July 22, 2014
 
 
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eBox Packages Linux LAN Services in a Friendly Bundle

Complexity Made Manageable

  • September 1, 2009
  • By Paul Rubens

"A very complex technology to make network management simple." That's what the developers of the eBox platform promise small and medium sized organizations, and it's certainly an attractive idea.

It starts from the premise that all the software you need to run a network is available as open-source, but that getting all that software configured and running together can be quite tricky. So what if there was a management application with a simple web-based GUI that could install all the necessary software and do all the configuration and integration for you with just a handful of mouse clicks?

The eBox platform is designed to do exactly that, allowing "non-expert" administrators to configure and run network services including:

  • firewall
  • file sharing
  • proxy-cache
  • content filter
  • mail server and e-mail hygiene
  • NTP server
  • DHCP server
  • printer server
  • user management
  • Jabber instant messaging server

on a server running Ubuntu.

The good news is that the eBox platform is completely open-source, licensed under the GPL and free to download, with an active community developing it and driving the project forward. The open-source software it controls includes:

OpenLDAP and Samba for user management (eBox also includes a primary domain controller to allow Windows machines to authenticate). Samba and CUPS for file and printer sharing and backup on a Window network. Postfix, SpamAssassin, ClamAV and Jabber to run an e-mail server with anti-spam and anti-virus software and a corporate Jabber-based instant messaging system. Squid, Dansguardian, Netfilter/Iptables and Iproute2 to run a firewall, with packet filtering, traffic shaping, and web content filtering. ISC DHCP, NTP. BIND, Apache, OpenSSL and OpenVPN to run network services like DHCP, DNS and NTP, a web server, and a VPN to connect roaming users to the network or to connect two office networks together.

eBox is built in a modular fashion, so it is only necessary to install the modules controlling the services you are interested in running.

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