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21
Apr

ClearOS Roadmap Update - Version 5.2 and 6.0

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

In case you missed it, Red Hat just announced the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Beta.  We heard unofficial timelines earlier this year and adjusted the roadmap to reflect the expected Red Hat release dates.  Up until recently, we were not sure if the post ClearOS 5.2 release was going to be 5.3 or 6.0.   It's official -- it will be 6.0.

Just to update you on the expected release dates for ClearOS, a 5. 2 alpha/beta will be available in May/June with a final release available in June/July.  Let me pre-empt the question that many people will ask -- when is 6.0 coming?  The answer is ... drum roll ... when it's ready.  Yes I know...  a cliche. 

Here's why...

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10
Apr

Princess and the ClearOS Module - Part 2 of 4

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

In Part 1, we found an ideal solution in Philesight for determining where our disk space usage is being consumed.  In part 2, we'll get this software installed on our ClearOS server and functioning.

Put on your developer hat (no, not that kind of developer), and let's get started. Unfortunately, due to this being a 4 part blog, at some point, I'm going to have to assume a base level of technical knowledge.  Accessing the Unix command line, basic shell commands and using a text editor falls into that 'required knowledge' category.  If you're really new to Linux and have yet to jump into to the command line, you'll find some useful resources here, here and here.

Most software for Linux will have dependencies.  A dependency means the software you are intent on installing requires (or is dependent on) other software having been installed correctly, and of a compatible version.  Rather than re-writing a library to perform some task that's already been written, developers are naturally lazy beings and will jump through hoops not to create work for themselves.  Hence, they rely on other software libraries, applications or even languages to be installed, in order for their 'widget' to function properly.

Installing software on a Linux distribution can really be a quick turn-off to a new user coming from the Windows world when one gets into dependency hell.  In part 4 of this series, our goal will be to make installing this module simple (i.e. one click on a page in Webconfig). For now, because we're breaking new ground on this module, we need to follow the installation requirements listed on the Philesight website so that it will function correctly.

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09
Apr

ClearOS Enterprise 5.1 User Guide...Now Available In All Its Glory

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

We know you've been asking for more documentation and we've delivered.  ClearOS Enterprise 5.1 now has a much more robust user guide.  It's available on the ClearCenter website. 
http://www.clearcenter.com/support/documentation/clearos_enterprise_5.1/user_guide/start

 

The user guide includes:

  • System Preparation
  • Install/Post Install
  • Directory Modules
  • Network Modules
  • Gateway Modules
  • Server Modules
  • System Modules
  • Reports
  • Appendix

 

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01
Apr

Schwarzenegger Endorses ClearOS!

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

Its always open season on the execs on April 1st! The ClearCenter Team conspired to trick our fearless leader Michael Proper with an endorsement by Arnold Schwarzenegger! With a bit of creative programming and some bold faced plagiarism, we mocked up a fully functional copy of the Sacramento Bee web site in our internal servers and spiced up a recent Arnold quote with a raving endorsement of ClearOS! We even included a few juicy comments by celebs and a photo caption!

We had him until he hit the April fool's date at the end of the article. Good for a laugh!

Happy April Fool's Day from ClearCenter!

See Screenshots of the prank below.

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29
Mar

Princess and the ClearOS Module - Part 1 of 4

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

Ever have the feeling "ClearOS is good piece of software...maybe even great. I just wish it had __________".  All around the world, in 22 different languages, I'm sure the ending to that sentence has been completed with an equally broad range of functions - from running a media server used for streaming music and movies to your TV to cooking up a corn-beef on rye. For those that are interested, the former is coming soon while the latter...well, maybe never and definitely not from me...I'm not a big fan of the salted beef.

At any rate, I had this exact feeling over the weekend when I started wondering how I managed to fill up a 140 GB hard disk drive on my ClearOS server at home.  Seems the combination of having two girls under the age of 5 has a rather exponential effect of disk space usage with:

a) the number of digital photos of the two of them growing up (Doh! I had to buy the 15.1 megapixel model)

b) the astounding number of princess movies one can downlo....ahem, collect

But I digress, and I'm only going to get myself into copyright trouble. I know about Bash's "du" using a wack of parameters and possibly having to resort to piping the output to yet more cryptic bash commands...

