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Web based "file sharing" with security access controls.

We need to share files (Word, Excel, JPG, MPG, DXF etc) with external parties such as vendors, customers, suppliers. The file sharing needs to have fine levels of security access i.e. login IDs to grant what project folders can be seen, whether dowload only or both upload and download etc.

This should be web based for convenience and to avoid any need for VPN etc.

We have a Linux server and prefer free Open Source software, are there any tested or know Open Source web based "File Servers" which offers userids/security access controls?

2 Solutions
What you want is a "Document Management System".  There are a number of commercial solutions such as Xerox DocuShare - not that you want commercial, but it gives you a good starting point when looking for free stuff.

Here is one that I have not personally used but have seen and looked good - it is not open source but it is GPL - they also have a commercial version:
A Document Management System would be the perfect solution and Docushare is a great comercial product for this. Knoweledge tree  is a great product that i have played around with but have never used it in a production environment (http://www.knowledgetree.com/) . You  can  always go to http://sourceforge.net/ and do a quick search for document management system (DMS) .  Most of the popular ones have decent levels of support.
In my experience its always been best practice to run the Document management application and the database on seperate servers.  Ofcourse that all depends on the amount of documents you expect to be stored and searched by your users. If you are expecting heavy useage it would be a good idea to invest in a second server.
 The Xerox Docushare product has changed their licensing and costs associated with the product and for the functionality that it provides can be of great value.  
One thing to keep in mind is that support for comercial products is more readily available.  I am a big supporter of the opensource community but you need to test and configure your products to achieve the best performance.  

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