eBox Platform Development Team announced today that the eBox Platform 2.0 release will be delayed until September 1st. The decision was taken last Friday evening, after studying the different options and concluding that in order to release more stable version of the product, more time was needed for testing and improvements.

The first installer CD of eBox Platform 1.5 (beta version of eBox Platform 2.0) was released for testing and feedback on the 26th of July. As mentioned in the announcement, the development of eBox Platform 2.0 has now finished and the development team is now fully centered on testing and bugfixing the software. Moreover, during this stabilization period we are also dedicating time for optimizing the software to improve the performance and reduce the installation time. The aim of dedicating all August for these purposes is to guarantee that the next major release of eBox Platform will be the most stable release ever.

The whole eBox Platform team apologizes for having failed to announce properly this change until today and for not fulfilling the expectations of many eBox users and community members. As passionate for what we do, we sometimes rush forward and forget to explain ourselves. As people, we make mistakes. However, our intentions are the best: make a great, stable release.

We hope you’ll stick with us the whole August: there will be improved beta versions and we’d be glad to count on your feedback!

eBox Platform development team is glad to announce that the first installer CD for eBox Platform 1.5 is now available for download. Please note that eBox Platform 1.5 is a development version based on Ubuntu 10.04 and it will become eBox Platform 2.0 (next stable release of the Linux small business server) after a stabilization period. The development of eBox Platform 2.0 is now finished and from now on all the attention will be focused on testing, bugfixing and optimizing the software. These are the most relevant changes since eBox Platform 1.4 release:

  • Improved software management: the ebox-software package acts now as a installer. It also eases the process of installing, updating or deleting packages.
  • Autoconfiguration wizards integrated in the administration interface.
  • New mode for network interfaces: bridged.
  • Improved logs performance.
  • Webserver with HTTPS support.
  • New FTP module.
  • Please remember that 1.5 is a beta version and it is not intended for production environments. However, your feedback is very important to make eBox Platform 2.0 a great release – Please do not hesitate to report any issues through the eBox Support Forum or eBox Trac.

    We’re glad to let you know that HowtoForge has published the article “Using eBox As A Gateway: Firewall, Traffic Shaping, HTTP Proxy And More”. This tutorial shows you step by step how to use eBox as a Gateway, featuring network configuration, load balancing between two Internet connections with WAN failover and multigateway rules for policy routing, traffic shaping, DHCP and DNS cache for the LAN network and HTTP proxy with different content filtering policies and antivirus.

    The described scenario could be a typical Gateway deployment in a production environment like in a high school or a company with a maximum of 250 users with strict content filtering requirements and multiple Internet connections. The tutorial will guide you step by step how to configure two Internet routers with a network card for each one.

    In the latest issue of the leading UK Linux magazine Linux Format, its Roundup section – that benchmarks every month a large number of software solutions, was focused on comparing a selection of Firewall Distributions and finding the best option for both home and office setups. Among the compared distributions were ClearOS, IPCop, Monowall, PFSense, Smoothwall Advanced, Smoothwall Express and the final winner, eBox Platform.

    The starting point of the comparative was that many people are looking for an efficient and easy-to-use Firewall that they could use both for their home and office setups and the different alternatives were evaluated taking into account how easy their installation and configuration was. To help their readers to make the right decision through the massive choice of firewall distributions available, the Roundup looked at what made some options better than others and what would be the best option for the readers’ particular setups.

    After concluding that all the Firewall Distributions selected for the comparative could perfectly match the needs and expectations of someone looking for “just a firewall”, Martin Meredith, the author of the article, went a bit further and looked at the “bonuses” offered by each candidate. After the full review, eBox Platform was declared winner thanks to “the astounding feature list and the fact that it’s built on top of a standard Ubuntu install means that along with the firewall, you’ve got a box that can do close to anything you can imagine.” Furthermore, the author also enhanced “the potential of eBox to have any kind of functionality added to it” and “the super-powered features” it offers.

    In the detailed review, Linux Format justifies the extramarks granted to eBox Platform by this sentence “eBox offers so much by way of configuration, and provides almost everything you’d need to run your home or office network right from the default install.” The detailed eBox Platform review concludes with the 9/10 rating and advice to the readers not to be put off by the huge number of features available through the interface.

    The eBox Platform development team is glad to let you know that the eBox Platform 1.4-2 installer is now released! The new installer, available for download at http://trac.ebox-platform.com/wiki/Download, comes with plenty of bugfixes and some minor improvements. The most relevant changes include:

  • DNS: Added support for internal networks allowed to recurse the caching server.
  • Ebackup: Improvements on frequency and keep options. Added backup and restore of logs. Added restore configuration from backup action. VolSize option can be changed through configuration file.
  • Egroupware: Now works properly on a master-slave scenario.
  • Firewall: New firewall table containing rules added by eBox services.
  • Network: Failover test are more robust now.
  • Samba: Allow guest shares. New patched samba package that should fix the full_audit bug.
  • Squid: New bandwidth throttling support with delay pools (to allow traffic shaping when transparent proxy is enabled). Add refresh_pattern options for Microsoft Windows, Debian and Ubuntu updates.
  • Webserver: Allow non-fqdn and topdomains as vhosts.
  • The full changelog is available at http://trac.ebox-platform.com/wiki/Document/Changelog/1.4-2 As always, we would appreciate any feedback – Please do not hesitate to report any issues through the eBox Support Forum or eBox Trac.