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23
Mar

l7-filter Finds a New Home with ClearFoundation

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

l7-filter -- the Application Layer Packet Classifier for Linux -- Finds a New Home with ClearFoundation

The L7-filter software is a vibrant open source project.  The software is an application layer packet classifier that can differentiate types of network traffic by protocol; for example it can identify bittorrent, IRC, SIP and many other types of traffic.   In turn, these classifiers can be used to block or shape traffic according to a defined network policy. L7-filter is a very reputable project that has been integrated with ClearOS for some time.

ClearFoundation has been handed the reins and will take on maintenance for the project!  That means the capable ClearFoundation development team will be maintaining the code base, improving features, co-ordinating with other developers and updating software as needed. Documentation, bug tracking, testing, protocol filter definitions, and user feedback round out other maintenance tasks.  With the already thousands strong community and an open source not-for-profit foundation supporting the initiative, maintaining l7-filter is a good fit.

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05
Mar

ClearOS Enterprise 5.1 Service Pack 1 Released

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

March is here and so is Service Pack 1 for ClearOS Enterprise 5.1!

From time to time, Service Packs are released with all the latest updates and bug fixes included.  If you have the original release installed, there is no need to re-install or upgrade.  All you need to do is install the updates from the ClearCenter > Software Updates page in webconfig and you will have an up-to-date system.   You can find technical information in the
Service Pack Release Information Notes
.

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24
Feb

Call For Participation From The Russian Community

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

The following is an excerpt from a message read last week in our first developers web conference.  The ClearFoundation exists to facilitate collaboration between all types of peoples and cultures to advance the usability and proliferation of ClearOS around the world.

"My name is Valeria and I am representing Pavel Vorko from Dimitrovgrad (Russia) and Maxim Savin from Moscow (Russia) who are here to represent the Russian speaking community of ClearOS and we are glad to greet all members of the ClearFoundation.

We realize the large scope and significance of the project. We also understand that the founders and developers expect active participation and contribution from the international community. We are ready to collaborate with ClearFoundation in the following ways:

  • Provide help in project organization and interacting between our communities.
  • Revision of existing modules/components, development of additional modules, and the distribution of ClearOS in Russia and neighboring countries.
  • Teaching and certifying of computer professionals and creating resource materials for Russian speaking people.

We would like to thank all the members for your attention."

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17
Feb

ClearOS Development Meetings - Update

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

Hello everyone.  This is a follow up to the previous announcement.

The meeting time has been moved 90 minutes to accommodate commute times in Europe and the west coast of North America.  It is now scheduled for Friday, February 19 @ 12:30 pm Eastern time.  Apologies for the time change!  We will be using the Dimdim online web-conferencing tool for the meeting.  You can learn more about Dimdim and sign up for the meeting here.

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10
Feb

ClearOS Development Meetings - Kickoff Event

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

The Development Team is organizing regular online meetings to discuss ClearOS milestones and roadmap topics.   The meetings are open to everyone and are a chance for developers, beta testers, translators, neoentomologists, documentation gurus and anyone interested in ClearOS development to openly discuss the state of the platform.

The first part of all meetings are high level discussions on ClearOS. This is a chance for the non-geeks to participate in important policy decisions. As the meeting progresses, discussion will start to delve deeper into technical topics. You have been warned!

The kick-off meeting is going to held Friday, February 19 2010 @ 12:30 p.m. Eastern.  We'll post an update early next week on how to join the online meeting (we are evaluating Dimdim right now).   You find the proposed agenda here.

