[CentOS-devel] NethServer as CentOS Variant and SME SIG Proposal

Fri Jan 10 11:50:36 UTC 2014
Alessio Fattorini <alessio.fattorini at nethesis.it>

Hello everybody,
my name is Alessio Fattorini and I'm part of a team of FLOSS developers 
that is working on a project named  NethServer. We’d like to share with 
you our experience and our ideas for the future developments.
You could think of NethServer as CentOS with some extra packages, 
a powerful and extensible web interface that simplifies common 
administration tasks.
NethServer is for the sysadmin who appreciates the effectiveness of a 
user interface which saves time compared to direct configuration file 
modification and for users who want to approach CentOS without having 
Linux skills.

We didn't reinvent the wheel, NethServer is a partial rewrite of the 
original SME Server code, focusing on maintainability, extensibility and 
standard compliance with CentOS.
We think we achieved those goals with:
* A dynamic, streamlined user-interface
* Standard components, tested widespread configurations
* Minimal differences with upstream (CentOS)
* Easy installation
* Simplified administration tasks
* Use of templates and text-based db for configuration (configuration 
will always be consistent)
* Built-in extensibility

NethServer architecture explicitly supports developers by making it easy 
to install and integrate additional software. We quickly added some 
pre-configured modules, installable with a “single click”, for example:
LAMP framework
Caching + filtering web proxy (with SSL filter)
SOGo Groupware
Mail Server with Antispam and Antivirus
VPN (OpenVPN and IPsec/L2TP)
Firewall (Shorewall)
Intrusion detection (Snort)

More informations could be found on the official project website: 

As soon as we read about CentOS variants, we have developed the idea of 
​​releasing NethServer as a CentOS variant and we are thinking of a SME 
SIG, a group exploring the needs of small enterprises (we are based in 
Italy, where the vast majority of enterprises is really small). 
According to you, does NethServer meet the basic requirements?

We’ll be at Brussels Dojo and FOSDEM and we'd love to discuss directly 
with you our ideas.
Alessio and the NethServer team