SME Server:Documentation:Administration Manual:Chapter1

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Welcome to SME Server 9

Congratulations on choosing the SME Server as your network and communications server!

SME Server is an open-source Linux server distribution 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 extendable 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

The heart of SME Server is based on the GPL'd sources of the unsupported developer release of SME 7.0 alpha from Mitel, who are the copyright holder for much of what makes SME Server what it is. Mitel's commercial offering is known as the "Mitel Managed Application Server", and in the past was known as e-Smith. Mitel has been very generous to fund development of the alpha and beta versions and to keep to the spirit of the GPL by sharing their source code freely.

SME Server 9 uses many packages from CentOS and RepoForge. CentOS 6 is built from publicly available open source Red Hat Enterprise Linux SRPMS and aims to be binary compatible. RepoForge is a collaborative effort of several RPM packagers that build RPMs not included with CentOS. Almost all of the packages that SME Server includes from these 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 2020 for Centos 6.

About This Manual

This manual walks you step-by-step through the straightforward process of installing and configuring your SME Server. The Appendices and Glossary provide background information on subjects related to networking and the Internet and are intended to supplement chapters in the main section of this document.


This document was revised on the wiki at

  • 30 Jun 2014 - The stable release of SME Server 9.0 which is based on CentOS 6.5
  • 25 May 2012 - The stable release of SME Server 8.0 which is based on CentOS 5.8

(Previous versions were published by e-smith, Mitel and, and are the basis for this manual)


This is the official documentation for SME Server and is endorsed by the developers at


Thank you to the developers that create and maintain the SME Server distribution. And thank you to the companies and people that support the developers.

Software Licensing Terms and Conditions

The SME Server is licensed under the General Public License (GPL). This means that you are free to use, and alter the software. If you do alter any of the packages, you must make the source code (with patches please) freely available. The agreement is found on the ISO. Acceptance of this agreement is required during the software installation.


SME Server users may copy and redistribute this software. The text of the GPL license may be found at Some packages may have an alternate open source licence. The applicable license for each software module is specifically identified and can be seen by running the rpm -qiv packagename command, from the command line. Details on other open source licences can be obtained here:

About Our Example Company: The Pagan Vegan

In this manual, we use examples of a catering and event-planning company, The Pagan Vegan or TPV, that configures, administers and makes use of their server. As far as we know, no company of this name exists.

What's New

For the most complete list of information about changes that have been made in SME Server, see the release notes that accompany your download.

Server Features

The SME Server server and gateway installs automatically on a PC, converting it to an industrial-strength communications server that optionally allows all of the computers on your network to share a single Internet connection.

In one simple, easy-to-install package, you get:

  • A high performance email server that handles email to and from your users.
  • Enhanced security features that reduce the risk of intrusion.
  • A central file server enabling seamless information exchange among Windows, Macintosh and Unix machines.
  • A web server to host your company web and/or intranet site.
  • Browser based server-manager software that makes it easy to add new user accounts, control remote access, configure network printers, set up workgroups and connect additional networks.
  • Special services that speed web and Internet access, improving the performance of your network.
  • A shared email address book that is maintained automatically.
  • i-bays, a unique communications and collaborative facility that makes it easy for users to work together on projects.
  • Quota Management - you have the ability to set a limit on the amount of a disk space a user can use for files and e-mail.
  • Windows 2000, XP and W7 domain logon support - Previous versions have allowed the server to act as a domain controller for client computers running Windows 95, 98, ME or NT. This version now extends that domain logon support to Windows 2000, XP and W7.
  • USB printer support - It is now possible to connect the SME Server to a printer via the USB port.
  • Improved Macintosh file sharing support - The server now includes better support for Macintosh file sharing and eliminates some previous cases where Macintosh users were unable to access i-bays.
  • Experimental ISDN card support - While our software has always supported external ISDN adapters, this version now includes experimental support for using an internal passive ISDN card.
  • Installation on a system with 1 hard drive is automatically set up as a degraded RAID1 mirror ready to accept a second drive if or when it is installed. Systems with 2 drives are set up as RAID 1; Systems with 3 drives are set up as RAID 1 + Hot-spare, 4-6 drives as RAID5 + 1 Hot-spare, and 7+ Drives as RAID6 + Hot-spare. See: Raid How To

Important.png Note:
SME Server 9 differs from SME server 8.1 in that the default install will only configure a Raid 1 configuration regardless of the number of hard drives available. There are selectable install options for other Raid configurations available from the install menu when sufficient hard drives are installed to support that Raid config

  • Secure email enhancements. POP3/SSL, IMAP/SSL, SMTP/SSL, SMTP AUTH over SMTP/SSL.
  • Webmail has been upgraded to the latest versions of Horde, Imp, Turba and Ingo from
  • SMTP Email reception is now handled by qpsmtpd. Advanced but simple to use plugin system to easily install extra functionality and write local rules. Almost all features are implemented in plugins.
  • Antivirus email and hard drive scanning is now provided by ClamAV. Virus definitions are kept up to date automatically, and program updates will be available automatically via the software installer (yum).
  • Email attachment handling: Including the ability to block EXE, ZIP, PIF and automatic conversion of TNEF or UUENCODE encoded attachments to MIME.
  • Spam Filtering with Spamassassin. Automatic tagging with X-spam-status headers, and optional filtering and subject tagging. Configurable rejection levels.
  • Enhancement to the pseudonyms panel. You now have the ability to send (e.g.) support@domain1 and support@domain2 to different places, and you can now enter pseudonyms of pseudonyms.
  • Yum based Software installer panel. Approved contribs and official updates can now be installed in the server-manager. Selectable "Automatically install updates" option.