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e-smith upgrade from 5.something to SME server 7.x

e-smith upgrade from 5.something to SME server 7.x
« on: May 13, 2008, 06:36:34 PM »
I realize this is not the correct forum, but the correct one is locked because this OS is considered deprecated. I still need to upgrade, so I am risking the wrath of the mods.

Is this a possible upgrade path? Does anyone here know of any major pitfalls? For instance, I noticed in the locked forum that someone had suggested moving to 5.6 first, then going the whole distance. And for the sake of this conversation, what if I wanted to do a complete and utter backup of the entire drive first? Is there a simple way for the untrained Linux admin? I know my questions are n00b, but I am depending on the graciousness of your users and contributors for some help.

Secondly, although it may be old hat, where could I read, on this forum or off, about the history behind how e-smith evolved into SME? I have read elsewhere that e-smith was bought by Mitel Networks and then crushed, and therefore SME rose out of the ashes like a phoenix, etc. What's the real story?

Thanks in advance for all your insight and help...

Shannon Justice
Principal Technology Architect
Hayes Software Systems
Austin, Tejas

Offline mercyh

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Re: e-smith upgrade from 5.something to SME server 7.x
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2008, 06:50:02 PM »
How many users on this machine?

I would seriously consider a new install with all user accounts rebuilt and then just transfer the data over. You are talking about a Major upgrade/change here.

Maybe as major as trying to "upgrade" a Windows 3.1 machine to XP.........

Offline warren

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Re: e-smith upgrade from 5.something to SME server 7.x
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2008, 07:55:30 PM »

I had this saved from way back when from the old wiki: I still have an original e-smith Printed / branded disk : version 4.1.2

I knew some one would find it usefull  :grin:

SME History


e-Smith Server History
SME Server was originally called "e-smith server and gateway" and was created as open-source software by the folks at e-Smith, Inc. (originally Powerframe Internetworking), founded by Joseph and Kim Morrison in early 1999. The software, based on Red Hat's popular Linux offering, quickly gained a reputation for simplicity and reliability, and a loyal following. e-Smith, Inc, was purchased by Mitel, Inc. in mid-2001, and the software, renamed SME Server v5 with ServiceLink, went through several revisions as they enhanced and extended it with many professional features to fit within their product line of small business telephone systems and vertical-market software. The SME community, which has always included many computer consultant companies, has also enhanced SME server with features requested by their customers, and then contributed them back to the community.

In late 2003 Mitel ceased active development of the software, and generously contributed its core additions, enhancements, documentation, forums, etc., to the community, enabling us to start out with the full benefit of 5+ years of experience with SME Server. Many of the community members here at contribs.org have been involved with SME Server for years.

An account of the early days
From an email to devinfo forum (10Feb2004) from Peter Samuel (Thanks, Peter!)

The e-smith Server & Gateway (now known as SME Server) was the brain child of Joe Morrison. He founded e-smith inc. Joe released his original code in the late 1990s (1999 if I remember correctly). Charlie Brady saw it and realised it would be a good fit as a server platform for various charitable and non-profit organisations to which he was donating his time and services (along with others including Gordon Rowell and myself). One of these charities was Community Aid Abroad (the Australian arm of Oxfam). The e-smith Server and Gateway was deployed in their Sydney office (replacing a previous Linux system maintained by Charlie, Gordon and myself as well as CAA staff). CAA was also working in East Timor and a version of the e-smith Server & Gateway was deployed in their East Timor site (with a number of modifications to support satellite modems and UUCP mail transport[1]).

During this time, Charlie and Gordon made contributions, modifications and bug fixes available to Joe. Gordon and I deployed the software in other commercial sites and CAA began rolling it out into their other offices across Australia. Joe was building up a strong customer base from Ottawa. Eventually, Joe was able to secure venture captial funding and began employing staff in early 2000. The company known as e-smith, inc was acquired by Mitel Networks in June 2001. The name of the product was changed to SME Server (it had other names during the transition but that's not really important here). A new revenue model was adopted[2] (ServiceLink) and over the next 2 years the focus/direction of the commercial product changed to incorporate more telephony features (Mitel is in the telephone business after all). In late 2003, Mitel decided to cease further commercial development of the product and transferred control of the GPL community infrastructure (the forums and lists etc) to the "devinfo" community.

