MaheshaBSD Server Edition – document sharing server

Juraj from the MaheshaBSD Project has announced the MaheshaBSD Server Edition.

The objective of MaheshaBSD Server is to provide users and small businesses/institutions a way to operate the simplest and least demanding FTP/WWW server for the purpose of sharing documents (information). MaheshaBSD Server can be used both for an in-house document sharing or over the internet.

MaheshaBSD Server Edition comes as a USB image and its purpose is to show Windows users the flexibility of running FreeBSD off a USB flash drive.

It immediately supports quotas; and also a possibility to redirect a NTFS drive via mount_nullfs to MaheshaBSD Server, so that users can just simply copy any file to my easy to use FTP/WWW server, as you can see on the picture attached in this email (not many BSD LiveCD’s support writing to NTFS drives unfortunately).

Some of the features included (taken from the Documentation):

  • Portability – with a straightforward FTP/WWW server running off the USB flash drive it is much easier to come up with such a flash drive to any computer available on your in-house (or home) network (LAN) than to disassemble your computer and put the hard drive to another computer where an operating system is already running;
  • No need to purchase expensive licenses for an operating system because MaheshaBSD Server is itself an operating system (FreeBSD);
  • Immediate possibility to use this server – users without any knowledge of Unix can use easy to use free programs such as WinSCP (a Windows GUI application for copying data via SFTP) – they will just copy files into MaheshaBSD Server’s FTP/WWW directory and they will be immediately displayed in a browser;
  • By setting up IP Forwarding on ports 21 (FTP), 22 (SSH), 80 (HTTP) in your router settings you will have an instant possibility to operate a public Internet FTP/WWW server;
  • Security – as long as your FTP (or WWW) server is not running in Windows as a separate program, the environment where certain cleverer individuals may  always find a way to steal your sensitive data (in case you choose a Windows FTP/web server software with unreported security holes), you will be in a great advantage as regards security;
  • A possibility to mount NTFS/FAT32 disks/flash drives/USB hard drives and use them as a place for FTP/WWW data storage. Both editions – MaheshaBSD and MaheshaBSD Server – can easily mount NTFS disks for write access, a feature not available in many BSD LiveCD distributions;
  • Remote Admin.

The full MaheshaBSD Server Edition documentation can be read here (pdf).

MaheshaBSD Server Edition is free for personal use and businesses are required to buy a  $200 license.

We have not been able to test the Server Edition yet, but a $200 license is quite a fee for a document server licens. It would be interesting to see how MaheshaBSD Server Edition compares with FreeNAS 8.2. We may do a comparison a some point in the future.

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