What should every newcomer know about NethServer?

Every week we say hi to new friends,
what should every newcomer know about NethServer? Would you like to give some tips, advice, mistakes to avoid, starting points, mandatory topics/discussions/docs to read?
What you have learned along the way could be helpful for NethServer newbies.

Looking at you, NethServer Community veterans! :slight_smile:


The links are outdated, anyway I think the message is very important:

# cat /etc/e-smith/templates-default/template-begin

================= DO NOT MODIFY THIS FILE =================

Manual changes will be lost when this file is regenerated.

Please read the developer’s guide, which is available

at https://dev.nethesis.it/projects/nethserver/wiki/NethServer

original work from http://www.contribs.org/development/

Copyright © 2013 Nethesis S.r.l.

http://www.nethesis.it - support@nethesis.it

The server configuration is managed by the e-smith template system: don’t change it by hand!


Looking at you @GG_jr @Nas @jgjimenezs @sitz @mabeleira @etino @Ctek @vcc @dz00te @vhinzsanchez @enzoturri @warren_midgley @transocean @andreac @medworthy what you have learned along the way that could be helpful for NethServer newbies.?

Hi to all!
And welcome from vacation!

  1. Read the documentation!
  2. Read the posts on this Forum (you can find the answer before asking a question) !
  3. A better question would give an appropriate response!

Enjoy NethServer!

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Great day everyone!

NethServer is a great product :grinning: That aside, it really pays to test it off first before deploying in production environment. This is so true to all systems, not just NS.

What to read? Firstly, the Documentation, then announcements, then the how-tos. Additionally, the support forums, they can learn a thing or two (okay, a lot of things!!!), they can just ask whatever they want and let’s just make sure to help them or point them to the correct solution or forum if similar questions has been asked before… no rude response.

And yes, I agree with @davidep, do not change anything by hand unless you know what you are doing.

Most OpenSource products are as good as their community, and it seems that we have an active one. Keep it coming everyone and cheers!



Well i can think on this basic tips

  1. Plan your system: services you’ll need, how many interfaces.

  2. Test your system: Build a virtual machine, test if your install fits
    what you want to achieve.

  3. Don’t add unneeded packages, just add exactly what you need for the
    function you want. For example if you want a samba server just add samba
    and firewall to secure it, but avoid installing, proxy, mailserver,

  4. Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket: Nethserver is great it can
    perform many awesome functions, but sometimes its a better practice to have
    separate servers for separate functions. I could think on a firewall ids
    with proxy, and a mail or samba server.

5.Ask for help when your stuck with something, thats what the Nethserver
community is about.

  1. If you have to mix reports from other sourcers be sure that they
    disabled, and that you enable them just to install that specific package
    that you need.

And what about NethServer Community? What would you recommend to a newcomer who has not yet posted?
How to break the ice? Really curious about your insights.
I tried to write down something here, how can I improve it?

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May I revive this discussion? I’d like to know everyone’s opinions @Jim @stephdl @robb @Ctek @sitz @alexcsilva @dz00te @islipfd19 @Adam @Nas @syntaxerrormmm @WillZen @ironsky

Every newcomer shoul dread my Dummies series :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Unfortunately they are not complete :disappointed_relieved:

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Newcomers should get a brief introduction of:

  • the design Philosophy: Nethserver does not rebuild packages!
  • noobs understandable explanation of the underlying mechanics of configuratation (e-smith /sme heritage)
  • and that your voice realy does count

I think this could attract more experienced people; and give the less experienced insight why Nethserver is so easy to use :slight_smile:


Indeed, I already tried to explain it a bit with this topic, it is enough from your point of view? Please reply there.

My advice for newcomers.

  • Check out the community, you get great support here
  • Take a look at the flexible custom configuration -> never seen it before
  • Do some little help to make it even better :slight_smile:
  • Enjoy your working system :sunny:
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As I’m a newcommer myself, I would recommend

  • a section in wiki for newcommers where there is a short explanation of the template-system, because it is special to NS (and SME)
  • the user guide “planing network”
  • the how to “db_command_tutorial”
  • of course the administrator manual
  • and the most important advice: Don’t be shy! Ask the community! There will be somebody to help you! Nobody will laugh about your question. This community is polite and respectfull, so there is no reason to be scared.

BTW: I’d like to have a overview about the signal-event commands. Is there somewhere such a document?:stuck_out_tongue:


Some info can be found in the developers manual:

Thanks for the hint. In the developer manual are only a view. I though more about all the events in /etc/e-smith/events and the effects they have. :relaxed:

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When you want to set up a server you need to have very clear the goal.


When we decided what we want to do, (proxy, mail server …), first of all we read the documentation, especially the sections that are relevant to our project.


for more information


The documentation allows us to know the server’s capabilities, giving us ideas for improving the project.
Finally, we find the howto related to our project.



Check if we have everything you need for the project: for the proxy/firewall we need two network cards, for your mail server must have ADSL with static IP etc.
We prepare the server hardware before proceeding with the installation of the operating system. Nethserver is optimized for the hardware present at installation



Install Nethserver using the correct settings. You can change everything, but if we know how to set it, we avoid unnecessary steps
Never use special characters such as accented letters, apostrophes etc… (I speak from personal experience)


We always start from the basic settings (machine name, network configuration …) before you configure services
If you need additional packages, look for the repository to pick them up. Avoid building packages, will make complicated server maintenance.
To edit and customize the configuration file, but do not act on used db and templates. Read well:


In Nethserver no shortage of logs.
In case of problems, check what are the logs of non-functioning services (thanks google). If you ask for help to the community, bring the log, will simplify the solution of the problem.
The logs are visible both from the web interface or via shell.

We consult the support forum. Perhaps someone has already had the same problem.


The error must be reported with details.
Phrases such as

“the mail does not work”

do not help to understand how to solve the problem. We give accurate information:

"The e-mail comes back with a message
554 Mail Appears to be unsolicited "


Ehi this is a super advice! Every newcomer HAVE to read this :slight_smile: Hugely helpful
Thanks also to @flatspin and @dnutan for their insights, I appreciate it.

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You are absolutely right. But sometimes you have to risk something, then the goal will be clearer. :smirk:


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