Testimonials from our users!

Hear, hear!

We started posting some testimonials from Amahi Linux Home Server enthusiast users.

Gotta love some of those quotes! Amahi Linux Home Server Testimonials

Check out this great testimonial from the amahi-users mailing list. This is a great user testimonial, copied here:

I have posted a couple of questions about things so far that have some
glitches. That is to be expected in a beta, so no worries there. I
thought I would write my overall impression of what I think is a much
needed and very timely project. So far, I like it! I am liking the
overall capability of the Amahi server
. This is something that could be
easily built into a Fedora-based Linux system and be an easy server for
someone to set up. Bravo!

I am liking how easy it is to get Samba going. I have never had the
levels of success with Samba that Amahi provides right out of the box.
Both Linux and Windows clients pick up on the shares with ease. This
allows for home and business users to have files and backups available
no matter which computer they are on. In the future this could be
improved by allowing the users to set up additional and protected
shares. Being able to have some folders in the home directory will
allow easy access remotely for ssh and scp users. Encryption would also
be ideal. It would be nice to be able to encrypt files and folders to
protect them from attackers. It would be nice to do this on the fly, so
that the user asks for a file and then has to enter a passphrase to
decrypt it. Just an idea. Failing that another idea is to encrypt
entire drives through the use of truecrypt 5.0. Nice, and protects the
data if the server is physically stolen, but it would be nicer to have
encrypted files decrypted only when needed and asked for by an
authorized user.

Backups are a major item. I back things up far less than I should, and
have been searching for a back up system that I like. I did some betas,
but was never impressed. I like the approach taken in this project.
Just boot up via network, and back up any drive you want. Beautiful
idea, and I hope to get it working soon (can’t mount the iso, and on one
system my keyboard will not work in the linux set up, so I couldn’t
mount it even if I knew what the issue was).

Calendar and wiki functions are great for those organized people, and I
like the recipe app, though I haven’t tried it out. I love to cook, and
also really want an excuse to build a kitchen computer in the future!

Once I have everything up and running to my liking I am going to begin
locking down the server and running some security and penetration tests
on the server. I will give you the results, and if you want I will post
those results in the devel mailing list as well. Security is important
(I know, I am biased, having a masters in Information Assurance).
Hopefully I can give you a heads up to any major issues so you can start
building in a bit of security to your server. Believe me, it will be
much cheaper to build it in now rather than patch it later!

SSH functionality is important to me, and I am not sure how much of it
you all will be planning. Haven’t noticed any real changes as of yet.
You will want to be locking down the sshd_config if you do, and I am
running denyhosts with no ill effect on things as far as I can tell.
You may want to emplore adding that package if you can.

Keep up the good work. I am really enjoying this so far. When this is
all finished you will be making an all day (or multiple day) project
into a 30 minute project. Windows Home Server? Please. Try Amahi, and
have true cross platform functionality!

Love it!

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What I want from a home server (3): Monitoring and User Management

Welcome to part 3 of our series

What I want for a home server

We’re fresh after our recent release of the F8 version of our server platform. After some good hacking, we’re ready to continue with various improvements. There are so many things to do, from installation to apps, that it’s hard to chose!

Our series is inspired by Svein Wisnaes, who wrote and posted his great ideas.
Today, we’re covering monitoring and user control.


He writes about health monitoring of critical components in the network.

There are protocols to monitor hardware today. Especially hard drives that are S.M.A.R.T. enabled. So why not do this centrally? Use the same agent that do the backup control to continually monitor the hard drive, fans, CPU of the pc it is running on and send any critical messages immediately to the server. There you can have a program that send alerts by e-mail, sms, make a call through an IP-Phone and play a recorded message etc. This should not be complicated to set up. And it would be a good thing to send status for each PC on a regular basis so the server builds a statistics that can be reviewed.

Monitoring is something we do, to a basic extent, on our server at the moment. We track manufacturer and temperature status of the drives in the system.

Temperature Monitor

In the PC world, there are some alternatives for monitoring and control. On the server side, there is IPMI, which is really for servers in datacenters more than anything else, and on the desktop side, there is ASF and more recent protocol by Intel called AMT (Active Management Technology). However, these are far from being adopted and will take a while to reach the regular home networks.

In this line, we received a request recently to provide wake-on-LAN capability as a way to control the various machines in the network.

User Management

This is an area that we’re not ready with yet, however, it is very important area, as the ultimate purpose of having a cool home server is to serve the users in the network. Quoting Svein,

This add one more to the given list. I would like to set up both users and groups and have an easy way of adding users to groups. I like using groups instead of user to control access to functions. The server need to be able to run really headless. No monitor, no keyboard and no mouse.

This is spot-on. We’re working to manage users with LDAP, however, that is work in progress …

In the mean time, go check out:

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Amahi Linux “bohemia” first release is here! (Fedora 8)

Granted, it took us a little while to get on to it, but we’re almost there. We’re talking about the Fedora 8 version of the Amahi Linux home server, of course. Fedora 8 Version

We would not have gotten there without the help of members of our beta program.

We would like to single out the contributions of Mitch Davenport, who tirelessly pushed the install process repeatedly, helping in every way and being patient over and over. Our hat goes to Mitch for helping so much!

So, the instructions are up, the repo is also up and running, and so are a couple of issues we found so far, including a bug we found in Fedora 8’s bind implementation. Sign up and let us know how it goes!

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