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Xandros Server: Pre-Packaged Power, Centralized - page 3

YALS--Yet Another Linux Server?

  • June 5, 2006
  • By Bill von Hagen

Xandros Server is as up-to-date as you could expect a product that requires significant QA in order to guarantee the stability required by its target market. It features a 2.6.15 kernel and version 6.9 of the X.org X11 Window system. Its desktop environment is based on KDE 3.4.2. On the other hand, the versions of GCC and glibc that it provides are relatively ancient, providing gcc 3.3.5 and glibc 2.3.2. Xandros Server is based on Debian 3.1, which basically explains the aging development environment.

The physical box includes three CDs: the basic Xandros Server Installation CD, a Standard Edition Applications CD, and a CD that contains a special Xandros edition of the Scalix mail server and collaboration system. A default Xandros Server installation only requires the first CD, and provides a copy of the BRU Backup Server, a Certificate Manager, a DHCP Server, the Sendmail and Postfix mail servers, a DNS Server, and iptables-based Firewall, an FTP Server, a Helix streaming media server, a CUPS-based Print Server, Windows and NFS file servers, a Proxy Server, an SSH Server, a Time (NNTP) Server, a UPS Monitor, a VPN Server, and (of course) a Web Server (Apache2). Quite the server smorgasbord!

The Standard Edition Applications CD provides enterprise-level server software that is not installed as part of a default Xandros Server install, such as IBM DB2 v8.2 (Express C Edition), Oracle 10G (Express Edition), MySQL, the popular SugarCRM Customer Relationship Management system, and the JBoss application server. Though DB2 and Oracle are SMB or SOHO versions, they're certainly enough to get you started and sufficient for many businesses.

If you're not familiar with the Scalix mail and collaboration software, it's well worth a look! Scalix rescued--er, licensed--Hewlett-Packard's excellent OpenMail system from software oblivion when HP decided to punt in one the dumbest decisions I can remember. (For God's sake, HP, if you're going to point that thing at your head, at least keep the safety on!)

The fact that five free Scalix licenses are included with Xandros Server is enough to wet your whistle for more licenses for this great, Outlook-compatible mail system that supports shared calendaring, ToDo lists, and public folders--basically, all of the bells and whistles that you need to shut down your Microsoft Exchange Server once and for all (after buying more licenses, unless yours is a really small company). For future reference, Scalix and the Evolution mailer are a great combination.

The final thrill in the Xandros Server package is an impressive manual that not only provides hands-on HOWTO information but also provides an impressive amount of background information on all of the servers that you can manage through the tools discussed in the next section. This is a great document in general and a welcome change from most other vendors' user-hostile PDF approach to documentation. The box also includes a printed Getting Started Guide that walks you through installing and configuring your Xandros Server.

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