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Old 01-03-2008, 01:11 PM   #1
gymnart
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Longest supported distro?


Which is the longest supported distro? I'm looking for one that has a package manager and package updates for a LOT longer than 2 years.

So far, I've heard of Ubuntu (Version 8.04) Hardy Heron having a support life of about 5 years. Is that so?

When this enduser gets an operating system and gets it set up the way I want, the only kind of upgrades I ever want to have to do is upgrade a couple of favorite apps (besides the required patches of course) and still be able to try out the newest software like I'm accustomed to do on Windows.
 
Old 01-03-2008, 01:31 PM   #2
Larry Webb
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The only question I have for you is most of the newer version of the distros is done because of hardware and driver upgrades. The way software and hardware changes your current operating system will probably out of date in two years. I am not sure by what you mean by support for two years, I think Suse still supports its version 9.?, which I would think is over two years old.
 
Old 01-03-2008, 01:55 PM   #3
brianmcgee
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Red Hat supports RHEL for 7 years [1]. Free clones like CentOS are based upon RHEL and recompile the upstream packages. While they should be able to provide all packages for a long period of time, only packages are recompiled where there is a huge demand.

If you are really serious about the support of your system you should consider paying for it.

[1] http://www.redhat.com/security/updates/errata/
 
Old 01-03-2008, 02:42 PM   #4
stickboy2642
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Ubuntu has support for their "server" versions for several years, depending on the release. Look for LTS at the end of the release version. 6.06LTS was the last release that they are extending their support on, and the server version is supported until 2011. As with RedHat and Suse, you can purchase professional support for Ubuntu (through Canonical).

For longer term distro support, RedHat, Suse/Novell, and Ubuntu are probably your best bets. RedHat and Suse have been around the longest and have the best vendor/commercial package support, but you will have to pay for both distros. Ubuntu is the only one that I know of that is free, but offers the ability to purchase commercial support. That is not to say there aren't others, but it's the only one I know of.
 
Old 01-03-2008, 08:32 PM   #5
arijit_2404
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Ubuntu gives support only 18 months - upto three next releases. Only LTS versions has 3 year (desktop)/ 5 year(server) supports.
Fedora supports next 2 releases - ie, almost 1 year.

I would suggest go for novell SLED or RHEL. both gives around 7 years support.
 
Old 01-04-2008, 08:22 AM   #6
colucix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Webb View Post
I think Suse still supports its version 9.?, which I would think is over two years old.
Almost correct. OpenSUSE support their products for 2 years. The end of life for version 9.3 was on April 30th, 2007. The current version 10.3 will be supported until October 31st, 2009.
 
Old 01-04-2008, 09:52 AM   #7
gymnart
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Thanks for your answers.
I did pay for this SuSE 10.0 system, it was purchased from a store, not downloaded for free. As for support, I should have said, that it should have software and system library updates, driver upgrades, and software packages available a lot longer than 2 years to install for that version. I have seen packages for SuSE 9 around but those are all older versions. You wouldn't be able to get an .rpm for Gimp 2.4 for SuSE 9, for example, and you wouldn't be able to compile it yourself without the new updated system libraries and you'd have to be an expert to install some of these yourself.

Updating so often does not always go so well with me and right now, SuSE 10.0 is working nicely for me, (If it ain't broke - don't "fix" it) I can do what I want to do (except write DVD's). I just want to update a couple of packages and try a new one out (like "Audacious") but that cannot be done because my system does not have the newest system libraries, which is what the apps want. Novell no longer provides these for version 10.0.

Windows does not have this problem, I can update Gimp and Blender anytime on any of my Windows computers (how long has XP been around? And it will be around for quite a while longer.)

So my needs are just for home desktop use. The Enterprise editions of Linux are for business use aren't they? It would probably come with stuff that I wouldn't need.

Last edited by gymnart; 01-04-2008 at 10:25 AM. Reason: added more
 
Old 01-04-2008, 10:14 AM   #8
Drakeo
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slackware

Quote:
Originally Posted by gymnart View Post
Which is the longest supported distro? I'm looking for one that has a package manager and package updates for a LOT longer than 2 years.

So far, I've heard of Ubuntu (Version 8.04) Hardy Heron having a support life of about 5 years. Is that so?

When this enduser gets an operating system and gets it set up the way I want, the only kind of upgrades I ever want to have to do is upgrade a couple of favorite apps (besides the required patches of course) and still be able to try out the newest software like I'm accustomed to do on Windows.
slackware was the first and is still being supported 1993
 
Old 01-04-2008, 10:20 AM   #9
Drakeo
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Slackware was originally descended from the Softlanding Linux System, the most popular of the original Linux distributions. SLS dominated the market until the developers made a decision to change the executable format from a.out to ELF. This was not a popular decision amongst SLS's user base at the time. Patrick Volkerding released a modified version of SLS, which he named Slackware.[4] The first Slackware release, 1.00, was on 16 July 1993.[5] It was supplied as 3" floppy disk images that were available by anonymous FTP. Slackware quickly replaced SLS as the dominant Linux distribution at the
 
Old 01-04-2008, 12:23 PM   #10
Poetics
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As has already been mentioned, Slackware has a very active user/support base, much of it right here at LQ. I still have a server running Slack 8, from 2001, for example, and aside from a few kernel upgrades over the years for added functionality, I haven't needed to touch it.

The ability to install programs is very different than an OS being 'supported' -- many of the distributions out there have corporate editions, or otherwise "official" support (Red Hat, et al). I've honestly found that those distros that do not have a company behind them have versions that are supported long after their counterparts, if that makes sense.

A very important aspect to the upgrade cycle is making sure that the applications you use are able to be patched or secured if/when security fixes are released. Granted, that's more on the individual application side than the OS itself.
 
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