Does your company use open source software?

As a technology company, we use a great deal of software. We need reliable Web servers, e-mail servers, databases and more.

Because of that, we’re strong advocates of using open source software. The term refers to software that allows users to see and change the “source code” — the blueprints that define how a program works.

Our extensive use of open source software gives our customers important benefits. Open source software tends to be more reliable when competently managed: We can see how the software works and modify it if something is wrong, so our servers have less “downtime”. It also allows us to quickly respond to any problem reports. We’re unlikely to blame someone else’s software if you report trouble with server software; instead, we can probably fix the issue ourselves.

What open source software do you use?

This section mentions some of the most important open source software we rely on every day. Our programmers have contributed patches, bug fixes or other improvements to several of these projects.

Our servers use Debian GNU/Linux running the Linux kernel.

Our Web servers run Apache 2.2 with mod_fcgid, eAccelerator and mod_security. We make extensive use of the Perl and PHP scripting languages, and customer Web statistics are generated by AWStats.

Our mail servers run Postfix, using amavis, ClamAV and SpamAssassin for virus and spam filtering. We use Dovecot for POP and IMAP mail delivery. Mailman powers our list servers, with MHonArc and Namazu handling list archives. Our Webmail system is based on SquirrelMail.

We use PostgreSQL for most of our own database operations, and we offer our customers MySQL 5.5 database support.

Our OTRS ticket tracking system ensures that we can promptly answer questions from our customers, and our phone system runs Asterisk PBX software.

Our blog uses WordPress and WP Super Cache.

We monitor the status of our servers with Cricket, Nagios and lm-sensors, among other tools.

For employee workstations, we mostly use Google Chrome for Web browsing and Thunderbird for e-mail. We use LibreOffice for writing letters, with GIMP and Inkscape for images.