I have been a user of Mandrake and Redhat for some years now and I am thinking of changing to another linux distribution. I primarily use it as a server and I am wondering if Debian or Gentoo would be better to go with.
Here are some things I'd like to do with the distribution (they might not be all possible):
- Strong PPOE ADSL support including automatic ADSL reconnection
- Strong firewall with shaping to stop upload saturation of the ADSL line and the firewall should give priority to certain traffic i.e. port 80 traffic, or certain local computers.
- Strong network monitoring tools/intrusion detection etc. I want to know what is going on ! =)
- General network services: internet sharing via NAT, dhcp, dns, sftp, mail, ssh, transparent proxy (squid), samba, apache, spam assassin
- Automatic updating of packages to new versions
- Support for easy compilation of source applications
- A method of automating new routing to the internet via a dial-up modem if ADSL is detected to be down, and then terminated when ADSL is back up.
- Microsoft Exchange Server open-source equivalent
- Asterisk Support (open-source VOIP/PBX software)
- Cross-platform clustering (sharing CPU cycles between computers over the network)
- Daily automated backing up of network computers' documents
- Daily automated scanning network computers hard drives for viruses and spyware
- Some 802.11b/g WiFi support, and be able to incorporate a wireless network potentially as another zone for the firewall
- Support for an encrypted VPN tunnel from Windows machines from the internet, to access local network services like windows networking, ftp servers, game servers etc.
- Some tools to make all of these things not impossible to setup! lol
It's a lot to ask, but I may as write down the perfect scenario. And I know that most of this functionality is delivered by the packages and not the kernel as such, but if I know which distribution is geared more to certain functions than another, it would be good.
The computer the distribution will run on is an AMD Duron 900mhz with 512ram and 120GB hdd attached to a 100mbit ethernet and an ethernet ADSL modem connected to a 1500/256 ADSL line. It will be serving 5 PCs in the local network.
I know the basic differences between the distributions - like Gentoo can be built entirely from source or binaries whereas Debian has to be built from binaries. And Gentoo uses Portage which is a powerful package system but Debian has more packages with its arp-get but that's about it.
Please make some recommendations as to the distribution that would be best for the wishlist above. Even if it's not Debian or Gentoo but you think it's more suitable please recommend it.