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Old 07-19-2014, 12:03 PM   #1
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Question Best Server Linux OS for a first time Linux user ?

Hey guys
So its my first day on this site, and its the first time I'm going to use Linux. Although I'm not computer Illiterate and i have a small degree of computer knowledge, I decided to sign up here for information and resources before I started, as it would be a hard feat finding many places better to ask questions about Linux.

What would be a appropriate Linux OS for a first time user that isn't going to be overly complicated for me, but at the same time isn't going to be so basic it limits the operational workings. I'm planning on using Linux on a custom built computer as a server for my home network. I'm aware that the Linux i choose must be compatible with the chipset, but that's about the limits of my knowledge.
Old 07-19-2014, 01:18 PM   #2
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Hi Ledah,

Welcome to LQ!!!

My personal preference for the best server Linux OS would be CentOS for the following reasons:

1. It is free of cost.
2. It is similar to that of Red Hat, basically it is rebuild of Red Hat so incase you have plans for Red Hat down the line that the trasition will be pretty easy.
3. As it is free you can get regular updates from their repository.
4. Open source community support is pretty awesome.

This is for Linux server OS part. Incase you are looking for easy transition from Windows to Linux to get a feel of Linux first then I would suggest going for Linux Mint, Ubuntu or Fedora (it is again like Red Hat but more cutting edge as the updates for Fedora are quite frequent)
Old 07-19-2014, 03:30 PM   #3
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I have a raspberryPI as server with raspbian in my home (USB dockstation with 500GB plate, hp printer & scanner) and it is CHEAP and quick enough.So, debian was not bad for it. I dont say this is the best system; but for my use it was well documented in the net for making the setup as printer/data/scanner server.
Old 07-19-2014, 03:49 PM   #4
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Almost all of the top choices at could be used. Today there isn't a great difference between a desktop OS and a server OS. I like Opensuse and Debian but others have equally good choices.

Try a few of them and see how it goes then make a choice.
Old 07-20-2014, 01:13 AM   #5
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Welcome to LQ!
I suggest you Slackware-
Anyway the best thing is trying distros
Old 07-20-2014, 01:50 AM   #6
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In this years Members Choice Awardsthe top 3 in order from 1-3 are Slackware, Debian, Centos. These of course are personal preferences but are indicative (as long as people who actually use servers voted) of what people who have the relevant knowledge use. I myself prefer Debian because I prefer its rock solid stability (Slackware and Centos are rocksolid as well) and its package management system.
Old 07-20-2014, 05:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ledah View Post
I'm planning on using Linux on a custom built computer as a server for my home network.
What services do you plan on using?

The obvious meaning for your phrase would be: A file server for Windows workstations (which in the Linux world is a Samba server). If you meant something else in addition or instead of that, you should tell us, because it may lead to more specific or more accurate advice.

A Samba server is a package that can be installed and configured in any Linux distribution.

Another factor that might distinguish a "server" from a "workstation" is that many people don't buy a display for a server. Instead, borrow a display from some other computer during initial install, then operate the server without a display (login via ssh, or X or VNC from a workstation when you want to control or reconfigure the server). You can operate a system without a display in almost any Linux distribution. But that sort of operation may be a strong reason to select Centos. A large fraction of Centos systems are operated without display, so the basic operation and documentation is all more consistent with operating without a display compared to other Linux. Also, if you ask Centos questions here at LQ, most of those answering will have experience operating Centos without a display.

Originally Posted by Ledah View Post
I'm aware that the Linux i choose must be compatible with the chipset,
Almost any current or near current computer you might have is going to be the AMD64 architecture (The 64 bit architecture originated by AMD and currently used by Intel as their major architecture). Computer hardware with AMD64 architecture can run your choice of the old 32-bit X86 architecture software or AMD64 software (AMD64 is sometimes called X86-64).

Almost any Linux distribution you find is available in your choice of 32-bit X86 or AMD64. Either will work. One might be a little bit better than the other. For over 12GB of Ram, it is pretty likely AMD64 will be better, for under 1GB of ram, there is a good chance 32-bit will be better. In between, there should be very little difference.

If you used a really obsolete CPU (which might be plenty for a Samba server) then you might have 32-x86 as your only software choice.

Last edited by johnsfine; 07-20-2014 at 06:10 AM.
Old 07-30-2014, 02:43 AM   #8
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Thankyou to all that has posted

I have decided to start off with a Linux Mint distro first to learn the basics & such. I will progress to a Server OS like CentOS at a later date when im more knowledgeable the command lines.
I used to decide what distro to download, figured a popular choice is a good starting point.

I will be using the computer for file sharing and media streaming to multiple computers at once within a network. Computer display will be lounge room TV for Movies/music/internet services
Thank you all for all your input, I'm taking all good ideas on-board


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