What will be the neth business model

@stephdl are thinking about something like a governance document?
I think that’s too complicated for us at this moment:

Instead this could be very similar to our situation https://owncloud.org/contribute/agreement/
Take a look at “Why do you require a contributor agreement now?” paragraph


Come on friends, speak now or forever hold your peace.

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from my point of view there are some point that we need to set :

  1. a clear position of Nethesis about external developers : on how they can contribute to nethserver and how much they can say on the development of the project.
  2. create a structured platform and path for engage and grow new developers ( i mean something like debian with the DM and the DD for ex. )
  3. a periodic changelog of the development path
  4. a clear difference from official developers(internal and externals) and the others, i mean that everyone can contribute to the project but only the ones that are Developers can approve and push into repository new packages

so last but not least we need an open but structured community


This is certainly important to me, the long term plan for Nethserver, to define my level of involvement.
It’s not that hard to roll my own packages on a distro, but an all in one distro is definitely a timesaver and worth contributing to.

That said, the devs at Zentyal really screwed the community by 1, not be very clear that they were no longer interested in an all in one server and worse yet, 2, literally pushing out updates that destroyed existing installs, in my view it was almost malicious, and I say malicious never having suffered a destroyed install because I’m suspicious by nature, but I did observe numerous users suffering ruined installs because fundamental functionality was removed with updates.
The problem with that course is though their latest build is actually very useful alongside complementary products, they’ve proven themselves completely untrustworthy.

I think I’ve proven here that I’m willing to put effort forth, but the amount of effort will be defined by my confidence in the long term viability of the distro and its plan.


Hi @stephdl, as you’ve seen this year at FOSDEM in Bruxelles, Nethesis is the company I work for as a software developer. I’m commited to the development of NethServer as a 100% Open Source project derived from SME Server.

Nethesis products are all based on Open Source projects they actively contribute to. Speaking like a dev: NethServer Enterprise version is downstream from NethServer. The RPMs come from the same YUM repositories.

As you see, the Enterprise version has paid support, services and modules. Nethesis has both customers and resellers who pay for them. This business model is well known.

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The company (Nethesis) needs to have a business model so that it can sell software, support and services to other companies, customers and resellers and part of that the revenue is used to fund development of NethServer, official site hosting, community initiatives, sponsoring and so on.

The community wants to be sure that all the contributions and all the hard work stays Free Software. That is guaranteed by the GPLv3 license.

Community and Company have the same aim: making NethServer better and more successful and NethServer benefits enormously from the resources that the company invests into it, including coding, marketing and more.

The company pays NethServer coders to write features the customers need and works with the community to make NethServer a better product. Because the company works in the open and as part of the community, and because the code is released under the GPLv3, NethServer itself continues to be free.
That’s a virtuous circle!

Essentially, Nethesis customers/resellers pay for developers writing more GPL code for NethServer. So we think that we found a solution here which is good for all parties and everybody wins!

As @davidep said NethServer is just ONE, because NethServer Enterprise is just a rebranded version with additional commercial modules.

We have been and still are very OPEN to discussion! It’s our core feature! :smile:

We explicitly do everything in public on NethServer– it’s very intentionally the opposite of an Ivory Tower Development :grin:
Obviously we want stay on our mission which is building the best distribution for server designed primarily for small offices and medium-size enterprise


Ehi @stephdl @fasttech what do you think about my answer?
@fasttech short-term and long-term roadmap is coming…

Let me see if I can put this as simply as possible.

I believe for an smb server distro to have long term value and dependability, there needs to be a reasonably set definition of what an smb server is, what functions and features it should always have available for the long term, and a commitment to maintain that.


The table at the link below is an important reference to understand what functions constitute NethServer, and what are the additional services provided by Nethesis for its customers and resellers.


The coming soon cells are a kind of roadmap.

What is the price structure for the enterprise services?

Into the page linked above there’s an email address. Suggest to contact sales guys to find out more
Prices isn’t my thing :wink:

Why is there no comments from your sales department on this subject and there is no fixed price structure stated anywhere within the main website?

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Because NethServer is free :wink: prices are for Enterprise version.

I realise that there are both a free version and enterprise versions, but why don’t the sales department display pricing / contract charges within the main site?

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You have a very good point and well written. To be honest I just had a discussion with Guiseppe and I can say, that I was really lost regarding the business model and the reseller revenue model. For me it’s very important if I choose to invest time into a new project then there has to be a goal, road map and a working business model. For me personal money is second hand when it comes to open source it’s the enlightenment of knowledge that should be in focus even for businesses. Especially in those troubled days when nothing is safe on the internet and we need good open source project that gives us a possibility to be transparent to customers or home users.

I hardly believe in, that it’s everyone’s duty to give something back and contribute especially to a good project like Nethserver because it’s adds some value to the open source community and software should always be free and transparent.

It’s really sad that your prizing is higher then a windows essential license for a reseller. Microsoft takes really good care to reseller and partners with education, kickbacks, free licenses for test, product support etc. and if nethserver wants to compete then there has to be a much better program in place that is so good that customers can’t turn it down. There has to be a better model especially if you sell to small, medium businesses where funding’s most often are limited.

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Me, I’m here for the free stuff.

That said, I would be willing to practice as a reseller, but it has to be in such a way that I’m not constantly running at a loss, and my experience with open source, is that’s damn difficult.

Hi Kristian, as I explained you, nethserver is totally free in the community version. You pay only enterprise support when you need.
Try the distribution and give us your personal feedback, we’ll be happy to accept your advise.

Indeed i don’t know the amount of fees but i have an expression for that.

Free to use but not free to build


Hi Giuseppe,

Apologize for my ignorance but I thought SME versions ( http://www.nethserver.org/community-or-enterprise/ ) where different from community versions or am I wrong? Do you want me to use community versions in businesses? How do I get professional product support if I need it? If I’m a reseller how do I get product support and education? do I have to buy it before I sell it to customers or should i go through the community? I can make this list very long and this has to be defined very easy especially if the SME product line is not jet a finished product?

If you go the Enterprise road you need to be able to tell customers your Mission and Vision of the concept behind the project. A road map must be defined for long term planning (This seems already be addressed in another thread). You have to be able what you are doing better then you competitors so the customers understands whats different with Nethserver (this could already be mentioned but I haven’t found that thread jet)?

To be honest the easiest way would have been to have 1 product or 5 versions for both community and SME and just a low fixed fee for annual support. The simpler the more competitive you become and the prizing should not be on request it should be transparent and available for everybody with no hidden fees or surprises.

I don’t like to talk about money but in the end it’s whats pays my bills. The difference we can do is to make Nethserver support so competitive for SME that it’s hard to turn down and that the project never gets sold which usually happens when you have a payed version of a project.

Thanks Kristian for your post , we are working about it and as soon as every thing will be clearer and easier.
Let us know what model of business what you like in order to improve our service

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