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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
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I always look for the best. What would be the best scalable, reliable widley supproted and secured Linux distribution? I'll need to host scalable database driven SAAS (software as a service)using JEE, EJB and MySQL.....
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Depends a heck of a lot on what kind of support you want, what you are willing to learn, how much you want to do yourself, and so on. If you are some big organization and you want to pay somebody else to install and maintain all your systems so that you don't have to do anything or know anything about it, then you probably want some kind of enterprise package from Red Hat or SUSE or what have you.
Now, if you asked me: "which distribution meets your highest ideals for what a distribution should be?" I'd tell you Gentoo. I wrote an article explaining what Gentoo is and what makes it so great. I run it on most of my servers and desktops.
Distribution: OpenSUSE 13.2 64bit-Gnome on ASUS U52F
Yes Gentoo will give you the flexibility to have the OS set up in the way you want. However you will have to do your Linux homework to have it that way.
So if you are not up for that much learning and searching then you probably want to go with a less challenging yet good OS such as OpenSuSE or Fedora, These distros are well know from years and their graphical tools make it a bit easier to do the set up.
Welcome, As far as stability is concerned, my money is on Debian. They seem to be as rock solid as an OS can get. I don't have a lot of experience with scalability, so I'd rather not comment on that. As far as support, I do agree that Debian has a ton of support available, but I would also warn that their forum has a tendency to be rude and tend to look down upon anyone who "dares" as a question, unless of course you have a masters in computer engineering I would stick with this forum. It is a much friendlier environment
^--- True that about Debian forums, but I'll also say that if you have a thick skin and don't take the rude comments personally, that you will probably get an excellent answer to your question from very experienced Debian users.
best for what ?
for running lab based software that needs to run for many years on a supported OS
RHEL 5 & 6
but red hat is by far NOT the best for games
and linux is not "the best for most games" windows 7 is
for "the best" to run a 'scanning tunneling electron microscope ' RHEL or dabain stable
for grand theft auto --MS windows
for a server
rhel6 or Debian or slackware
it depends on WHAT you NEED to do .
Ask that question to five Linux users and you'll get ten answers.
'Bestness' of a distribution depends not only on its features, but equally on other important factors:
1. configuring, setting up software and optimization. An already setup and configured distro is often more useful than a newly installed one.
2. knowing how to do different things on a particular distribution and getting familiar with it; doing a particular task with 4 keystrokes may be easier than with 1 click if you have been using keystrokes for some time.
3. Doing more things the linux way rather than distro-specific way makes one free of distro confusion. For many tasks they are the same.
4. Much of the distribution's features depend on the desktop environment (kde, gnome, xfce etc). Hence if 2 distributions are both using kde, they are identical for many tasks.
5. Much also depends on what software one is using. If one is spending most time in openoffice, it does not matter which is the underlying distribution.
Apparently most major linux distros can be setup to do most tasks and if one is familiar with one's distro, it becomes better than others. One needs to spend time on a distro and its forum to get the best out of it.