SME Server:Documentation:Developers Manual:Chapter11
III. How to create an SME Server package - step by step
The best way to get started is to install an SME Server and start experimenting with it. Download a copy from SME_Server:Download and burn your own CD.
If you (or any developers at your organization) have multiple computers on a home network, a cablemodem, DSL, or dialup connection, and an old Pentium machine that you don't need, we recommend installing the SME Server software on the old Pentium machine, and using it as a home gateway and firewall.
Alternatively, you can install the SME Server on a corporate LAN in server/gateway mode (creating a small private network behind a firewall that occupies a single IP address on the Internet) or in server-only mode - in which the SME Server provides network services to other computers as a peer on the network.
In addition to feeling comfortable installing and using the SME Server software, you should also have a working knowledge of Linux, including use of the command line tools.
You should also be familiar with the perl programming language. Most of the SME Server software is written in perl, and the configuration template mechanism is based on perl.
It is strongly recommended that you obtain and read a copy of the book Maximum RPM (ISBN 067231 1054) or study the on-line version available at http://www.rpm.org/max-rpm/.
You also need to know how to use one of the Linux text editors such as vi, nano or pico. It is also possible to edit files on a remote machine and copy them to the server. However, it is important that the files are converted to Unix text format.
Creating a development environment
Packages which do not require compilation, for example shell and perl scripts, can be built on the SME Server platform. All of the examples in this documentation can be performed on a standard SME Server installation.
Before attempting to compile any software, you should check whether the package is available from one of the many well-maintained RPM repositories. Using these RPMs will ensure compatibility with the other RPMs on the SME Server. You are likely to find the package you want in either the CentOS or Dag Wieers repositories.
If an RPM does not already exist, you should install a CentOS developer workstation or server for SME Server development. You will also need to install the e-smith-devtools packages which can be found on the SME Server CD.