Welcome to NethServer community! Glad you found our forums and started asking questions.
NethServer is a community driven distribution. Besides the community, there is Nethesis, the company that started NethServer after forking it from SME Server.
Nethesis supports NethServer commercially to a lot of (mostly Italian) companies that use NethServer as their base for the ICT infra structure. By selling subscription solutions to those companies, they are assured with several options. If you have a subscription you get a few things:
- secure updates (this is what you mentioned) Updates are delayed so we are certain they don’t break anything.
- right to get professional support from Nethesis. (no subscription only relies on community help) Depending of the subscription type you pay per ticket or have a limited amount of tickets included with the subscription fee.
About 1 year ago, community members started to ask if it would be possible if there could be a company backed service for NethServer. The 2 main reasons:
- option to pay back for the effort.
- many companies don’t want to rely on community support for their ict infra structure.
The most basic subscription (“crostino”) gives you access to the “stable updates repositories” which means that updates are released after they are 100% verified by Nethesis and the community. Crostino also allows access to professional support when you can’t solve a problem with community support. The costs per ticket are EUR100,- (IMO this is only a last resort if you realy can’t get your server to work anymore)
So the subscriptopn is ADDITIONAL to the already very stable NethServer distribution. You don’t HAVE to get a supscription, but if you think NethServer is doing a great job and you want some extra assurances on keeping your server up and running, it could be a nice suggestion to get one of the subscription options
I have crostino supscription on my VPS where I run my personal mailserver.
I want to point out explicitly that there is no such thing as a “development” or “test” version of NethServer. Updates in the standard update repository ARE carefully tested (by Nethesis AND this community) before they are released.
However I do admit that information on subscription is hard to find.
@alefattorini: Can you point to a webpage where all the different subscription options are explained?