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Looking for a good server distro

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Posted

I'm getting ready to update my server (uses: vbulletin, mysql, php, perl). I have Redhat on it now but since they got into Fedora, I don't think I want to use that in my server.... any suggestions? I'm looking for something easy to maintain but strong in security. Thanks.

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Posted

I'm no Linux guru but Mandrake and Suse have always been great to me. They've got nice administration tools built in and they run rock solid.

That's just me though. I use them as a compliment to many networks. I like Mandrake for schools because it looks nice and friendly for others to use. I use Squid Proxy most times on Mandrake. Nice app!

I still want to try out Gentoo but haven't had time yet.

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Posted

For a server? I'd go with debian or slackware, or even ditch linux and go with FreeBSD. I've said it before and I'll say it again, BSD servers are totally rock solid.

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Posted

FreeBSD is damn safe and secure! :yes:

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Posted

I agree, go with FreeBSD, otherwise both a debian based distro or gentoo would work nicely due to the ease of updating software.

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Posted

Either of the following would be good to use imo.

1) FreeBSD

2) Debian

3) SuSE

I never really messed around with BSD but from user-feedback and articles that I've been reading, it's obvious that BSD is the most secure thing to run on a server.

Debian is great cause of Apt. It has packages in the stable and testing mirrors that are 99.9% sure to work and you'll have strictly what you need. You install the base system and install anything afterwards with apt-get.

SuSE, well, it has a pretty installation that people enjoy looking at and it works. It's easy to setup and YaST isn't bad at all. Just make sure that the rpm's that you will be using will install on SuSE (sometimes they can be distro-specific if not mistaken).

But as far as linux distributions go, you could pretty much use almost anything as long as the package managment tool that it provides is reliable (don't need one but it sure makes life easy for admins). Apt and Portage are the two systems that I'd say are reliable as far as linux goes.

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Posted

Well I used to be a UNIX guy, then a couple of years ago I was a BSD guy and now I'm a Linux guy. I've ran all kinds of servers. FreeBSD is a really fine OS for a server. There are things that are different in BSD than Linux, but its easy to distinguish. Oh yeah and I used to pretty much have to compile everything on my BSD server, but that was a couple of years ago.

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Posted

Thanks all for the advise. I'm not really not a fan of compiling my own packages but I may be willing to do that if there is no other choice. It would really be nice for some of these packages to make it easier to install and upgrade. I think it would really bring Linux more into the mainstream (desktop). It would also be nice to get a distro that would keep up to date with tech instead of having to upgrade all the time to the newest version of things (or at least semi new).

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Posted

1) FreeBSD

2) Debian

3) SuSE

I agree :yes:

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Posted

It would really be nice for some of these packages to make it easier to install and upgrade. I think it would really bring Linux more into the mainstream (desktop). It would also be nice to get a distro that would keep up to date with tech instead of having to upgrade all the time to the newest version of things (or at least semi new).

:blink:

Odd, but I think Linux does an excellent job of what you describe. Especially when you compare it to the 'other' significant OS that is in the market. ;)

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Posted

Thanks all for the advise. I'm not really not a fan of compiling my own packages but I may be willing to do that if there is no other choice. It would really be nice for some of these packages to make it easier to install and upgrade. I think it would really bring Linux more into the mainstream (desktop). It would also be nice to get a distro that would keep up to date with tech instead of having to upgrade all the time to the newest version of things (or at least semi new).

Most distros come with package managers that already make it easier to install. One of the most popular is APT-get for Debian.

You type apt-get install <program> and it searches the APT repositories online, finds it, downloads and then installs it for you. That's it. Type apt-get upgrade and it will search through your apps and update them (I believe it uses the RPM database on all distros that use apt-get/apt-get port. Type apt-get dist-upgrade and it will upgrade everything else including your distribution's core files.

Some other distros have Apt-get as well with their own APT repositories for that distribution, such as Fedora Core 2 and 3.

Windows isn't even that easy.

You have YUM as well, or even just normal RPM installation and a bunch of other package managers.

Any linux distro will most likely fit your needs for a server. It doesn't make much difference. Its all about freedom and choice.

I'm surprised nobody mentioned: White Box. Its just RedHat Enterprise Linux recompiled without RedHat's trademarks.

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Posted

I'm surprised nobody mentioned: White Box. Its just RedHat Enterprise Linux recompiled without RedHat's trademarks.

But, doesn't that make it not Open Source? :rofl:

(sorry, inside joke...) ;)

Back on-topic: That is probably the best solution for handling enterprise types of apps. I think almost any flavor of Linux will work well, or the BSD option may be a worthy platform to build from, too! :yes:

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Posted

But, doesn't that make it not Open Source? :rofl:

(sorry, inside joke...)  ;)

Back on-topic:  That is probably the best solution for handling enterprise types of apps.  I think almost any flavor of Linux will work well, or the BSD option may be a worthy platform to build from, too! :yes:

hahahaha. Yeah it doesn't matter that the source is open, because it isn't open source!

