Thursday, July 16, 2009

eBox Releases Version 1.2

eBox Platform screenshot running on a LinkstationImage via Wikipedia
Schematic representation of a proxy serverImage via Wikipedia
eBox is a server management platform that handles some really advanced configurations and makes them easy to set up. I reported about eBox a couple of weeks ago and told you that there were some cool new features in the pipeline. Well ... here they are, according to the developers:
  • Auto WAN Failover: you can configure tests that will detect and disable those routers that are not working OK.
  • eGroupWare 1.6
  • Manage group membership from user screen
  • Multi gateways rules use services
  • New backup module
  • New Monitor Module: CPU, Load, Disk Space, Thermal, Memory
  • New Asterisk (VoIP) Module: Users are created with Extensions, and Voice Mail Boxes. They can make and receive external calls. Conference Rooms can now be created.
  • New IDS Module (Snort)
  • Support for multi user conference rooms in Jabber
  • Support for most major Dynamic DNS providers
  • Support for User/Group Authentication in the Web Proxy Module
  • Support for anti-virus in the Web Proxy Module
  • Support for categorized URL list such us: urlblacklist or shallalist
  • Support for Cache Exceptions and Cache Size
  • Support for anti-virus in Samba
  • Support for audit log in Samba
  • Samba PDC Enhancements: Drive Letter, Password Policies
  • New UserCorner, a web interface where users created in eBox will be able to change their own passwords
  • Support for hooks that are run before and after an eBox module saves its config. This allows you to extend the eBox funcionality via shell scripts
  • Switch from Courier to Dovecot
  • New Installer with Curses Interface to select eBox Packages or an eBox Profile (Gateway, Security, Comms, Infrastructure, Office) to install. It also includes a L7-filter capable Kernel, and the necessary modules for Asterisk.
  • Reduced memory footprint and increased performance of the UI
  The big functional changes are the change from eGroupware 1.4 to 1.6, the introduction of Asterix, and the group chat feature. Anti-virus, Snort, and failover support make the system more secure and resilient.


eBox now comes with profile support in the installation. Profiles that you can choose from include Firewall, Security, Communication, Office, and more, or you can choose the individual packages by themselves. The installation is built on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS and can either use a dedicated installer or an Ubuntu Server installation with the addition of the eBox PPA. If you use the installer, a full server is installed first, and eBox finishes the installation after a reboot.


eBox includes a complete groupware server with webmail, calendaring, project management, document management, a wiki, a knowledge base, and much more. eGroupware was offered during the development phase, but the version was the older 1.4. The bump of eGroupware up to 1.6 offers these new features:
  • Complete new implementation of the filemanager DMS by means of PHP stream-wrapper and WebDAV, ACL control on directories and files - the new architecture allows now uploading of big files.
  • Implementation of new functions like multiple mail accounts and many bugfixes in the email client.
  • Extensive new features for the tracker-application: for example escalation-matrix for tickets and automatic mail-conversion as a ticket.
  • Improved calendar functions especially with recurring-events.
  • Supplements and adaptations in the addressbook like appointment-view, custom fields, distribution lists shown in the contact directly and in the addressbook list, multiple categorization of contacts in the addressbook list.
  • Improvement of the template functionality of the project manager and some bugfixes.
  • New theme for the 1.6 release
  • Massive bug fixes for SyncML
  • Many useful extensions and adaptations as well as bug-fixes in all modules.[1]

eBox Desktop

As I reported a couple of weeks ago, eBox now has desktop support for Ubuntu, meaning that  you can have centralized log-in and automatic application configuration for these applications:
  • Evolution (Mail service): The mail account of the user is read from LDAP and added.
  • Nautilus (File sharing): Links to the samba user share and all group shares for the user are added on the desktop.
  • Ekiga (VoIP): The asterisk account for the user is added. A workaround is needed to ask the user for the password before start Ekiga the first time because it can't do it if it isn't specified in the configuration.
  • Pidgin (Jabber service): The jabber account of the user (if it has one) is added. It also adds a conference to its buddy list for each group that the user belongs to.
  • Firefox (EGroupware & User corner): Links to these two services are added to the bookmarks toolbar. Currently it only works if the user corner port is the default one (8888).
eBox Desktop only works with Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty for right now.

Getting eBox

If you need a server (or servers) for your SMB, look to eBox to offer:
  • Firewall
  • Network infrastructure
  • VPN
  • Mail server
  • Web server
  • Groupware
  • File sharing
  • Directory services
  • Chat server
  • VOIP, and
  • Updates
Go to the eBox website to learn more.


  1. July 22, 2009 3:39 AM

    Can I make it work on ubuntu 9.04 (vbox 1.2)?

  2. July 22, 2009 7:50 PM

    eBox runs on well-supported (i.e. LTS) versions, just like all good server software should. You'll need to run it on 8.04, and the installer image comes with both eBox 1.2 and Ubuntu 8.04.


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