From MissionTechWiki



Description of SMEserver

SMEServer ( is a customised Linux ® distribution designed for the small office environment. It is based on the popular CentOS, which in turn, is based on Redhat Enterprise Server.

The official list of features is found on their website (Feature List) and includes the following:

  • File serving - to Windows (SMB) and Macs (native?)
  • Windows NT Domain Login authentication
  • Website serving
    • internally and externally
    • SSL optional
  • Mail serving (POP3, IMAP and SMTP)
    • SSL optional
  • Secure Web mail
  • Basic firewall
  • Squid Web proxy
  • PPP & PPoE Dialup connectivity (including over ADSL)
  • MySQL database
  • LDAP directory
  • Backup Management
  • VPN connectivity (including PPTP, IPSEC).
  • SSH remote access

Newer versions (>6.0) include

  • Email virus & spam filtering

Administration is generally conducted using a secure web page provided with the server.

Since SMEserver does not have a GUI display (Xserver) running on the server there is a significant performance improvement over other solutions. is the main place for community development and forums.

How is SMEServer used in Missions?

It's main purpose is as a small office server. The server is easily managed and operates on a lower spec machine than other solutions.

In small offices it can act as the firewall to protect the network from intruders, but in larger offices a separate hardware firewall is often used.

Since SMEserver installs quickly and easily from 1 CDROM and is designed for users with minimal knowledge it is easy to implement and manage in offices with low levels of IT support.

SMEserver history

Originally, SMEserver was developed under a title of E-Smith by the company Mitel and the released to the community, taking on the name SMEserver

Issues with SMEserver

At present the base operating system is still Cent OS 4. This results in many old versions of packages. This is not as big an issue as it may appear, as there will be security fixes anticipated until 2012 ([1]) . However there is ongoing support and fixes to packages, so there is likely to be a resolution to this problem in the medium term.

Released Versions

SMEserver 7.1 Update 3

17th March 2007 - Maintenance release.

SMEserver 7.0

A community release based on CentOS 4 and using yum to distribute updates. Handles SATA disks, raid 5, virus & spam filtering.

SMEserver 6.5

Another community release - I haven't tried it - don't bother.

SMEServer 6.0.1

The first community release - who knows what is in there....

SMEServer 6.0

Last release by Mitel. It is supposed to be stable and fixes the above compromises.

  • in Oct 2004 I have found that it has issues with NE2000 network cards that 5.6 doesn't
  • WATCH OUT - The primary I-bay is 'publicly accessible'. You can change this, but I think this is a major change, and I got caught out
    • Proper way to fix is

# /sbin/e-smith//db accounts setprop Primary PublicAccess local # /sbin/e-smith/expand-template /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf But there is also a template fragment that deals just with the primary ibay....

  • it has an SMTP proxy so all smtp goes via the server by default. This can be turned off manually. If you aren't using the mail server and accessing an external SMTP server you will have to change this.

SMEServer 5.6

Starting to get a bit old and is no longer supported, and apparently there are some known compromises, but is very stable.

Different implementations and solutions using SMEserver

Crosscape Technology Ltd support a number of missions using SMEServer


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from the MissionTech Wiki created by the International Conference on Computers and Missions

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