SME Server:About

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The Koozali SME Server project

The Koozali Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit corporation that governs the open source Koozali SME Server project. Koozali SME Server is a stable, secure and easy to use/manage linux server that provides common server functionalities out of the box. Many open source contributions are available that can extend the default server functionality making Koozali SME Server an even more powerful and flexible business server solution. Thousands of Koozali SME Severs have been deployed as real or virtual servers and in the cloud to serve many small to medium enterprises, and this number is growing day by day. The Koozali SME Server is free to use but it takes a lot of effort and money to develop, make, and maintain. We therefore ask you for your considerations.

Volunteering

Koozali Inc. together with it's community hosted at http://contribs.org are a collaborative effort of volunteers. You too can contribute to the development and continuity of the Koozali SME Server project as described on our volunteering page. Everybody is welcome to join the already 4000+ member contribs.org community and with any skill set.

Financial donations

You can also show your support by making financial donations. The preferred way to make financial donations is using the donate option in the forums. You are free to choose any amount and frequency, being monthly, yearly or only once. The benefit of donating through your forums account is that your forum user name will receive a badge, showing your donation status. If you do not have a forum account, you can create one, or select the below PayPal option to make your donations.

Commercial usage

Organizations that use Koozali SME Server for their business, provide professional services or in any other way benefit commercially from the Koozali SME Server project, are kindly requested to consider regular financial donations that reflect their business benefits.

Koozali Inc. is happy to supply an invoice for any donations received. For more information on invoicing please send a mail to treasurer@koozali.org.

Thank you for your considerations and support!


Introduction

Why spend a fortune on Windows server software when you can get more for so much less?!

SME Server is an Open Source Linux Server distribution and provides a flexible, worry-free, secure, network and communications server solution you won't outgrow. It is designed to be:

  • Simple to setup and use: Installation and basic configuration takes less than 20 minutes, and every configuration option can be set via a web-based interface.
  • Secure and stable to operate: SME Server only includes what is necessary, which translates into the entire ISO being around 500MB. Stability comes from using proven, supported rpm packages and from an update system that notifies you with available updates.
  • Cross-platform and extendible to meet future needs: SME Server already has everything necessary to provide the core services most people need to network Linux, Macintosh, and Windows systems.
  • And it's completely free!
  • Download the ISO from http://wiki.contribs.org/SME_Server:Download

Exceptionally reliable and easy to use, SME Server can be installed and configured in less than 20 minutes - yet it's powered by a secure and open Linux platform that's fully upgradeable and customizable. Simply install it on any standard PC and in minutes you'll have a robust Linux-based LAMP server capable of fully replacing those expensive Windows server licenses and providing a full range of services - including e-mail, firewall, file and print-sharing, web hosting, remote access and more.

SME Server integrates easily with Windows, Macintosh, and Unix/Linux clients, and within a Windows network environment. It's as simple to use as a server appliance, but unlike a "sealed-box" appliance the entire system is modular and extensible, so it can be tailored to the needs of individual businesses.

Features and Benefits

Ease of Administration

SME Server software uses a web-based interface to enable easy administration from any web browser on the internal network, password protected and accessible remotely via SSH or PPTP.

File and Print Sharing

The core of any network environment is easy and simple access to shared files and printers. SME Server software allows for the easy sharing of files and printers to Windows and Macintosh clients. The "Information Bay" (i-bay) feature provides easy and convenient information storage and retrieval by multiple groups via web, ftp, or file sharing.

Internet Connection

Small business customers are looking for a simple solution that works with different types of connections to the Internet. SME Server automates the process of connecting to the Internet. Just connect the server and supply your ISP account information. The server solution acts as a gateway for your entire network and requires no additional client software and minimal configuration. Users can immediately start browsing the Web, using email, and access other Internet services.

Email

With the pervasiveness of email, small businesses increasingly need to support email for all their employees. SME Server provides a secure reliable email server and allows easy creation of individual and group addresses. For greater versatility, it works with any mail client that uses the industry-standard IMAP, POP3, and SMTP protocols. Secure webmail allows users to access the server from a web browser anywhere on the Internet, to send and receive e-mail via an encrypted (128-bit SSL) link. On top of that it is equipped with ClamAV Antivirus and SpamAssassin to reduce the amount of unsolicited mail.

Firewall

Security is always a priority when a company starts using the Internet. SME Server offers a multi-layer architecture, protecting the external interface through packet-filtering and service restriction. It offers selective address or port binding, application-level access control lists, and protects the internal network from any intrusion.

Remote Access

Businesses with remote or branch sites or telecommuting employees require remote access to their email and to other resources on the local network. SME Server provides multiple tools such as webmail access to email using any browser, 128-bit PPTP (for secure client-to-server VPNs) and open secure shell (SSH) to provide encrypted access to the internal network and server resources for administrators.

Directory Services

Companies typically require a central directory of email addresses that all users can access. SME Server features a robust directory service that can be used by most email clients (including Outlook, Outlook Express, and Netscape Communicator). This feature is implemented using the industry-standard LDAP protocol.

Web Hosting

Small businesses also need a secure and reliable web presence and an intranet to communicate with employees. SME Server includes the Apache web server used by over 60% of the Internet. The content can be easily edited and updated from desktop clients (including dynamic content). It also supports the use of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections for e-commerce.

