NethServer as an alternative to the Windows Small Business Server

the second can’t exist in a enterprise, never, for no reason :slight_smile:

I can respect that opinion, @Stefano_Zamboni, but sometimes you have to deal with the devil :wink:

there’s a long topic about html email signatures where I explain my POV, but I’ll make a short recap.

If you are the sys admin in an enterprise, you must make some choices and follow them… users have problems, you have the solutions… you can’t swap the positions…
under this simple rule, in an enterprise environment where email is a property and have a value, POP3 can’t be considered… and if someone asks for it the only answer is “no”.

in a home environment, POP3 can be used but should really be avoided.

Being the sysadmin in work enviroment sometimes does not give you enough decisional power to make the tecnically correct choices.

TB vs Outlook:

One amazing thing about TB is it’s storage folder.

I once did a triple boot Notebook, Linux, MacOS and Windows (XP at that time, later Win7).
The HD (SSD) was made into four partitions, three primary for each OS, and a forth as “D-Drive” or Storage for all, whatever you want to call it.

On all three Platforms TB runs well…
I configured TB in all three OS to use the exact same folder on the forth partition.
I was quite amazed how well it worked!
TB current in MacOS, it was current in Windows an Linux as well.
Downloaded mail in one OS, it was visible and with correct status (read, unread, etc) in ALL OSes!

I thought that amazing at the time, after all, a Mailfolder is a bit more complex than say a PDF file or Office-Document…

Even on the two OS supported by Outlook (Windows and Mac), I dare anyone to get that to work stable…

My 2 cents


I am using TB for 2 decades now. I still use the same profile that has been copied over to a dozen or more installs, varying from windows 2000 to current Fedora28.

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Me too!

Nethserver is just great, if you want MS ,go for it, but do not say that Nethserver is not like “exchange” the most small companies does not need Exchange. By the way, you have Sogo or Webtop, so Calendar, Adresses and all of that. I personaly am very happy that Nethserver developers this Distro. It just ROCKS, great. The people behind Nethserver does not have billions of Dollars just like MS.So they made a great work.Respect!


So you felt the need to resurrect a two-year-old topic, but not the need to understand what was discussed there before commenting. People (and especially businesses) want Outlook. To not completely suck, Outlook needs Exchange, or something that can mimic it pretty well. Neth doesn’t have Exchange or a suitable substitute.

…neither of which is Outlook.

So am I. But my happiness doesn’t make it a viable replacement for SBS.

Than buy MS SBS.I still do not understand, why a lot of Admins want to use Linux, but also want all implemetations from Windows. Buy Windows Server+Exchange Server, and you have all what you want.
Outlook works great with Sogo , Imap , caldav, or just ActiveSync.
I understand about Outlook. A good Admin finds always the way out.
If the company wants exactly “like before” and is willing to pay to MS a lot of money, then go for MS + Exchange. End of discusion, if they want some “cheap” Linux than they have to live with that.

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So you’re not interested in the question that started this topic: In the context of “selling” Neth as a replacement for SBS,

One critical thing we’re (still, two years later) missing is a drop-in Exchange replacement. And your thoughts on why customers shouldn’t want that aren’t very likely to be convincing.


I have migrated 15+ clients from SBS to NethServer, among them: 2 Doctors practices, 1 Hotel, 3 Architects/Engineers, 1 Media (Radio) company, 1 lawyer, and a countries Trade departement for Switzerland…

Only one client (and one user from another client) insist on using Outlook, which works quite well with Nextcloud providing Calendar and Contacts sync. The Outlook company misses so far only the option to “categorize” mails…
However, they’re extremly happy with the option to sync mobiles WITHOUT using Activesync, only IMAP / CalDAV / CardDAV / NextCloud Client for files…

With all in all around 30 client companies running NethServer, 15 + migrated from SBS (two additionally from a full Exchange - no SBS!) I think I can say it’s quite possible to convince users to use a decent mailing system! And this not just in Market-Speak, but in acomplished facts!

A lot of people in the above discussion forget another important thing: Worldwide, most E-Mail viruses use the easy to ledge in Outlook as distributer! Recall the old ad:
Does your company run a Virus Exchange in their computer room? :slight_smile:

Outlook, to a lesser extent Exchange, is still the premium distributer of Virus Mails. Thunderbird is hardly in the stats!

30 years ago, when it first came out, I was a real fan of Outlook! True, I was already then counted as a MS-Guru! 20-25 years ago I moved to use OpenSource for most stuff.

My 2 cents


Sorry, but it don’t. Outlook and IMAP is a big problem. You can’t choose folders for sent, drafts and trash since version 2013. Be happy if Outlook chooses the right one. Also it happens, that Outlook puts mails to the IMAP sent directory, but don’t synchronize it with the server. Cal Dav and Card Dav working fine with CalDav-Synchronizer, if Outlook don’t deactivate the AddON.

You are right, but I tried Zentyal before and openchange does’nt work great too. The best way would be to use a “reasonable” mail client.

Here you are fully right.

Thunderbird with tbsync addon works good with Nethserver/Webtop


Very interesting addon… I hope that won’t end in the same way of SOGO/Thunderbird


Hi Michael

I do use Thunderbird as the main mail client for most of my clients. Calender is done with the lightning add-on (native Thunderbird), and the contacts (CrdDAV) with the SoGo Plug-In.
I have more issues with Win10 updates than with the Thunderbird installation, which just works!

I am NOT using either WebTop or SoGo on NethServer, just Nextcloud and standard IMAP email in NethServer!

TBsync looks good, I will test for what i need. So far though, Thunderbird, Lightning and the SoGo plugIn just work. I use this combination not only on Windows/Linux, but a few of my clients even prefer Thunderbird on Mac, as they are used to Thunderbird from their Windows PC.

My 2 cents


I wonder how easy it would be to implement Citadel it in NS. Citadel as the exchange replacement that I use at work.

It seems like the effort of a single man right now and with some help from enthusiastic users, yet what he has accomplished is great.

By the way, I use an old version and it still works miracles. I guess the little issues I have will already be solved in the latest version.

P.D. I remember I even tried it with Outlook many years ago and it worked.

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Hi everyone – one of those “enthusiastic users” pointed me to this thread. I’m the lead developer of the Citadel system (other developers have come and gone over the years, so I can’t take credit for the whole thing). If you’re looking for something that can serve for many of the same use cases as Exchange, Citadel can fit the bill.

I don’t know much about NethServer so the integration requirements would have to be discussed. But I can tell you that Citadel will happily support external authentication, so if you have a directory server for example, Citadel can make use of it. The web interface is getting a little bit troublesome to maintain, so it is currently being rebuilt as a REST/DAV centric framework with a dynamic UI. During this work we are switching from the less-popular GroupDAV to the more-popular CalDAV and CardDAV.

If you’re interested in a collaboration we’re definitely open to it.


Hi @IGnatiusTFoobar,
welcome to the community and thanks for your offer. I think the @dev_team is the right address to discuss about it.


Welcome here we discussed a lot about citadel with @ghost @flatspin @robb and @GG_jr but the topic is really old.

If some of them is still interested we can try to create an integration
We already have a gropware supported Webtop but there is space for community modules like SOGo and others