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To: ClearOS Business Admins, I.E., those who are in charge of everything Clear

I am just one person and a pretty insignificant voice in this big world. I have used almost every iteration of ClearOS going WAY back to when it was ClarkConnect! I believe that ClarkConnect was my first foray into the Linux "appliance" world and it has always served me well as my home office router. I have tried all of the other OpenSource firewall/routers from pfSense, to Untangle to everything in between. Learned a lot but I always came back to ClearOS! ClearOS just worked and was easy to configure and with a few tweaks one could make it do anything the other distros would do. And...

We had an online expert for almost as long as I can remember, an expert always in the forums helping me (us) out. For quite a few years it was Nick Howitt. This man was such a valuable asset to me and to this forum IMHO.

Today is the first day I have seen questions in these forums go with zero replies. I fear that this will continue. I am no expert but I am certain others are and may come forward in time.

I have never supported ClearOS or ClarkConnect with money. Never bought a module and now I feel that I should have or at least Clear should have created a donation button to help keep things alive. I have done that with other semi closed - OpenSource projects.

It is my true and fervent hope that Nick still would like to work for Clear and that the issues he and the company are having can hopefully be remedied. If not, shame on Clear for letting a valuable asset get away.

To Nick Howitt: Good luck to you sir! You have always been courteous and certainly helped me a lot! And I have asked some pretty stupid questions! I wish I could buy you a pint! And I do hope you show up from time to time in these forums!

To Clear: Will ClearOS still be a leader? Will this project and company stay alive? If you're folding up, closing the doors, turning the light switch off, please let us know sooner rather than later. This kind of employee stuff just seems like a pre-cusror to more issues and problems ahead.

John
In Support
Saturday, February 05 2022, 06:23 PM
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Responses (10)
  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, March 15 2022, 10:50 PM - #Permalink
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    EXCELLENT NEWS NICK!!! So glad you're back even if the hours are reduced! Do hope you feel good about things with the company and this system can continue to do neat things, grow and make a buck or two!

    Still wish I could buy you a beer/pint!!

    John
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  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, March 15 2022, 11:51 AM - #Permalink
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    Nick Howitt wrote:

    I am back now but have elected to reduce my hours. There is a large backlog of support work needed, but I'll work my way through it and try also to start working my way through the forum posts.

    Thanks for all the support.


    Welcome back Nick !!
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  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, March 15 2022, 10:51 AM - #Permalink
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    I am back now but have elected to reduce my hours. There is a large backlog of support work needed, but I'll work my way through it and try also to start working my way through the forum posts.

    Thanks for all the support.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Tuesday, February 08 2022, 08:26 PM - #Permalink
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    My feeling is that as of now, ClearOS is dead and buried. Nick has been the only support guys for some considerable time now, and with his departure, I think the 'fat lady has sung'.

    I might be able to continue with it as my 3 servers are all behind a separate firewall and only accessed via port forwarding (email/web), and no file access from outside the local network, but I suspect that I'll have to start looking for alternatives to migrate everything to.

    So it's a 'goodbye' from me too (with thanks to Nick for all his work over the last few years).
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  • Accepted Answer

    ZonderMet
    ZonderMet
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    Monday, February 07 2022, 10:26 AM - #Permalink
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    Same for me. And I am a paying customer with a couple of licences (more then 1 user for legacy reasons).
    As an all time ambassador I've even had a Clarkconnect subscription (I was a homeowner but there was other no support option).
    ClearOS brought so much on the table.
    It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Going from the simple Clarkconnect, To the smooth ClearOS, then it was like a tsunami of new features which didn't all worked out of the box anymore.
    Then years of fine tuning. And not really understanding the direction it was going.
    Clear Glass was going the be the "thing".
    Meanwhile I was wondering what about the backup options? Windows 10 not joining the domain without some reg hacks? same with outlook on a domain? why do we still see a warning instead of the front-end? (last one eventually got solved) that didn't make a lot of sense. So many low hanging fruits are still on the table.
    I had a fantastic talk with Dave during Christmas time. Tyler tried to get a proof of concept going with my clients and the Dutch ClearOS guy.
    But then, nothing. At least from my perspective.
    Now I'm thinking about migrating my clients. I really don't know what else to do. At some point some services like updates or the cloud backup is going to stop working and nobody to help me out.
    I am paying for several business subscriptions for example a Openswan yearly licence. But I can't use it (the question is now waiting five days for a reply)
    I already miss you Nick. And thanks for all the help last decade maybe?

    If someone is still interested, I am willing to help steer this ship away from the cliffs.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Sunday, February 06 2022, 02:05 PM - #Permalink
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    John Jarrett wrote:

    I wonder how much can be forked?

    Any programmers and Linux gurus want to take on such a challenge?

    John
    I would avoid it if at all possible. Underneath it is a Centos 7 base which goes end of life in July 2024, so, for a fork, is a dead end. Centos8 no longer exists, so if you go down that route you have Alma Linux, Rocky Linux or a few others that build off Redhat 8 (or even leap to 9 as it is due out soon) but there are challenges:

    • A number of core ClearOS packages are not supplied in EL8 (therefore Alma/Rocky), such as openldap and iptables. They can be sourced from EPEL but the writing is on the wall for them
    • There is no point in doing a ClearOS8 without IPv6 support. This is a large rewrite of the webconfig and the firewall. The original plan years ago was to switch to using Network Manager.
    • In my view, the CodeIgnitor framework used in ClearOS 7 is tricky to master. Also the shell calls in PHP seem to be very expensive in processor load, or, perhaps it is just the way they have been implemented in ClearOS. Really a more suitable way or language is needed to make these shell calls.
    • The webconfig is tied into the marketplace and its back end. You would need to replace this with something else.
    I am afraid the list goes on a bit more.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 05 2022, 11:50 PM - #Permalink
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    I wonder how much can be forked?

    Any programmers and Linux gurus want to take on such a challenge?

    John
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 05 2022, 07:02 PM - #Permalink
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    John and Patrick,

    I'm in the same boat as you guys. I have used ClarkConnect and ClearOS for the better part of 15 years I guess. I've been subscribed to ClearOS Home for probably 5 years, just to provide a little support. It's a great project and I'm very hopeful they are able to keep things moving forward. However, I think that seems unlikely. I'm sure you read Michael Proper's reply to my post in January, and I'm trying to be optimistic and believe what he said. Time will tell. Good luck to Nick. He's a great asset here and will be missed. I rarely even had to ask questions on the forum. With a little digging, you could find someone else asking your same question, and Nick had an answer. And, to go back a bit... Same to Tim Burgess, Ben Chambers, Peter Baldwin, and often with a hint of sarcasm, Tony Ellis. A great group that I've always appreciated. Sorta sounds like this is my "break up" letter :)

    Bryan
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 05 2022, 06:58 PM - #Permalink
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    Thanks for your messages of support. I would love to stay involved with Clearcenter and know I can contribute a lot to the on-going support. I am open to any discussions with Clearcenter, but the ball is in their court. I don't believe there is anything I can do to move things forwards.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Saturday, February 05 2022, 06:53 PM - #Permalink
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    John,

    Well spoken.
    I've been around from Clarkconnect 3.2 and even took a paid subscribtion to support Clear and of course the benifits.
    What is going to be the way forward of ClearOS.

    Nick is/was a big support to all of us.
    Take care my friend !
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