SME Server:Advice

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Advice for SME Server Users

The following page details some general good advice for new and existing SME Server Users.

Community Participation

  • SME Server is Open Source and Free to Use, but please Donate to SME Server running costs.
  • To enhance your understanding and user experience of SME Server, DO participate in the Community
  • Verify a bug or two for the next release ie SME9.
  • Have a reasonable & respectful attitude when using the Forums.
  • Post bugs or potential bugs to Bugzilla first (rather than the forums).


  • Read the Manuals two or three times
  • Read the Developers Manual/Guide
  • Read the FAQ's
  • Read the Howto pages as there are many useful tutorials and additional information articles that are not in the manuals eg db commands, db command tutorial and so on.
  • Read the Contribution pages as there are many useful add on applications that extend the functionality of SME Server.
  • Even read Howto and Contribution wiki articles that you are not interested in, as they give wonderful clues as to approaches to take when making customisations to your server.

SME Server - General Advice

  • Try to keep your SME Server as "bog standard" as possible, as you will likely have less problems when upgrading.
  • Preferably use only customisations that are well proven and available on the SME Server site.
  • Read the advice for Adding New Software
  • Install less add on's rather than more
  • Only install add on's that you absolutely need to have.
  • Make sure you have a functional backup system in place eg attached USB drive (formatted to ext3), and check your backup actually works. Ideally do a test restore to prove the whole backup/restore system works as expected. Only then can you have confidence that it will do the job on that day somewhere in the future when you are really, really dependant on getting you server up and running from a backup.
  • There is a default backup to workstation option based on Dar, that will backup to a USB. Other backup options exist.

SME Server - Configuration

  • SME Server uses an automated template system for much of its configuration
  • Do not change configuration files directly.
  • Learn about the templating system, and how it creates the configuration files. In particular see the Developers Manual and Template Tutorial for some understanding
  • Do not change template fragment files directly, always create custom template fragments.
  • Learn about the db commands as many (not all) settings can be configured with a db command. See DB Command Tutorial for further information.
  • If you cannot do something in the server-manager GUI, look to see if there is a command line DB Variables Configuration available to achieve what you want. If not then you probably need to create custom templates.
  • Realize that the web based http://yourdomain.tld/server-manager is the GUI control panel for SME and that all changes made there interact with many different functional systems within SME eg on a gateway server, enabling a secure mail server component will also open the appropriate port in the firewall.

And Finally...

Have fun using SME Server !