Obviously this is a much abbreviated history. It may contain a couple of time line errors, but the information is factually correct to the best of my recollections.

[1] qmail was/is still used but remote transport was/is handled via uucp as it is more bandwidth friendly. Satellite modems cost money to run!

[2] The ServiceLink model was developed and originally coded before the acquisition but wasn't fully utilised until after the acquisition.

An account of the East Timor effort (PDF, page 6)
From an email to Ideas and Opinions forum (10Feb2004) from Gordon Rowell (Thanks, Gordon!)

"Email to Dili - you have got to be joking!", from Charlie and Gordon:


Version History
 Date   Version 
 April 1999   Version 2.02 
 August 1999   Version 3.0 
 November 1999   Version 3.1 
 July 2000   Version 4.0 
 November 2000   Version 4.0.1 
 February 2001   Version 4.1 
 February 2001   Version 4.1.1 
 March 2001   Version 4.1.2 
 Sept 2001   Version 5.0 
 January 2002   Version 5.1.2 
 July 2002   Version 5.5 
 January 2003   Version 5.6 
 December 2003   Version 6.0 
 March 2004   Version 6.0.1 
 ? 2005   Version 6.5 

Click on the links to see the readme or release notes for each version.
Mirrors Links


Organizational History
 Date   Occurrence 
 February 1999   Company founded (e-Smith, Inc.) 
 May 2000   Staff = 5 
 June 2000   $3M Redhat and Greylock investments 
 July 2000   Staff = 18 
 September 2000   New V.P., new Director 
 October 2000   Staff = 25 
 December 2000   New V.P. 
 July 2001   Bought by Mitel 
 November 2003   Mitel transitions SME Server into public development status 
 January 2004   Contribs.org begins community development phase. Web site hosted by Resource Strategies. 
 September 2004   Lycoris takes over web site hosting. Web site is moved by Ruffdogs. 
 December 2004   Lycoris ceases development efforts and site hosting 
 December 2004   Resource Strategies takes over site hosting 
 April 2005   Developers decided to move to Sourceforge 
 June 2005   Ruffdogs takes over web site hosting and posts the Social Contract 


Team Members (1999 - 2003 inclusive)
From a list compiled by Peter Samuel (if anyone is missing, please add, or let us know)

    Rebecca Anstett   Stephen Beamish   Shari Black 
    Michael Brader   Charlie Brady   Steve Brand 
    Sheila Burpee Duncan   Adrian Chung   Rob Clarke 
    Tony Clayton   Damien Curtain   Andre Danis 
    Lijie Deng   Mike Dickson   Yaser Elbatnigi 
    Linda Faust   Lisa Graziadei   Emily Gregory 
    Geoff Halprin   Pelly Heighton   Chris Houle 
    Brett Jensen   Julie Jespersen   Micheal Kelly 
    Mark Knox   Rich Lafferty   Ross Laver 
    Jennifer Laycox   Bob Le Sueur   Jenn MacInnis 
    Brian Martin   Jimena Martinez   Heather McCann 
    Maureen McCann   Dan McGarry   Tim Mcguire 
    Jason Miller   Erin Minogue   Michael Moir 
    Joseph Morrison   Kim Morrison   Linda Murphy Holmes 
    Paul Nesbit   Alejandro Osorio   Roderick Paterson 
    Nelson Pereira   David Pipkins   Trevor Poole 
    Karl Raffelsieper   Kathy Rasmussen   Alex Reid 
    Kirrily Robert   Eric Robichaud   Lynn Rockburn 
    Tyson Roffey   Matthew Rose   Gordon Rowell 
    Susan Saliba   Peter Samuel   Michael Schwern 
    Michael Soulier   Zac Sprackett   Lisa Spreen 
    Chris Stewart   Leanne Stinson   Steve Viens 
    Jesse Vincent   John Whyte   Dan York 


Historical Links
e-smith.org - The original e-smith developer's site. No longer available.
powerframe.com/e-smith - Joseph Morrison's account of the founding and history of e-smith.

(Note: The Mitel documents about the e-smith acquisition have mostly disappeared during a revamp of their website)
The 6000 MAS Product - The latest commercial version (2003), the 6000 MAS is SME Server's sister server from Mitel Networks.