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05
Feb

ClearFoundation Issues Patch For Security Issue With Samba

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

ClearFoundation has issued a patch to Samba for ClearOS.  Samba provides much of the file service and Windows networking components for ClearOS. Earlier today the Samba team issued a statement indicating that all versions of Samba should have a key configuration parameter updated.  The security risk is not high because the file access requires both a secure connection (LAN or VPN, not the Internet) and valid username/password into Samba section of the ClearOS system.  Data on the system is still protected with standard system file permissions.

This patch will take effect on all ClearOS servers which are receiving software updates at their next update cycle.

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03
Feb

ClearCenter Gives To Mercy Corps

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

One of our customers is Mercy Corps in Portland, OR.  They are a global relief agency helping those in need around the world.  During a recent conversation, they described their first hand knowledge of the devastation in Haiti.  They are on the ground delivering needed supplies and resources.

Haiti's capital city is said to be "flattened," and officials say the number of dead may top 100,000.

Mercy Corps is deploying a team of relief workers to the island to help meet survivors' most urgent needs -- like shelter, food and clean water. They've responded to dozens of disasters like this in the past, such as earthquakes in Peru in 2007, in Pakistan and China in 2008, and in Padang, Indonesia last year.

ClearCenter began a donation page to Mercy Corps to help with funds for their efforts in Haiti.  Please check out the ClearCenter Gives page for more info -- http://www.mercycorps.org/fundraising/clearcentergives -- and please consider making a gift on behalf of their campaign.

Thank you!  The ClearCenter Team

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02
Feb

ClearCenter Unveils Global Network of Cloud-Based Services via ClearSDN

Posted by on in ClearFoundation
ClearSDN is live!  

 

Headline:  ClearSDN global data centers connect to ClearOS installations to monitor and update software, content, resources and services

 

We are proud to announce that the ClearSDN service is live and in full service.  Each ClearOS installation can be registered to receive software updates as well as valuable content updates and monitoring services.  One of our most popular services is content filter updates to keep your Internet traffic content safe and clean!  

 

Here is a link to the press release:
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19
Jan

The Small Business Server Replacement is Clear(OS)

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

 Microsoft still has a stranglehold on the desktop and servers for small business. While wheels are in motion for the former, the answer to the latter may already be here.

When it comes to the Internet, Linux is a big win.

Mail and web servers, databases, computational clusters and supercomputers all belong to the domain of free software. When it comes to embedded devices, Linux is also king of the roost.

There are two main areas where Linux has still not broken through, however - the desktop and servers for small business. Many small to medium enterprises are already “Microsoft shops” because the desktops run Windows. To break in, Linux needs to slot into these environments without causing a fuss.

Certainly the cloud is offering one solution to this problem, but not all companies are willing to put their sensitive data on-line and in the hands of another. So, a market for local servers to perform these functions is still alive and well.


The requirements

Part of the reason that Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) is attractive is that it includes many core features required by a company, out of the box. Important services like central authentication, email, file and print sharing and web. Perhaps most important of all is calendaring. It’s something which businesses simply cannot survive without and has been a thorn in the side of Linux based alternatives for a long time.

Here’s a quick glance at some of the main features included with SBS:

  • Centralized Authentication (LDAP)
  • Primary Domain Controller (Samba)
  • File and Print Services (Samba and CUPS)
  • Mail (SMTP, POP, IMAP, Webmail)
  • Calendaring (Kolab groupware)
  • Webserver (Apache)
  • Firewall plus intrusion protection (iptables, Snort)
  • Antimalware (Clam Antivirus, Antiphishing, Antispyware)
  • Antispam (Spamassassin)
  • Database (MySQL)
  • Virtual Private Network (IPSec, OpenVPN, PPTP)
  • Web Proxy (Squid)

The complexity of these individual components is hidden behind the web based management interface, where users can simply turn on and off these modules as required.

While users are encouraged to administer the system via the provided management interface, it is also designed to be extensible. The back end is not hidden away, but offered up in plain sight for admins to get right in and change things if they want to. Various how-tos provide details on how to perform extra functions, such as enabling shell access for users.

