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Old 08-14-2008, 03:51 PM   #1
Strider_Max
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Best distribution for a Long Term server.


Hi,

Dear friends:
Please, let us not go into the long and tedious process of saying "my" distro is the best.

What I intend is an opinion for a linux distro with the following properties if possible.

The objective is to have a server online in a data-center for a long time.
It must run Tomcat/struts applications, as well as usual PHP/ scripting apps, MySQL, Apache must have mod_jk and the like. (This almost any Linux + BSD's will do ... )

Also it must be rock solid with constant up-dates regarding security.
And the most important: It must be supported for a long time, the ideal is a continuous rollout support between several kernel versions, gcc and the like.

(No folks, no SuSE enterprise or Red Hat ... those are paying.)

Is there a distro that approaches this "ideal" constant seamless rollout from version to version ?


Regards,
Pedro
 
Old 08-14-2008, 03:57 PM   #2
kenoshi
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- CentOS
- Debian

Either one of those distros have what you need.
 
Old 08-14-2008, 04:48 PM   #3
Strider_Max
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Hi,

They only "approach" what I need. CentOS only maintains the current version for a 5 year period. If one deploys the server in the middle of that period them the support time is even less.

I have just seen Debian Etch the new stable release and the release notes mention a big number of things that can go wrong if one makes an up-date ...
I am affraid that only the payed SuSE Enterprise/ Red Hat subscriptions have that exact same property of continuous up-grade even when there is a major service pack (case of SuSE).

Isn't there any distro that is free with the "perpetual continuity" up-date system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenoshi View Post
- CentOS
- Debian

Either one of those distros have what you need.
Regards,
Pedro
 
Old 08-14-2008, 04:58 PM   #4
Cuetzpallin
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You could try slackware... I saw some old servers still running Slackware 8 or 10 for example, you only need keep an eye open on the security advisory
 
Old 08-14-2008, 05:01 PM   #5
billymayday
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CentOS has the same release cycle as RedHat, so how does RedHat work if CentOS doesn't?
 
Old 08-14-2008, 05:15 PM   #6
jschiwal
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Often a Paid distribution will be fixed for a time on a certain Open version. For example, SuSE 10 uses the same packages as OpenSUSE 10.1. If OpenSUSE 10.1 works for you would could use it's repository & updates. You can use the Open version, but not upgrade between versions as often as typical home user might.

For a server, you won't have nearly as much installed as a Desktop user would, so most security updates wouldn't effect you because most packages wouldn't be installed anyway.

After stripping out any extraneous programs and libraries and maybe trimming down the kernel; there may be little difference between two distro's, so what ever you are most comfortable with and have the most experience with may be the best choice.
 
Old 08-14-2008, 05:26 PM   #7
theunixwizard
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Best disturbution for a Long Term Server

Does it have to be a Linux??
if it doesn't then I would try FreeBSD.
http://www.freebsd.org/
FreeBSD is used by Yahoo(I believe for their Websearch) and Microsoft uses it for their MSN Service. Since most of it's packages are in source form it is possible to update them for a long time even when the developers move on to newer versions. I know someone who download a version of FreeBSD in 1997 and can still update the kernel and other user utillitis
.. Here's NetCrafts list of the longest server uptime's so that must tell you something. http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/today/top.avg.html

If you went the Linux route I would use
CentOS

Last edited by theunixwizard; 08-14-2008 at 05:28 PM.
 
Old 08-14-2008, 06:18 PM   #8
jschiwal
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The NetCraft lists can be deceptive because Linux's uptime clock will reset. Also, if there is a kernel security update, the server should be restarted. After there is a security update, if it effects the server's kernel, a long uptime listing could indicate to a black hat which servers haven't been patched.

I'm not implying that FreeBSD wouldn't be a good choice. What you do with the server may be a larger factor in how secure and stable it is.
 
Old 08-14-2008, 06:50 PM   #9
theunixwizard
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Best Disturbutions for a Long Term

Yeah, I forgot about the linux uptime clock resetting after one year.{Sorry to all the linux people}
I mainly used the netcraft list to imply that the OS is reliable (not saying Linux isn't). But yeah , I agree that it would be stupid for a sysadmin to keep one up for that long with out patching it... I agree with you again{Great Minds Think alike }that it would depend on what the server is for

Last edited by theunixwizard; 08-14-2008 at 06:51 PM.
 
Old 08-14-2008, 08:27 PM   #10
Strider_Max
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Hi,

I know CentOS is a RH Enterprise striped down version.
But CentOS acording to the site does have a 5 year life
cycle.
After that one needs to install the newer version and we all know how problematic this can be ...

I have several servers on data-centers, I am a long time SuSE user and now OpenSuSE user but in my case I have no problem installing a new version and migrating the OS each time a version is not supported anymore. (I also played around with several other distros)

The problem is that for my customer this may be a problem. I really need a distro that is always "rolling out" seamless up-grades and does not need a new install on major changes. Meaning the distro provides a patch "add eternum" even on major OS up-grades.
For what I have searched on the Web even on Debian this is not the case.

I think the only solution is really SuSE or RH enterprise ... payed for ...

