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!
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.
SME Server v9.2 is the latest stable version of the award-winning Mitel/e-smith based Server and Gateway, the world's leading open-source server software for small and medium-sized enterprises. The heart of SME Server 9.2 is based on the GPL'd sources of the unsupported developer release of SME 7.0 alpha from Mitel, who is 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 RPMForge. CentOS 6 is built from publicly available open source Red Hat Enterprise Linux v6.5 SRPMS and aims to be binary compatible. RPMForge 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 November 30th, 2020 for Centos 6.
SME Server v9.0 is based upon Centos v6 with the following major package versions (current as of Aug 2014 - these are subject to minor revision updates and bug fixes from upstream):
- Linux Kernel - 2.6.32
- Apache web server - 2.2.15
- MySQL database - 5.1.73
- PHP - 5.3.3
- Python - 2.6.6
- Perl - 5.10.1
- Qmail mail server - 1.03-17
- Samba file and printer sharing - 3.6.9
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.
Extensible with Contribs (add-on)
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 and much more. See our contribs
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 2020 for Centos 6.