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Looking for a good server distro


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#16 vhane

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 15:10

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.


#17 vetFred Derf

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 02:14

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.

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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.

#18 nicedreams

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 02:18

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.

#19 vetFred Derf

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 02:30

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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It's also from the unstable branch. Much like Knoppix, Mepis and the other Debian children.

Ubuntu is Debian. You can use whatever repositories you want. They are usually just mirrors of one another anyway. You can configure Debian to look like Ubuntu and you can configure Ubuntu to look like Debian. It's just a matter of apt-get installing a few packages or apt-get removing a few packages.

Edit:
I know this is an old post (it came up on a Google search) but now that Ubuntu uses Hoary you can't necessarily use non-Ubuntu repositories. Earlier versions of Ubuntu (that used xfree86 rather than x.org) weren't as picky.

Edited by fred666, 04 May 2005 - 02:45.


#20 OP hagjohn

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 03:52

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

I'll check out Ubuntu, Thanks.

#21 revvo

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 05:09

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

#22 Bushrat

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Posted 16 January 2005 - 00:01

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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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.

#23 EZRecovery

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Posted 16 January 2005 - 00:08

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

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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.

#24 dotRoot

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Posted 16 January 2005 - 10:28

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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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.

#25 benjeeeboy

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Posted 23 January 2005 - 02:00

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

#26 burgers

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 09:07

I'd go with FreeBSD as the best server option. It's well documented, stable, secure and ports is easy to use for package managment. FreeBSD also has jails. For those that don't know about jails, they are secure sandbox areas for some/all of your daemons/services to run without allowing a hacker to gain root access to the box. The hacker could get root to the jail by compromisng a process with an exploit but they can not cause harm to base install once they have gained access to the jail because you can not get access outside of the jail. Only problem with jails is the time it takes to set each one up as its like a new machine.

For linux, i dont know. Package management has always been a bit "rough". Apt-get can you get into some dependency troubles and rpm files are just yucky for dependency based hell as well. I guess i'd have to go with either Gentoo or Slackware for a server install based on linux..

thats my 2 cents anyways..

--pete.

#27 Ultra Frosty

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 20:01

For Linux, Debian or Slackware are probably your best choices for all around features and stablilty.

For UNIX/BSD I have to say OpenDarwin. It has FreeBSD 4.4 and Mach 3.0 blended together using the advanced achitectural design of the Mach kernel with FreeBSD to fill in all the empty space that Mach never acomplished. Fastest OS I have ever used.

Linux is perfect for a webserver with Apache/PHP/MySQL, BSD would be put to better use if your gonna be using all of your server resources on a single task like a really big MySQL server.

#28 uniacid

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 20:05

I don't see a problem with using fedora on your server, I think its pretty good, but you can always go with gentoo also but you must know how to set it up properly

#29 Mathiasdm

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 20:08

Go with Debian, FreeBSD or Gentoo ;-)

#30 OP hagjohn

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 20:56

I think I'm going to use whiteboxlinux (4, when it's released)... as it's RH Enterprise... should be a bit better than a normal linux distro.



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