ClearOS supports external modules, that is extra services outside of those included by default. This is part of the design goal of the operating system which will hopefully foster collaboration and increase its range of useful features. It is possible to replace the default groupware server with a more sophisticated one or even create new custom modules, such is the flexibility.

The included Kolab groupware server is reasonable, however it appears that a connector for Outlook must be purchased separately, such as that from Toltec or KONSEC. A feature rich, but rather unattractive, web client is also included via Horde. Linux users can have native support through KDE’s Kontact application, or Mozilla’s Thunderbird and the Sync Kolab addon.

The installer is straight forward and supports both hardware and software RAID. During installation the user is able to select a number of services to include, however these can also be configured at a later stage via the web management interface.

The web-based management interface is very intuitive and easy to follow. Server features are broken up into sections, such as Directory, Network, System and Gateway, where admins can configure various components thereof. Everything, from adding a user to configuring an IPSec VPN is a matter of a few simple steps. Within 5 minutes an administrator can have a fully functional Windows domain server, with all the bells and whistles. Pretty neat, eh?

Also built into the interface are various reports, such as the state of system resources, traffic usage and analysis, mail and web server statistics, as well as good old system logs.


ClearOS Web Management Interface

It would be good to see some improvements in the interface, to provide greater feedback. While installing packages for example, the interface appears to be doing nothing, while it is in fact downloading or installing. Reading the install log makes sense, but only if you know what you’re looking for. It would be great to see a simple feedback method in addition to the log. A rotating orange swirl while performing the task would suffice, turning green upon completion. It’s also a shame that there is no 64 bit version, however this might come at a later date if warranted.

Despite this, ClearOS is truly a decent replacement for Windows SBS. It has all the features yet is simple to manage and has the full power of Linux and free software right behind it.

 

Read Entire Article Here

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19
Jan

ClearFoundation Infrastructure and Developer Tools

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

A late happy new year to everyone!

We are making progress on building out the necessary infrastructure to develop ClearOS.   Some of the infrastructure is new, while other parts are migrating over from the old ClarkConnect system.

On January 14 2010,  the Bug Tracker  was added to the web site.  If you suspect that you have found a bug, we really do appreciate it when you take the time and effort to report them.  Without the feedback, it makes it difficult to make future releases better and more bug free!

In the next week or so, the source code repositories will be coming online.  In addition, we have three other pieces of infrastructure under active development:

  • A feature/wishlist system
  • A new translation system that will make life easier for translators
  • A new build system that will pave the way for 64-bit support

We'll post a message when these tools are available.

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22
Dec

ClearOS 5.1 Final Version and ClearSDN Beta Released

Posted by on in ClearFoundation
ClearOS 5.1 software and ClearSDN services are live!  
 
We're live and the doors are open!  ClearFoundation released the ClearOS Enterprise 5.1 final version,  and ClearCenter has opened ClearSDN services (beta) for business.  We want to thank all the beta testers, partners and customers who have offered such valuable feedback on the launch of the products and services.  Enjoy!
 
What's new:
  • Antiphishing
  • Windows 7 Support
  • Graphical Console Tool
  • Improved Usability and Web Interface
In addition, the following new services from ClearSDN are now available:
Now you can download the leading network and gateway server for small business and distributed environments with ClearSDN services and ClearCARE support from ClearCenter.  More information is provided in the following links:
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18
Dec

ClearOS Enterprise 5.1 Release Candidate 2

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

ClearOS Enteprise 5.1 Release Candidate 2 is now available!  This second release candidate has all the features available and is ready for production use.   You won't be able to register the system with ClearCenter quite yet... please stay tuned!  

 

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09
Dec

ClearFoundation Named Finalist in 2010 SC Magazine Awards for Best Security Software Development Solution

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

Salt Lake City, Utah, December 8, 2009 – ClearFoundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the proliferation of ClearOS, a leading open source network, gateway and server operating system, has been named a finalist in the Best Security Software Development Solution category in the 2010 SC Awards for outstanding achievement in information technology (IT) security. ClearOS was named as a premiere solution in the Reader Trust Award competition, which honors best-in-class security products and services.

