2. Features in layman's terms
2.3 Electronic mail
2.4 User management
3. Features (in technical terms)
ServerAtschool is a Linux-based network server optimised for speed and
security. It can be used to drive networks with hundred or more client
3.2 Basic options server
3.3 Basic options clients
The features of the server are developed especially for primary
schools. In short, its services include: webserver, content management
system for the website, mailserver, flexible tool for user management,
chroot jail for users, hourly backups of user documents, nightly
(off-site) backups, spam control, name server, DHCP, printer server,
webmail, virusscan, firewall, database server, proxyserver,
fileserver for Windows client computers, time server and a secure
shell. After the complete installation a school will have a
rock-solid, fully functional and above all secure server.
In the remainder of this chapter we describe the features of the
combination of the ServerAtSchool server and Windows workstations.
Sometimes the same feature appears twice.
Is the item 'webmail' a web or a mail feature?
A description of the features (in non-technical terms) of ServerAtSchool 1.0.
- On every workstation in school you can work with your own documents.
- You can share documents with workgroups like faculty, staff,
principals, healthcare committee, pupils, etc.
- At home you can work with the documents on the school server via
an encrypted (safe) connection.
- Hourly backups of all documents. Very easy system (requires no
systems administrator intervention) to restore lost documents.
- Teachers can simply copy material to pupils folders.
- Teachers can check pupils folders.
- Every pupil or grade has its own 'My Documents' folder with
automatic backups which they can manage themselves.
- Internet access on every computer in school. Safe access when
- One or more websites for the school.
- A Content Management System specially designed for primary
- Pupils have their own webpages, supervised by teachers.
- Easy maintenance of the website from everywhere, lots of optional
extras (multiple calendars, guestbook, photo allbum, etc.)
- Internal website for web based educational software.
- Intranet (with password protection) for faculty and staff.
- Webmail (see below).
- Webmail with fine grained access control: no access, only
accessible at school, acessible from anywhere, access from
specific locations outside the school.
- Unlimited number of e-mail addresses and aliases.
- All mail, including attachments, is scanned for computer virusses.
- Very simple account creation and management of pupils, groups of
pupils, faculty, teams, working groups, staff, etc.
- Promoting pupil accounts or groups to the next grade with a couple of
mouseclicks. Easy excluding of pupils that need to repeat a grade.
- Flexible import function for pupil data (name, grade, etc.)
This permits mass creation and mass-promotion to the next grade of
- Workgroups (for example, healthcare committee, parents
council, board of directors, etc.) can have shared
folders. Exchange of documents is very easy, also from home.
- Roaming profiles: when users log in they automatically get their
- Very simple management and assignment of software for groups and
- CD images are created on the server with two mouseclicks. They can
be played everywhere. No hassling with CD's in school, No CD
player in computers in school. No wear and tear of CD's.
- A complete system for backups that need NO attention. No fiddling
around with tapes, removable racks, USB devices, etc.
- Everyone owns his own backups that are automatically made. No
sysadmin or ICT person needed to search through backups.
- Encrypted backups of the complete server can safely be stored at a
partner school. So, in case of a fire, within two days the server with all
its valuable content can be up and running again.
- Free virusscanner for the Windows client computers.
- Restore a broken Windows OS in minutes by downloading its image
from the server.
- Double backup of the school's management system (financial
administration, pupils administration, etc.). This backup can also
- Works on older client computers.
- Gives good performance, also on older server hardware.
- When a computer crashes, or someone ruins Windows, you have a new
operating system in 10 minutes.
- Protection against viruses and spam with free programs.
- Protection against intruders (firewall).
- Off site management of the server with a safe and encrypted
- The system software is very stable and desighned for mission
- The server is 100% documented. Of every part a comprehensive
descriptions is available (installation, configuration, the
available services, optimisations, etc.)
- The client installation is fully documented (workstation setup,
software installation, tweaks, etc.).
- Extensive end user documentation.
Overview of the possibilites of ServerAtSchool 1.0 in a more
- A robust and safe server (Linux-kernel 2.4.29 with GRSecure
- Robust filesystem (ReiserFS).
- Automatic performance of tasks per hour/day/week/month (Vixie
- Connection to internet via cable or xDSL.
- Secure shell (OpenSSH 3.9p1).
- System is unaccessible for normal users (chroot'ed
- Nameserver (Bind 9.2.4).
- Automatic processing of logfiles (Logcheck 1.1.1).
- Port scan detetion and blocking via firewall
- Programmable webserver (Apache 2.0.53 with PHP 4.3.10).
- Database server (MySQL 4.0.23a).
- Mailserver (Exim 4.44).
- Protection against spam, integrated in mailserver
- Protection against viruses integrated in mailserver (ClamAV 0.83).
- Workstions can be protected agaist viruses via server with
auto-update of virusdefinitions(ClamAV 0.83)
- POP3-server (tpopd 1.5.3).
- Windows fileserver (Samba 3.0.7).
- Automatic IP-address assignment for clients (ISC DHCP
- Limitation of used disk space for users (Quota 3.09).
- Automatic time synchronization for server and clients (Ntp
- Auto update (security fixes) of the system (Autoupdate
- Content management system for website (Site@School
- Hourly backup of 'My Documents' (BU 3.3beta + patch).
- Nightly (encrypted) backup; on-site and off-site (REOback 1.0
+ patch, des 4.04b).
- Simple, web based tools for users and application management.(Janitor 0.9.6).
- Proxyserver (Squid 2.5).
- Firewall (GIPtables 1.1a en IPTables 1.2.11).
- Webmail (Squirrelmail 1.4.3a).
- Mailing lists (Mailman 2.1.2).
- Utilities, for example for USB-disk (usbutils 0.11,
- Making/restoring disk images for Windows-clients (G4U
- Virtual CD on Windows-clients (Daemon Tools 3.46).
- Access to 'My Documents' at school from home computer via an
encrypted connection (WinSCP 3.6.1).
Authors: Dirk Schouten <schoutdi (at) knoware.nl> and Peter Fokker <peter (at) berestijn.nl>
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