Talking about Subscription program

The biggest benefit of that plan is access to the more stable package repos. New packages have more time to be tested “in the wild” before they’re put in the subscription repos, making it less likely that they’ll cause problems once they’re there.

Are you saying here that there are things in this forum that need to be brought up to date? What in particular would those be?

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I understand this point for commercial users, I am an ITSM consultant and requirements engineer. But here I act and speak as a private user with simple integration. It’s more of a leisure pursuit for me to learn.


Are you saying here that there are things in this forum that need to be brought up to date?

I really think so.

What in particular would those be?

some spontaneous, incomplete thoughts:

  • Share and merge contributions so that coherent discussions fade away. - similar to the discussion here about the subscription topic.
  • Ensure that open questions are actually answered conclusively and solution-oriented
  • Preparation of discussions on how-tos/instructions, which are referred to in the extremely abstract documentation in the sense of practical examples and preparation for reproducible use cases.

A small example of this:
I’ve been struggling for some time now to set up a time-based blocking of YouTube for selected clients.

I can’t imagine that I am the first to have to cancel such a use case - where is a reproducible step-by-steb instruction?

Why can’t I get short and concise support for my detailed requests?

Either the use case is extremely difficult to implement with Nethserve, my requests are not sufficiently formulated or the answers are not appropriate.
These are all tasks for a Community Manager, which are solved in the Pihole project with really surprising speed, depth, solution orientation and sustainability by volunteers.

  • Quality assurance of the answers, so that they are understandable not only for professionals
  • Encouraging members to participate in the discussion
  • escalation of unresolved problems to members who can help
  • non-English speaking sub-forums

In the end a patient care of the community, so that confidence grows, that Nethserver is a professional product, but non-experts can take courage and can approach it with support.

As a reward, a dedicated community beckons, broadening the installation base and allowing the community to grow.
I hope I am not destructively understood. But I think Nethserver deserves to be more popular.


My two cents of what’s “lack” into most of the support requests that are brought to Discourse:

  • short question. No details, no network structure, no data. Only the issue reported. Sometimes seems a user asking, not a system integrator, or a technician, or a network administrator… Lacking of context, info, detailed structure with mind flow which leads to “this is the problem”. Take a look here of a little “developed” topic look here. I have a different way to write down questions and asks of support… Example1 and Example2 but maybe it’s not the correct one
  • lacking of info written down into the first post, lots of people need to figure it how the current network and application environment is, so there’s quite a lot of time needed to guess and hoping that theories are correct for who’s asking
  • sometimes (more than some) something is wrong into environment construction OR there’s really a problem/bug into NethServer (community is quite a huge way to find points to polish and shine features, UI, user cases. Again example… in that case luckily i was sure enough that’s nothing i did were wrong, so it has to be a bug, but not every time happens
  • except for subscribers, community is not “Server HelpDesk”. Most of people anyway try to support other ones which are having troubles, but it’s not all the tasks/issues are interesting the same. And as far as i can see, supportive people (outside Nethesis partners) are granted by attention and support from other one which received help. But you cannot assume that every topic will be interesting as the same for everyone. Sometimes it’s just a matter of try, made mistakes, read the logs, learn what you did wrong, try again. And not everyone wants to do this.

Community is a place for talk, understand, learn, find something new. It’s used for discussing howto, development goals, new interesting software. Some NethForge info are written here, but most reliable source are the same one: NethServer Documentation (which can be flagged for update and correction here) and the Wiki.


I second this…

Too often peolpe (clients…) call: Internet is not working.
Yeah, sure, as they’re using VoIP nowadays, Internet must be working, or they’d call from mobile…

No Feedback, just the situation they are personally stuck in…


Sometime users are lusers

I have now thought long and hard about whether I still have a stake in this. But first, a question of understanding:
“lusers” sounds like “loser” to me.
Is it really meant the way I understand it, or do I just not understand the joke? Am I misunderstanding it if I refer the answer to myself or my comments before?

Take it as it’s meant, as a joke with irony & sarcasm… :slight_smile:
My 2 cents

Which subscription did you choose? Crostino? It has no support type.
You request support in the commnity, where volunteers are trying to help in their spare time.
Here are some really active and supportive members, but they are not meant to give professional support 24/7 with garanteed reaction time.

I’m blocking youtube from 08:00 to 12:00 and from 13:30 to 17:30 here in my company successfully.
I did not have a step by step instruction and made it, but I had to try a little bit. And no, I’m not an IT-professional. I have a small company with about 20 employees and learned all by myself.
Why not writing a detailed step by step?
First, there is a time problem. Sorry.
Second, every use case is completely different. Does it really make sense to do this work for such specific conditions? If everybody writes down a how to to a special use case, the wiki would be soon completely unusable with tons of content which is only usabel one time.
Trying to block content nowadays with SSL is not that easy as it looks like. In case of youtube I did it with ndpi-based rule for youtube and qic and with blocking the url. Both with 2 time definitions for am and pm and for the hole green network. You see, also here is a different usecase to yours.
Don’t give up! You’ll find a way to realize your needs. :+1:

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I beg to differ. Crostino entitles you to buy professional support tickets, which is impossible without a subscription. Besides the option to buy support tickets you of course have the magnificent community help. (but that does not exclude non-subscription users)

Do I understand correctly you use nTOP for that? And do you use a commercial license or is it the free version that is shipped with NethServer?

