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View Poll Results: Server Distribution of the Year
I use Slackware for my development machine, my gaming machines, and all of my servers. I replaced Ubuntu with Slackware and several problems went away. And the nice thing about using the exact same distro as a dev machine and server is that I configure them the same. No more of this "well, it works in the dev environment, idk why it won't work in production" problems. If it works in my dev environment, then it works in my production environment.
Dilemma, dilemma. CentOS or Debian. Like Debian better personally but use CentOS on a daily basis at work so I know it quite a bit better. Both? No? Okay...I will go with Debian then because I like Apt Package Manager better than YUM and/or RPM.
My first install was Slackware from a stack of floppies back when. I am in "gift-debt" to Slackware.
But, I installed RedHat as soon as the first CD came out, and a little later, Caldera. RedHat hired me in 1999 and I quit in 2000 over some personal legal problems. Step ahead 5 years and I found I had to install Fedora after RedHat dumped "users". Fedora blew up too routinely then, and I installed Ubuntu <gasp!> It was like dumping a bad mistress to switch. You knew she was unfaithful, yet you still loved her in some befuddled dysfunctional way.
But, she didn't love me back in a way I found fulfilling, so I switched to Debian. Wheezy is older than history, so I painfully upgraded to Jessie. Jessie is good, I am happy there, EVEN WITH SYSTEMD. It works, so I have no dog in the fight and from all of the 5 or 6 anti-systemd posters, who routinely poison the support list, (they must not have much in the way of social or professional lives) I have not read one really good well-reasoned argument against. Yet, I vote Debian as they have the packages and really good maintainers.
I am currently using Slackware64 14.0 for a production server for more than 1.5years.
Was installed on a bare Dell server 2 XEON CPU >4Gb RAM with Hardware RAID card.
The following are the my wins:
1. After setting up the server's Hardware RAID, Slackware installs normally without any complaint.
2. Slackware's package management enables patches to be installed when you decide it is the best time.
Thanks for great support from Slackware team. (Patches includes fix for bash shell shock issue!)
3. Slackware's package management enables you to easily store the patches offline. This makes for easy
way to have a simple configuration management of the server.
4. Slackbuild offers a great way make your own packages and necessary updates even to base packages,
if necessary. You can choose *not* to use the latest version of any dependent library of your
package; just stick with the existing stable version as long as version meets requirement of
package you're building.
5. Great uptime! (never down since commissioning the production server)
6. Easy to configure disks, samba shares, network, MySQL, httpd, cron jobs. Easy to manage as a
7. Great community of Slackware users, developers, visitors in linuxquestions.org. (But there are
many other resources outside LQ too by the community)
Currently, I am thinking of how to move to Slackware64 14.1 (or later) .. but I don't feel rushed.
From the perspective of an Enterprise environment with over 1600 Linux Servers; Quality support is absolutely critical; downtime is expensive and whenever we have an issue we need to identify the cause quickly to restore operations and avoid future outages; On this front nothing I've seen from any other distro compares to the quality and ease of support from SuSE.
The supportconfig utility makes gathering most of the commonly needed support log and configuration data quite fast and easy.
Their automated supportconfig analyzer does a pretty good job of identifying common configuration issues and alerting about security related patches and specific fixes but one of the best parts of that tool is that we can add our own profiles to it very easily which allows us to create checks that identify issues that are specific to our environment or hardware so we can easily check the entire enterprise.
the analyzevmcore process allows us to analyze crash dumps very easily in house; in many cases we have used it to identify root cause within 10 minutes of a crash.
They do tend to be slower with bringing out the latest versions of every package than other distributions. That is certainly a mixed bag; our systems are quite stable and I suspect that's in large part because they aren't pushing out frequent package updates without extensive testing unless there is a major issue
Their default annual registration process is a pain and seems to fail quite frequently; especially when the servers have to go through a proxy server to connect to their registration site. - They have a free "SuSE License Management" product that consolidates all of those registrations - that makes it a lot easier but we still have to manually enter new activation codes every year (It doesn't seem like it would be that difficult to simply re-activate or extend the existing activation codes automatically once the support contract has been renewed).