Raid and Backup

SME Server software supports both hardware and software disk mirroring (RAID 1), USB Disk backup & tape backup for additional data protection.

Automatic Updates

Almost all of the packages that SME Server includes from upstream vendors are included unmodified. The purpose of doing so is to take advantage of the stability that comes from the huge user base that uses these packages, for security, and to allow automatic updates as soon as an update is available from the upstream vendor. Security updates from Redhat/Centos should be available until 2017 for Centos 5 and 2012 for Centos 4

Extensible

The SME Server architecture explicitly supports developers by making it easy to drop software into place and remove it without needing to modify existing files. Extensions can easily add new features, a few popular examples are Asterisk VOIP PBX, HylaFax server, DansGuardian web content filter, Joomla CMS, Jinzorra jukebox, Mediawiki, Thin client server, OsCommerce online shop.

Platform Specifics

Koozali SME Server versions 8.1 and 9.0 are the latest stable versions of the open-source Koozali SME server solution for small and medium-sized enterprises. The heart of SME Server 8.1 and 9 are based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Product Reviews

DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 540, 6 January 2014

"I found SME Server's performance while running in the virtual machine to be quite good, certainly better than SMS"

[...]

"In general I found SME Server to be fairly easy to get up and running."


http://www.computerwoche.de/a/linux-server-im-vergleich,2364083,7

"kostenlos und einfach zu administrieren" [...]


TechTip: SME Server, the All-in-One Linux Server Distribution, March 11, 2011

"If you're looking for a free, simple-to-set-up, ready-made Linux server, SME Server should fill your need."

[...]

The community’s forums and wiki are very active and there are lots of HowTos available. Additional repositories are also available for many extra packages that could not be included in the download because of the limitations of a single CD ISO file.

[...]

SME Server is pretty much the original ready-rolled server distribution. Although it has changed hands – and names – a few times, it's been around since 1999, when it was known as e-Smith, a name you'll still see in a few places.

The Register: SME Server: A Linux server OS that's had 11 years to improve, November 17, 2010

"In 2001, SME Server was bought by enterprise VOIP vendor Mitel, which for a while offered unified office servers based around e-Smith, which it renamed Managed Application Server. Mitel donated the product back to the community in 2004, where today it is developed cooperatively by a community based around the contribs.org website – originally a home for third-party extensions to the software.

[...]

Perhaps you’re thinking: “So what, I can do that with [your favourite distro here].” What makes SME server special is that its features are well integrated and that after the installation there is no need for end users to see the command line again. You can install it and forget about it.

Tectronix: SME Server: The Linux solution for growing businesses, April 14, 2009

"SME server makes it really easy for the user to place an adequate Intranet environment in the net without profound Linux knowledge. The distribution is primarily meant for smaller and medium-size enterprises, in addition, private people profit from the outstanding characteristics of the operating system as Mail and file servers.

[...]

The developers of SME Server did their documentation homework to the best. Appropriate assistance text described really each point of the Web-based configuration, smaller text left refers to the appropriate site for on-line assistance."

LinuxUser (in German), October, 2006

"E-Smith SME Server is a Linux distribution designed to serve as a dedicated firewall/gateway server, allowing you to share an Internet connection over a LAN. The distribution is a heavily-modified version of Red Hat Linux, with most of the latter, including the GUI, removed, leaving only what is required to run a firewall/gateway in a small 380MB package."

Australian PC World, December 10, 2003

"Installing and configuring SME Server couldn't be easier. For our tests, we installed the software on a Dell PowerEdge 2300 with a fresh 18GB hard drive. The installation process is almost completely automated; at the "boot" prompt, we had to type "proceed" to accept the license agreement and begin the installation, and then sat back while the software installed and configured itself based on our installed hardware without our intervention.

[...]

SME Server is built on a standard Linux operating system which includes common applications and utilities freely available to the Linux community. Although the functionality provided by SME Server is certainly readily available to any knowledgeable Linux administrator, the product's custom management tools and automated installation process let virtually anyone with a modicum of Linux experience install and maintain a network file server with minimal effort. The software is free to download

[...]

SME Server is ideally suited for enterprise environments in which remote servers must be installed to support a user base, and also in cases where on-site technical support to maintain the server is not readily available. Its remote administration and management features--absent from Windows 2000 environments--provide additional flexibility. Also, SME Server requires no client access licenses, so a corporation can serve a dozen or a thousand users from an SME-based server without breaking the bank to pay license fees. Enterprises looking for a flexible, cost-effective alternative to Microsoft's network services should take a close look at SME Server 5."

ZDNet TechReview, January 17, 2002

"If you're looking to roll your own Net appliance for either yourself or customers on a shoestring budget, but don't want to sacrifice ease-of-use or performance, definitely give the March Networks SME Server 5 a spin."

Linux Magazine (from Google cache), December 15, 2001

"The e-smith package is a fine piece of software, and when you take into consideration the company's high regard for your network's security, it definitely merits a look-see. We have no problem recommending the e-smith server and gateway to small to midsize businesses looking to test the Linux waters."

Network Computing, April 2, 2001

"It can be networked with Windows- and Mac OS-based computers, which means you can buy a no-name PC, load e-Smith Server and Gateway on it, then network your IBM ThinkPad and your graphics designer's Macintosh. . . . The server, [e-smith customer James Hertz] said, has been `rock-solid'."

Business Week, October 9, 2000

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