Contribs.org announce - Jeff Coleman announces the formation of contribs.org
The Announcement - Dan York announces that Mitel Networks will cease active development on SME Server.
Contribs.org's view of the future - Jeff Coleman describes the early plans for the SME distro.
SME Server 6.0.1-01 .iso available - Contribs.org makes .iso file of new version of SME Server available. DiffsMitelToContribs
SME Server joins the Lycoris open-source family - Jeff Coleman announces the next phase in the evolution of the SME Server.
contribs.org : 100,000 forum posts on contribs.org!


Offline mercyh

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Re: e-smith upgrade from 5.something to SME server 7.x
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2008, 08:38:33 PM »
And an installed base of 12,835 on May 13, 2008 as per http://smolt.contribs.org/ :grin:

Re: e-smith upgrade from 5.something to SME server 7.x
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2008, 09:02:25 PM »
About 35 users, total. But I am having more difficult with transferring apps and databases off of there. I would rather make a complete backup of the entire hard drive (maybe using a trial of Acronis if it supports Linux) and then move forward with an upgrade attempt. I considered that in the Windows world that would be a difficult move in the equivalent fashion. But I had assumed it would be mostly breezy in the Linux world. Is that not the case?

Really, though, I was very moved by the history and am now even more committed to upgrading instead of reinstalling/migrating. Something about carrying it forward seems important. Will there be many obstacles? I am hoping that you all might have the answer to that and can warn me ahead of time. This is a small business, and their hearts are in the right place. They need this as much as I do. Thanks in advance.

Offline warren

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Re: e-smith upgrade from 5.something to SME server 7.x
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2008, 09:48:06 PM »
You can start here :

http://forums.contribs.org/index.php?topic=30745.0;all see the post by DMAY (reply no#57 )

Then upgrade in step 7) to the latest ie 7.3

Also read the wikki here :


You do not say if the sytem is installed on single drive or on raid1, so check here also :


Are there any additional contribs installed on the current version 5 ? , these would have to be uninstalled.

With 35 users, I would be inclined to a fresh install 7.3, then do as merch says and reload the users / accounts and ibays.

As with any change to the system, please make sure you have a WORKING BACKUP.

Re: e-smith upgrade from 5.something to SME server 7.x
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2008, 10:14:02 PM »
All great leads and advice, thank you. I think I could manage with even my limited Linux administration experience to move the user accounts and ibays, however I tried to move the mysql databases to a Windoze box before and had a hell of a fight.  I imagine it would be the same trying to make backups and then reinstall and recreate those accounts as well.

Re: e-smith upgrade from 5.something to SME server 7.x
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2008, 10:20:09 PM »
Oh, and no, it seems to be on single drive only. I haven't cracked the box, as I just finished racking it real good about a month or so ago. I could crack it though, if necessary to determine how it is setup. I also note that cron is set up with one job, no biggie there. I just looked at our backup CD (no idea where originals are) and it says we have version 5.0. Yeehaw. 8-) I am afraid to put that CD in a Windoze box for fear of the Microsoft anti-Linux warhead they placed in the CDROM.

Offline mercyh

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Re: e-smith upgrade from 5.something to SME server 7.x
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2008, 10:32:01 PM »
You are going to get aquainted with the forums I think. The versions of Mysql have changed quite a bit.

I hope you are investing in new hardware as I think it would be a waste of good hours to try to install on the old box. (If 5.0 was the current version when that was installed, the box has to be close to end-of-life). I could think of several ways I would try it.

1. Install 7.3 on new hardware leaving this box in production. Then try different backup and restore options until I found one that would go. Once I found one that worked I would spend a night or weekend moving production from the old box to the new.

2. Image the old disk. Install the imaged disk in a new machine and remove all contribs then try the upgrade path and see what happens.

Just my thoughts,

Good luck and report back what works  :smile:

Re: e-smith upgrade from 5.something to SME server 7.x
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2008, 10:50:11 PM »
Will do, thank you everyone! I'll post here and one of the other upgrade threads that was given to me. Thanks again...

Offline byte

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Re: e-smith upgrade from 5.something to SME server 7.x
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2008, 11:44:27 PM »
And don't forget any:

Please report bugs and potential bugs in the bug tracker. Thanks.

Have you filled in a Bug Report over @ http://bugs.contribs.org ? Please don't wait to be told this way you help us to help you/others - Thanks!