You are right, but IMO € 100,-- was a little to expensive for blocking youtube, so I din’t want to suggest this. :wink:

I was reffering to this:

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Hi Ralph, thank you for your answer. Thats right and typical for such projects, not new for me.

But for me, the context of the discussion shifted at the moment when it was about how to broaden the installation base - at least that’s how I understood the question of which subscriptions would make sense in the future.

And I completely agree, SLA-based support must of course be linked to a higher quality subscrition. To suggest that I have expectations that I want the all-inclusive package with Crestino is ridiculous.

But what I also mean is, if you want to have more professional users, then the response of community or Crestino users should not be left to the day-to-day form of individual dedicated members. Nor should users have to feel second-rate just because they are not Linux admins, but just ambitious users. The community users of today are perhaps the professional and paying users of tomorrow and insofar important multipliers.
And that I am not completely unworldly, I experience in the likewise non-commercial Pihole project. Sorry if I’m bothering someone with my pushiness. I just think that there is an uncanny amount of potential being wasted.

I find the view of @pike very applicable:
“Community is a place for talk, understand, learn, find something new. It’s used for discussing howto, development goals, new interesting software.”
I’m very motivated to learn, to discuss. And newbies have a lot learn with Nethserver.

I myself have been using Linux since the 90’s. Unfortunately not continuously and therefore I keep forgetting a lot.

But if you come from Debian, even Centos is quite a change, especially since you only casually notice that manual intervention in the configuration leads to chaos, that Nethserver regulates its administration via E-Smith templates.

No apology is necessary, everybody knows that. But as the installed base grows, the community grows and more load can be distributed.

Having a blue print that you can then adapt to your individual needs is a great advantage for me, because it makes the transfer of know-how easier. The wiki and the documentary are too abstract for me. How-tos or use cases can build a bridge between technical documentation and individual problem cases.

It is particularly difficult to find out if I cannot implement my requirements because I have a faulty configuration, the system (e.g. Cockpit) still has quirks or other basic conditions are not right. Let us stay in your example:
I tried Ndpi-blocking (YouTube and QUIC), I have no chance to find out why it does not work. Now I have probably managed it via web filter. A manual would have helped me a lot.

Thanks for the encouragement! I don’t give up that easily. It would only be easier if you did not have to have a guilty conscience, just because the question might not be asked properly and you have to worry about upsetting the experts.

Added to this is the language barrier, which makes it easy to express oneself misunderstandably.
All right, that’s enough of this. I really hope that Nethserver will be successful and everybody will be happy :slight_smile:


It depends what you call expensive.
When you go for the next subscription (Lasagna, which costs EUR250,- per year) you get 3 tickets.
IF (note the IF) you use 3 tickets, it is cheaper to go that route. If you only need 1 or 2 you can do with Crostino of EUR48,- a year) +EUR100,- per ticket


  • Stable Updates repository
  • Professional support via Email + SSH
  • 3 support tickets/year included
    Annual price

Yes the professional license, but only for monitoring and analysing not for blocking or so.I do not want to dig holes at all construction sites at the same time.

I can only say I fully agree with your view and comments.
It’s why we try to create a welcoming atmosphere in our community. It’s why we encourage members to ask questions. No matter if they are technical, or user level.
We pride ourselves to have an inclusive community where everybody is welcome.
This come to maybe an option to add to our forums: we already have a “testimonials” section/tag
Maybe a “usecase” section could be an option to fill in the gap between a support question and a Howto.


It is a beneficial experience to feel understood and not to feel uncomfortable in the role of troublemaker. Thank you very much for your comment.

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I use ndpi as serviceobjects in firewall rules:

I use the free license shipped with Nethserver. :slight_smile: No need to buy a commercial license of ntop.

See here:

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switched back to the topic: Firewall - time based access for host groups

I think this is a nice idea.

cc @alefattorini
What do you think?


We have many of them here:
We can use an additional tag for the category to define usecases

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Today I renewed my Crostino subscription and will do the same for other productive (non-commercial) servers.

Still for me it is more a donation to support the development of this wonderful system. However, I had avoided activating the subscription so as not to lose access to the community modules.
So it may be that I did not notice what improvements were made.

So here is my question: What improvements to increase the added value of the Crostino license or to make it more noticeable have been initiated and implemented in the last year?

Thank you for your support, It is very appreciated!

During last year, there weren’t any significant changes on how subscriptions work :slight_smile: