lot to learn still. So I guess my needs are, a good community with good support and basically just to have access to an easy to use Server you can add things to when you need just like you have right now. You are covering all the basics (and more) for me at this moment. And if I would need something, because of the community, it is just easy to initiate a conversation. So great job guys and as always thanks for the help and support.