The most close by is FreeBSD, but I still am not comfortable with it to the point of deploying a complex production install in a live environment (we are talking about databases, scripting, Apache and several mods, Java, Tomcat, Struts, db connectors, rpc-xml engines ... and several frameworks that I do not even know if they work on FreeBSD)


Quote:
Originally Posted by billymayday View Post
CentOS has the same release cycle as RedHat, so how does RedHat work if CentOS doesn't?
Regards,
Pedro
 
Old 08-14-2008, 08:57 PM   #11
chrism01
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Well, I agree with billy, Centos is just a free version of RHEL. The only 'stripped down' bit is removal of RH proprietary logos I believe. Maybe some other minor stuff. I was certainly under the impression that RH only does 5 yrs support.
Can you point to a page that says otherwise?
Serious qn...
 
Old 08-15-2008, 05:57 AM   #12
Strider_Max
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Hi,

I understand perfectly what you and Billy are mentioning. Let me be more precise and clear as we all agree on this matter.

The issue here is that with Red Hat Enterprise/ SuSE enterprise, and like I said the server is not for me to work or handle, my customer can pay for the major release "up-grade".
If he has a Red Hat / SuSE enterprise license they, Red hat and SuSE, even have personnel that can make the due up-grade without too much "disruption". ... (theoretically ...)
Taking in consideration this point of view CentOS is just like any other ... how can I say this without bringing another torrent of discussion ... "common" distro.
While with CentOS the only difference from a common distro is indeed maybe the better kernel/server resource fitting for Server operation, the security up-dates follow RHE, and so on.
Support still requires people.
Atention: I Love CentOS! OK. I am a bit distro agnostic except when it cames to laptop installs where my favorite is openSuSE.
CentOs is a very good idea of a distro, the stability/consistency of Red Hat Enterprise without the cost, excellent.
Also I am not sure as I really do not follow the enterprise releases, but SuSE made a Service pack which usually does not have complaints on the web, so they manage to smoothly make major transitions from major kernel releases ... I think ... for what I have googled ... maybe this can also not be the case ...


Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism01 View Post
Well, I agree with billy, Centos is just a free version of RHEL. The only 'stripped down' bit is removal of RH proprietary logos I believe. Maybe some other minor stuff. I was certainly under the impression that RH only does 5 yrs support.
Can you point to a page that says otherwise?
Serious qn...
Regards,
Pedro

Last edited by Strider_Max; 08-15-2008 at 06:26 AM.
 
Old 08-15-2008, 06:42 AM   #13
billymayday
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That makes a bit more sense.

I did notice on the CentOS wiki that support for v5 i scheduled until March 2014 (http://wiki.centos.org/FAQ/CentOS5#h...762329bb64209c). How long do you want exactly?
 
Old 08-15-2008, 08:15 AM   #14
Strider_Max
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by billymayday View Post
That makes a bit more sense.

I did notice on the CentOS wiki that support for v5 i scheduled until March 2014 (http://wiki.centos.org/FAQ/CentOS5#h...762329bb64209c). How long do you want exactly?
Quote:
Originally Posted by billymayday View Post
That makes a bit more sense.

I did notice on the CentOS wiki that support for v5 i scheduled until March 2014 (http://wiki.centos.org/FAQ/CentOS5#h...762329bb64209c). How long do you want exactly?
There you go folks.

Well ... the support time is not my idea exactly, it is a customer demand and aspiration ... they had a bad experience with a "competing" os
This is a big company where I live (Insurance related), and they have so many problems about "ours truly ms" that finally they decided to make a major change in their systems.
That is why the question about how long does not concern me, although I "sold" the system on the basis of much better continuity of operation over time and Far Better support Long Term. As we all know a major advantage over "the competition" ... Solaris that is
Witch, lets face it, against their current OS (windoze something ... I do not recall exactly what that thing is ) and apps it is really not even an issue. Any comparison is simply ridiculous. It is like comparing a bicycle to a Formula one.
The only requirement is that the customer can deploy the thing easily (thats my part as it relates to the system install), and them operated the thing with Long Term support for the OS smoothly ... From the several talks I had they mean "forever if possible", hence my question ...
Yesterday their sysadmin, a cool person, talked to me and my reply was simple: There are many solutions for that but, either they have people or they pay someone, namelly me OR the support services of major distributions (I prefer this option as this is one less problem on my team).
That simple.
I know it is a bit silly, and it is not possible what they want, but being an application that runs for their very important systems, let them pay that stuff.
Big guys ... pay!
Simple.
No CentOS/Debian this time. Althoug I will mention them of course.

This is the typical application for a SuSE/Red Hat Enterprise ...
I just went to the web sites with the prices and what would cost them ... Even comparing the price they pay it is by far a competing solution SuSE And Red Hat enterprise versions (cheaper support mode anyway).

Regards,
Pedro

Last edited by Strider_Max; 08-15-2008 at 08:25 AM.
 
Old 08-15-2008, 02:19 PM   #15
rob.rice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuetzpallin View Post
You could try slackware... I saw some old servers still running Slackware 8 or 10 for example, you only need keep an eye open on the security advisory
as a note about slack updating it is a breeze
I had one slack 9.0 install that was upgraded through every version up to 12
copied to other hard drives
installed on other computers by coping the hard drive to another hard drive (but any linux will do this )
 
  


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