The SME Server is a software package that can be installed on a standard PC in less than thirty minutes, converting it into a complete, easy-to-use network server and firewall. The SME Server is based on the CentOS Linux server distribution, packaged in such a way that no knowledge of Linux is required to install or operate it. The CentOS packages are used unmodified, and configured automatically to emulate "best practice" from expert system administrators.
The SME Server runs on commodity PC hardware, and supports a range of configurations and devices such as:
RAID disk mirroring
Wide variety of network cards
Parallel port, USB or network printers
A variety of Internet connectivity options, including cablemodem, DSL/PPPoE, static IP and dialup
Software for the SME Server is packaged using RPM Package Manager (RPM) system. Existing packages from CentOS and other third-party developers are used, wherever posssible. The SME Server uses the "best of breed" packages from the open source community. The design of the system allows for easy replacement of the packages if better choices become available. The current packages in use are: