NethServer: Linux without All That Linux Stuff

Okay, that title really isn't fair. NethServer has all the Linux stuff, it's just that you don't have to interact with it in the traditional way in order to reap the benefits. NethServer is a web-based management software package built on top of CentOS. You can download it as a separate distribution, but truly, it's just software on top of CentOS. In fact, the installationmethods are either "install the NethServer distro" or "add the NethServer repository to your existing CentOS install". I really like that.

The concept behind NethServer isn't a new one. Lots of distributions are designed to simplify managing a server. I've written about ClearOS, Untangle and several others in the past. Plus, you always can just install Webmin on your server and get a "roll your own" web-administered system. The thing I like about NethServer is how well it allows you to configure services while not doing anything proprietary underneath. I think the interface is simple and intuitive as well.

Tons of features are available in the free community version of NethServer, but a few of the more advanced features require you to purchase a license. If you'd like to give NethServer a try, you either can download the ISO, install the repository on your existing server, or try the live Docker-based demo! Check it out here.

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Shawn Powers is a Linux Journal Associate Editor. You might find him on IRC, Twitter, or training IT pros at CBT Nuggets.