 

ClearOS was selected from more than 600 entries submitted in more than 31 technology categories. All finalists will be reviewed and winners will be chosen by the Reader Trust Voting Panel – comprised of security and technology experts from large, medium and small enterprises from all major vertical markets – representing the wide distribution of SC Magazine readers.

 

“ClearOS is among today’s most respected security products as chosen by our panel,” said SC Magazine Editor-in-Chief Illena Armstrong. “Security is a key challenge for IT organizations and businesses worldwide and our readers recognize that organizations like ClearFoundation are helping them meet their security challenges.”

 

As the industry’s preeminent awards program, the annual SC Awards has recognized security’s key contributors and outstanding products for more than a decade. The SC Awards are designed to honor the professionals, companies and products that help fend off the myriad security threats confronted in today's corporate world. Individuals, brands and solutions recognized in the program address not only the security challenges prominent today, but also the emerging threat “ClearFoundation is pleased to be recognized by SC Magazine as a leading provider of security solutions,” said Michael Proper, ClearFoundation.He continued, “ClearOS, combined with ClearSDN cloud-based services from ClearCenter, forms a unique IT offering that can be tailored to the needs of small and distributed IT environments. With installations in over 80 countries in 20 languages, we are quickly growing to be the pre-eminent solution for network, gateway and server functionality with the reliable security of cloud-based services.

 

Winners of this year’s SC Awards will be announced at a gala dinner and award ceremony to be held in San Francisco on Tuesday, March 2, 2010. The event is an evening filled with excitement and offers an invaluable opportunity to network with the top corporate IT professionals in attendance. To attend the SC Awards, please register at http://www.scmagazineus.com/sc-magazine-awards-2010/section/1053/

 

About SC Magazine

SC Magazine provides IT security professionals with in-depth and unbiased information through timely news, comprehensive analysis, cutting-edge features, contributions from thought-leaders and the best, most extensive collection of product reviews in the business. By offering a consolidated view of IT security through independent product tests and well-researched editorial content that provides the contextual backdrop for how these IT security tools will address larger demands put on businesses today, SC Magazine enables IT security pros to make the right security decisions for their companies. Besides the monthly print magazine and daily website, the brand’s portfolio includes the SC Awards,SC Directory, SC Magazine Newswire and the annual SC World Congress conference and expo.

 

Become a fan of SC Magazine on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

About ClearFoundation

ClearFoundation is an Incorporated Society dedicated to the vision that every small organization and distributed IT environment on the globe deserves proper security, filtration, and management tools. Internet access is the great equalizer in economics, but each network requires security and management. ClearFoundation is dedicated to providing essential IT tools to everyone that needs them. More information is available at www.clearfoundation.com, Facebook, and Twitter.

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05
Dec

ClearOS Enterprise 5.1 Release Candidate 1

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

The ClearOS Enterprise 5.1 Release Candidate #1 is here!  Though there are a handful of low impact items to address, the software is stable and ready for the masses.  The highlights since the last beta release include:

  • A new antiphishing engine
  • Improved Windows 7 support
  • Improved menu system
  • Updated bandwidth management engine 

Please review the release notes for more details. 

The registration and ClearSDN services will be activated in the next week so you will have to hold on for a few more days to take advantage of those services.  We are one step closer... stay tuned!

Download ClearOS 5.1 RC1 here.

 

 

 

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19
Nov

ClearOS Sneak Peek....Exclusive Screenshots

Posted by on in ClearFoundation

We thought we'd drop you all an early Christmas gift and release some screenshots of the new ClearOS interface.  We won't say when it will be released....just that it is coming soon! 

The interface has been tested in all major browsers and will be accessible via netbook, laptop, desktop, tablet and even mobile devices (Android/iPhone).

You'll notice that we've changed up the menu items a bit.  This reflects the  complete solution ClearOS brings to SMBs to manage every layer of the LAN environment:

  • Network Layer
  • Gateway Layer
  • Server Layer 
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