-

BSD is always a good option, especially being arguably the most secure OS on the planet.

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Posted

Thanks.. I have never been able to install any BSD or Debian on my test server both had hardware incompatibilities, I believe. Although, I'm sure they would have no issues on the server but I'm not installing any server solution that I can't have on my test server. I never had any issues installing any RedHat product. I'll have to check out Whitebox, Thanks.

Most distros come with package managers that already make it easier to install. One of the most popular is APT-get for Debian.

You type apt-get install <program> and it searches the APT repositories online, finds it, downloads and then installs it for you. That's it. Type apt-get upgrade and it will search through your apps and update them (I believe it uses the RPM database on all distros that use apt-get/apt-get port. Type apt-get dist-upgrade and it will upgrade everything else including your distribution's core files.

Some other distros have Apt-get as well with their own APT repositories for that distribution, such as Fedora Core 2 and 3.

Windows isn't even that easy.

You have YUM as well, or even just normal RPM installation and a bunch of other package managers.

Any linux distro will most likely fit your needs for a server. It doesn't make much difference. Its all about freedom and choice.

I'm surprised nobody mentioned: White Box. Its just RedHat Enterprise Linux recompiled without RedHat's trademarks.

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Posted

Obviously I'm gonna say FBSD, then Arch Linux, then, ofcourse, Slack.

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Posted

I'm partial to FreeBSD :-)

The main reason I like it is because it's easy to administer, and it's stable. Ports allows you to compile from source (more versatile than using binaries) while still making updating your software an easy process. The stability means that I rarely have to do anything at all once the server is up and running. Just a few updates here and there and watch the uptime. I guess I'm lazy :p

Arch linux, I'm not convinced. I use it on my desktop and it's not as stable as FreeBSD. Things tend to break too often when updating the OS. It's nice to have a workstation with the latest and greatest, but one wouldn't do the same for a server. And arch tends to be a distro that lives on the bleeding edge. Using arch is kind of like using FreeBSD-CURRENT (you'd want to use FreeBSD-STABLE for your server). I'm not saying that you can't make an arch box stable. It's just that it seems to take more work to achieve that.

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Posted

Thanks.. I have never been able to install any BSD or Debian on my test server both had hardware incompatibilities, I believe. Although, I'm sure they would have no issues on the server but I'm not installing any server solution that I can't have on my test server. I never had any issues installing any RedHat product. I'll have to check out Whitebox, Thanks.

Debian "stable" tends to use two year old kernels for those that want something that has been tested under every possible condition. It is very conservative. A bit too conservative for my tastes.

Debian "testing" (i.e. Sarge) uses still a somewhat older kernel but it has far better hardware support than "stable". Personally, I'd consider Debian "testing" to use as a server for most operations.

Debian also has an "unstable" branch that is good for desktop use. I even find that to be rather stable but it's probably too cutting edge for something important.

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Posted

If you use a debian based distro, I would go with Ubuntu. My company currently uses Ubuntu on most of our servers. The packages in the Ubuntu repository seem better and it is a little bit easier I think. The plus side of Ubuntu is that it has great auto detection of hardware and best of all, it's debian based.

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Posted (edited)

If you use a debian based distro, I would go with Ubuntu.
Edited by fred666

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Posted

Thanks all.. I suppose I should have mentioned that it's an SMP (2 processors).

I'll check out Ubuntu, Thanks.

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Posted

SMP is fine. You'll just have to recompile a kernel with SMP support, at least I had to with debian sarge.

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Posted

I'm no Linux guru but Mandrake and Suse have always been great to me.  They've got nice administration tools built in and they run rock solid.

That's just me though.  I use them as a compliment to many networks.  I like Mandrake for schools because it looks nice and friendly for others to use.  I use Squid Proxy most times on Mandrake.  Nice app!

I still want to try out Gentoo but haven't had time yet.

Mandrake is one of the worst OS's for Server use. Its insecure and horrible.

Just my opinion.

However i have to say Redhat enterprise is good for production use, as it has a large support medium.

However, there are other distros such as freebsd and debian which are great for production use.

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Posted

For a server? I'd go with debian or slackware, or even ditch linux and go with FreeBSD.

Good choices. I'm using Slackware at the moment. I started not to long ago using the distro, and its pretty easy to configure and to use.

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Posted

Mandrake is one of the worst OS's for Server use. Its insecure and horrible.

Just my opinion.

However i have to say Redhat enterprise is good for production use, as it has a large support medium.

However, there are other distros such as freebsd and debian which are great for production use.

Mandrake is geared towards the desktop user and its not really insecure, no more than most distros. I wouldn't personally use Mandrake for a server. Many people use Fedora as a server distro all though its geared towards the desktop just like Mandrake.

Which sense this is a sticky I'll mention Fedora is a more bleeding edge distro than most. And it tries to be. That's good for the desktop market, not for the server market, because the apps aren't as thoroughly tested. I haven't ran into many instability issues though, but I've seen people who have from FC1 - 3.

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Posted

A downside to FreeBSD is that its a pain to install tomcat on

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