Migration from NethService/SME Server

Migration is the process to convert a SME Server/NethService machine (source) into a NethServer (destination).

  1. In the source host, create a full backup archive and move it to the destination host.

  2. In the destination host, install all packages that cover the same features of the source.

  3. Explode the full backup archive into some directory; for instance, create the directory /var/lib/migration.

  4. In NethServer, signal the event migration-import:

    signal-event migration-import /var/lib/migration

    This step will require some time.

  5. Check for any error message in /var/log/messages:

    grep -E '(FAIL|ERROR)' /var/log/messages


No custom template is migrated during the migration process. Check the new template files before copying any custom fragment from the old backup.


Before running NethServer in production, some considerations about the network and existing mail client configurations are required: what ports are in use, if SMTPAUTH and TLS are enabled. Refer to Client configuration and Special SMTP access policies sections for more informations.

In a mail server migration, the source mail server could be on production even after the backup has been done, and email messages continue to be delivered until it is taken down permanently.

An helper rsync script is provided by package nethserver-mail-server, to re-synchronize destination mailboxes with the source host: /usr/share/doc/nethserver-mail-server-<VERSION>/sync_maildirs.sh. It runs on the destination host:

  ./sync_maildirs.sh [-h] [-n] [-p] -s IPADDR
      -h          help message
      -n          dry run
      -p PORT     ssh port on source host (default 22)
      -s IPADDR   rsync from source host IPADDR

The source host at IPADDR must be accessible by the root user, through ssh with public key authentication.