App autobackups … Easy app updates!

We have been busy updating several of your favorite Amahi applications over the past few weeks.

One of theAmahi Safe most frequent issues that we hear about is the need to update an application to a newer version but the data from the old version may be essentially lost, unless you know how to back it up with things like phpMyBackup or phpMyAdmin (which can be error-prone).

No more! Steps have been taken to help protect your data for upgrade. Keeping with our data integrity mantra, we are proud to announce a new feature to Amahi!

We have deployed a new feature called “autobackup” for a selected group of applications.  These apps will automatically back up the existing database when select applications are uninstalled. When you install the new version, your data is imported, automatically!

These apps include some big ones like Drupal, Horde, FengOffice, eyeOS and Gallery. We are working to make this feature available to all apps that have data going forward. Tell us your favorite application you would like to see this feature for and we will do that first.

We hope you enjoy the updated versions for your HDA. It’s your network and Amahi helps you run it easily!

Thank you for your continued support!

The Amahi Team

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WordPress, DLNA plus more … oh my!

Dorothy never thought she ever have to go through Oz without any of these! Dorthy told all of the Witch’s knowledge in her own top-shelf blog engine (WordPress) and used her web based console (MindTerm) to change the Witches magic to that of the greater good of the munchkins in the land of Oz when she crash landed!

Later using her own media server (DLNA) she would be better able to entertain not only the Tinman, The Cowardly Lion, and the Scare Crow but also the Great Wizard of Oz on her Big screen TV in full 1080P!

Now, we know that Dorothy never thought of any of that as she was traveling down the yellow brick road. But if the character of Dorothy had known about all that in 1900 when L. Frank Baum had written the story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz she would have!  :)

Read on for more on our latest one-click applications (and these are big ones)!!



WordPressWordPress

WordPress is one of the most powerful personal publishing platform, and it comes with a great set of features designed to make your experience as a publisher on the Internet as easy, pleasant and appealing as possible. We are proud to offer you a freely distributed, standards-compliant, fast, light and free personal publishing platform, with sensible default settings and features, and an extremely customizable core.

WordPress has a templating system, with widgets, as well as themes that can be easily installed. WordPress also features integrated link management; a search engine-friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign nested, multiple categories to articles; multiple author capability; and support for tagging of posts and articles.



DLNADLNA

Amahi DLNA Server is a media server. It’s the Amahi port of the great MiniDLNA, which is a media server with the aim of being fully compliant with DLNA/UPnP-AV clients.

This server is Open Source software developed by a NETGEAR employee for the ReadyNAS product line. So if you are looking for a NAS, please consider ReadyNAS first!



MindTermMindTerm

MindTerm is small, portable and secure. It contains an very powerful and easy to use SSH client that provides advanced features such as tunneling support, GUI-based file transfers as well as support for HTTP and SOCKS proxies.

The MindTerm client also includes an integrated terminal emulator. It has the ability to run both as a standalone application and as an applet. It may be used free of charge for personal use as well as in some commercial situations where you have fewer than 25 users.


Cheers!

The Amahi Team.

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Book review: Linux E-mail

One of the more frequent requests we get is to put an email server in Amahi. We have an email server in the works (and we’d like to give it a memorable name, BTW, so chip in!), and the team is updating it for the latest Amahi release.

We thought we’d review an interesting book called “Linux E-mail. Setup, maintain and secure a small office e-mail server,” which is apropos for this type of endeavor:

First, as someone who has handled his email server for many years, I can honestly say, email is hard. Or it has become harder and harder over the years. Bounces, authentication schemes, spam, blacklists, retries, timeouts, mutiple accounts per user, security, forwarding, etc., etc.

My advice is: DON’T DO IT! :)

That probably is not much of a deterrent for the more entrepreneurial of you. Admittedly, running a local and outgoing-only server is easier (and actually manageable, for a small volumes of email) than an incoming email server.

Let’s get on to the book review!

The book is for junior to mid-level system administrators and has 10 chapters, starting with the basics. Chapter 1 covers the basics of the mail-related protocols like SMTP, POP, IMAP, setup basics like DNS and backup servers. Chapter 2 is entirely dedicated to Postfix, configuration and settings. Postfix is my preferred mail transport agent (MTA). The chapter is fairly complete with inbox format, spam settings, use of blacklists, access  controls, with various tips on troubleshooting, which come in very helpful.

Next, on the other side of things, the book covers IMAP/POP access for clients, explaining the various tradeoffs nicely, as well as how to configure the desktop clients (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 covers web-based clients, focused mostly on the very popular SquirrelMail, covering installation and configuration. Of course, when we have it in Amahi as an app, it will be one-click install, and pre-configured, of course.

The focus of Chapter 5 is security. This chapter is fairly comprehensive covering SASL/TLS and rate limitation, and it’s really intended for advanced users. However, I was disappointed that it does not cover email signing, which is a must for even medium volumes of email (we know first hand by running the Amahi email services).

We’ll gloss over two chapters dedicated to procmail (which makes “filters” easy), a personal favorite. Suffice it to say that it’s pretty complete coverage. The next two chapters are on spam protection and antivirus. The part on spam protection with SpamAssassin is quite detailed, with three methods and client configuration, though personally, it “just works” for me, without too much configuration as I use a text based client (mutt). Completing the book is the last chapter, about backing up your system. This chapter includes information on more than just email backups. However, the emphasis is in backing up and restoring the email system.

Overall, a great book on running an email server, if you really want to do that (or just have to do it)  😀

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DLNA me, Baby!

As you know, in addition of all the dozens of app updates (follow in real time @ app updates page), we have been discussing how to improve the media server features of Amahi for a bit.

We have:DLNA

  • AmahiTunes (being fixed at this time) as an audio server for iTunes/Rhythmbox
  • uShare, which is a UPnP server and delivers streamed content to the Xbox, the PS3 and other clients
  • Squeezebox Server, to stream your music to a wide range of Logitech devices
  • As well, of course, Amahi has one of the best share management systems for Samba, which you can use with the most excellent VLC, MediaPortal or XBMC front ends (as well as many other players).

In that front, we now proudly introduce the Amahi DLNA media server. It’s a port to Amahi of the excellent MiniDLNA server, released by an employee of Netgear.

This app is in Beta (active users enrolled in the tester program have access to test it), and so far we hear that it is working really well for even full 1080p content across a variety of clients like Xbox, PS3 and even thin hardware players like the WD TV Live or the Asus O!Play Air or even the Sony Bravia, Samsung TVs with DLNA clients in them!

Humphrey BogartThis server has the advantage of periodically detecting new files (as opposed to uShare), and it supports more media formats, so it’s virtually maintenance-free!

We wanted to drop a quick “kudos” to all testers who are helping with it!

So, DLNA me Baby! We look forward to releasing it live for everyone in the community so that you can play your media again and again!

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