    Ignacio Correas, CEO of eBox Technologies, will give a talk at the LinuxTag, Europe’s leading Open Source Event, that will be held in Berlin (Germany) from the 9th until the 12th of June 2010. The talk entitled “Disrupting the market of SMB servers” will take place on the 9th of June, within the Business track of the conference program.

    During the talk Correas will explain why the small business server market, currently dominated by Microsoft’s Windows Small Business Server, fulfills all the conditions for the entrance of a new disruptive technology and why Linux combined with open souce network management tools form the foundations of this disruption. Furthermore, SMB server needs and expectations are discussed and the talk is completed with a more practical approach, presenting eBox Platform, the Linux small business server, as a means of taking Linux to the small and medium businesses.

    “Open source is one of the most disruptive forces in the software industry and, with the right approach, it can completely reshape almost any market” said Ignacio Correas. “In my talk I will try to explain the approach we have taken with eBox, combining an open source product with a SaaS offering in order to make the most of its disruptive potential for the SMB server market. Moreover, I do believe the rationale I use can be easily adapted to other markets and open source projects”.

    The vocational education program “eBox Academy” was presented today by Ignacio Correas, CEO of eBox Technologies and Ignacio Sancho, Head of Studies at the Integrated Studies Center Los Enlaces. eBox Academy aims at offering eBox Platform as a learning resource to the vocational education students of Information and Communication Technologies, allowing the students to complete their training through an innovative and educational tool with great potential in the field of Linux based system administration.

    The Autonomous Community of Aragon (Spain) will pioneer the implementation of the eBox Academy program that will subsequently expand to other regions in Spain and other countries. As Ignacio Correas specified during the presentation “We will start delivering certified training through eBox Academy in vocational training centers located in Aragon and Catalonia during the course 2010-2011 and in the course 2011-2012 we expect to be present in several autonomous communities in Spain and some of those countries with most interest in eBox Platform, such as the United States, Germany and several Latin American regions.”

    If you are interested in the details, check out the full press releases (available both in English and in Spanish).

    Jorge Salamero, eBox Platform developer and analyst at eBox Technologies, will give a three-hour workshop “Configuring eBox Platform as an Office Server with LDAP and Samba” on the 15th of April, at the Centro de Novas Tecnoloxías de Galicia (CNTG), in Santiago de Compostela (Spain). The workshop is organized by the CNTG and eBox Technologies and it is mainly aimed at professionals working in both private and public sectors in technical support or as system administrators.

    The workshop consists of a brief introduction to the Linux small business server eBox Platform, installation process and configuration of eBox Platform as an Office Server. The audience will be guided step by step on how to set up the network and firewall configuration for an Office scenario and how the centralized users and groups management can work standalone, on master-slave mode or synchronizing with an existing Windows Active Directory server.

    Furthermore, the attendees are shown how to configure a Samba server with eBox Platform. Samba is the Linux implementation of Windows shared files and printers that can be integrated with a Windows Domain as a Primary Domain Controller (PDC) or as a domain member. Usually configuring Samba is not a trivial task, but with eBox you can set up a server within minutes allowing easy configuration, not only shared files and printers, but also advanced features like PDC, domain policies, roaming profiles, antivirus or recycle bin. To finish, the attendees will be shown how to monitor their eBox servers and generate events that alert the system administrators when something requires their attention.

    The workshop is free of charge and it will be held in Spanish on the 15th of April from 4.30 to 7.45 p.m. at the Centro de Novas Tecnoloxías de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela (Spain). To participate in the workshop, all you have to do is to register at the CNTG web site – The online registration will close on the 14th of April or when full capacity has been reached.

    eBox Platform development team is glad to announce that the Development Roadmap for the Linux small business server eBox Platform 2.0 has now been published. eBox Platform 2.0 is a major release that will run on the next Ubuntu LTS version (Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx) and it will be published in July 2010.

    Besides the transition to Ubuntu 10.04, eBox Platform 2.0 will ship new features such as easy disaster recovery or autoconfiguration wizards, improvements in the software management, proxy, firewall and mail services and a number of usability enhancements and other minor improvements. You can find the detailed Roadmap at the trac.

    Any feedback on the Roadmap is welcome through the Official eBox Forum.

    eBox Platform Development Teams is glad to announce that Virtual Machine images of eBox Platform, the Linux small business server, are now available. The disk images for VirtualBox and VMware now allow to create a Virtual Machine and start testing eBox in a few seconds, skipping the installation process and saving a lot of time. This option is especially useful for those new and previous eBox users who want to have a quick look to the latest eBox Platform functionality!

    The VM images together with instructions and additional information are available at: http://trac.ebox-platform.com/wiki/Download/VMImages Please note that the images come with a reduced set of eBox packages and actually eBox offers plenty of more features that are available at the “Software Management” section once you have created your VM.

    As always, any feedback or suggestion is very welcome through the Forum.