[CentOS] looking for alternative to SME & Clark Connect

Rudi Ahlers rudiahlers at gmail.com
Fri Apr 17 11:18:40 UTC 2009

On Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 1:05 AM, muhammad panji <sumodirjo at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 9:37 PM, Rudi Ahlers <rudiahlers at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I'm looking for a (preferably free) alternative to SME / Clark Connect.
>> I basically need the following:
>> - firewall
>> - nat
>> - VPN
>> - bandwidth limiting / monitoring
>> - email (SMTP / POP3 / IMAP) & groupware
>> - file & printer sharing
>> - RAID support
>> - if possible fail-over / high availability support.
>> I need to support about 15 - 30 (some part time) students, so I would
>> like to keep the costs low. If it's free, so much better. SME works
>> for most of the stuff, but it still runs on CentOS 4, and I'd prefer
>> to use 5.
> clarkconnect 5 is on beta 2
> http://distrowatch.com/5407
> just wait a little while :)
> --
> Muhammad Panji
> http://sumodirjo.wordpress.com
> _______________________________________________

Thanx guys, I see what I'm looking for doesn't really exist. SME does
what I need, but still runs on CentOS 4.7, and it doesn't offer
groupware email out of the box.

The project will be for a bunch of students, so costs need to be kept
low. In fact, the PC that will be used was donated by someone, and
where I live PC components are much more expensive than in the USA
(yes, there are people with internet & computers outside the borders
of the USA). I only have 1 PIV with 1GB RAM to my disposal. The ADSL
router that will be used had a stateful packet filter, NAT & intrusion
detection, so I'm not really looking for a dedicated firewall, but
rather an inhouse server, which will mainly serve as PDC with file &
print server, email server, possible VPN, and bandwidth monitoring.

I basically want the students to each have a domain login, with his
own files storage on the server, and some will connect via wifi, so I
would prefer to keep them on a VPN for security reasons. If possible,
I'd like to limit & monitor how much bandwidth each user is using, for
billing purposes. SME has an option for roaming profiles on Samba,
which is nice if a user moves to another PC. The groupware email is
also desirable, for this same reason, to allow a user to still get his
email on any PC in the lab. so, I would like to keep all documents &
email on the server, to make backing up easier.

I won't really manage the network, there is someone with basic Linux
knowledge to manage it all, hence my need for something simple & out
of the box deployment. With SME & ClarkConnect I can tell the user
over the phone (or email) how to re-install the server, restore the
backups, and be up & running again in no time. ClarkConnect is much
nicer than SME, but only offers 10 email accounts. And, since it's an
NGO lab, there is no spare cache for a license, just to get 5 more
email addresses.

I hope this makes my needs clearer. I also use SME home, and at
various clients, cause I can tell them over the phone how to fix it
when it breaks. Even my mom can "fix the server" if need be.


Kind Regards
Rudi Ahlers

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