Software center

Note

For the old Server Manager see Legacy software center.

NethServer is highly modular: at the end of the installation a bare minimum set of features like network configuration and backup are installed. The Software Center page allows the administrator to select and install additional applications, and also list and update the already installed software packages.

An application is usually constituted by multiple packages. It extends the system functionality. For instance a module can transform NethServer into an Email server, or a Web proxy.

A software package is an atomic unit of software. It is published by a public software repository. NethServer packages are files in the RPM [1] file format. Thus within this context the terms package and RPM can be used as synonyms.

Applications installation

The Applications section lists all modules that can be installed. This list can be filtered by category. To install an application, check the corresponding box and click on Install applications.

Once a module has been installed, it is listed under the Applications page.

Software updates

Enterprise and community subscriptions

NethServer receives controlled updates from a set of managed software repositories. See Automatic update procedure to receive new features and fix bugs and security issues.

Community without subscription

A NethServer 7 system receives updates from different software projects:

  • the NethServer project itself [2]
  • the CentOS project [3]
  • the EPEL repository [4]

Each project releases software updates according to its specific rules and development cycle, but all of them prefer software stability over bleeding edge features.

Refer to the Community forum [5] and Release notes 7 for more information about NethServer updates.

Updates released by the CentOS project are immediately available on NethServer directly from the CentOS mirrors. Only updates for the current system release (i.e. “7.6.1804”) are considered, until a manual upgrade to the next system release is started.

More info about CentOS updates:

Updates released by EPEL are immediately available from the official EPEL mirrors. As EPEL is not bound to the current system release number, the Software Center always installs the latest available software versions from EPEL.

More info about EPEL updates:

Hint

Even if the above projects strive for software stability, care is necessary to check if the updates fit well together. Every time the system is going to be updated, create a backup of the data and review the updates changelog to understand what is going to happen. If possible, test the updates in a non-production system. For any doubt ask the NethServer community forum! [5]

Manual update procedure

When updates are available, the list of new packages is available under the Updates section.

Further details are available clicking the Changelog button.

To expand the list of updates, cick on the Details button, you can then update a single NethServer package by clicking on the Update button. To start a full system update click the Update all button.

Hint

On community machines without any type of subscription, remember to regularly update the installed software to fix bugs, security issues and receive new features

Automatic update procedure

It is possible to perform some automatic actions when new software updates are available.

  • Download and (optionally) install the updates
  • Send an email to the system administrator (root) and to an additional list of recipients

The updates availability is checked by a task that runs at a random time overnight. To configure the update policy click on the Configure button.

Hint

If the notification email is not delivered or is marked as spam, it is possible to configure a smarthost

References

[1]RPM Package Manager – http://rpm.org
[2]NethServer – http://www.nethserver.org
[3]CentOS – Community ENTerprise Operating System https://www.centos.org/
[4]EPEL – Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/EPEL
[5](1, 2) NethServer community forum – http://community.nethserver.org