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I think that would depend on your prior knowledge and experience with either one of them. Debian has the reputation of being very, very, very stable, solid and slow on adding bleeding edge software. Besides being stable of course. Fedora is closer to the bleeding edge with somewhat more rapid release cycles. If you like Fedora and know you way around the tools you could also consider CentOS. CentOS is build on Red Hat Enterprise, which again is more solid and stable than Fedora.
It also depends on what you whish to do with your webserver and how secure you want it to be. When it comes to security few distro's beat OpenBSD for that. Then again, OpenBSD is another playing field.
Personally I would go for Debian, but that is because I have some more experience with it.
I wouldn't know about the software repositories that Fedora is using, but installing TomCat under Debian is indeed simple. The issue is setting Apache and TomCat up, because that require more knowledge and skills.
Tomcat is available from the Fedora repositories but don't expect it to be the latest available. I always get a more up-to-date one and install that instead. Installing Tomcat is pretty easy:
- edit /etc/profile to export JAVA_HOME
- optionally set administrator name/password in the tomcat configuration files
There, done. Please also note that Tomcat distributions from repositories tend to use 8180 rather than the customary 8080. Although I am using Fedora right now (I find it somewhat better suited to develop on), I have to admit that Debian offers at least one real advantage: it can install jdk from its repositories, while no such repository is available for Fedora. In other words, jdk needs to be installed and configured manually. On the other hand, Fedora 64 bit is not pure 64 bit, i.e. it is quite easy to install both 32 bit and 64 bit jdks and switch from one to the other as the need arises. That being said, I don't even use Tomcat anymore; I have adopted Glass Fish (Sun Java Application server) instead.
32 and 64 bit jdks are essentially the same but they use a different architectures. The 64 bit one obviously can use the full power of 64 bit hardware while the 32 bit one can't. Whether this means better performance is the subject of heated, debate, however - I just like to keep an eye on the future. And of course, if you have a 32 bit computer and/or OS, you're restricted to 32 bit java anyway. The choice doesn't become relevant until you have a 64 bit system. The reason I use both is that I have a few 32 bit distributions in addtion to my 64 bit Fedora; having both jdks allows me to develop for all of them from one centralized spot. A matter of convenience, really, although . Or not. The 64 bit one does have a few limitations compared to the other one: for example, there isn't any 64 bit firefox-plugin. But again, if you have both, you can use 32 bit to provide the plugin and the other one to do your programming.
As for Java System Application Server vs. Tomcat, that depends on your needs. In most standard situations, the JSAS/Glass Fish offers more features and flexibility. After all, Tomcat is only a servlet/JSP server whereas JSAS is a full J2EE container. There is also less fiddling with configuration files (although that is still possible) as it offers a GUI to do all of that. Plus it generally looks a lot better than Tomcat. Whatever, if you get the J2EE package from Sun, you will get both Tomcat and JSAS in the bundle.
if there is any way, is there a way to prevent that?
There is, actually: disconnecting from the net, closing the door and swallowing the key. No, seriously, if you set up a firewall and use a tight permissions scheme as well as encryption, I don't think that it'll be easy to run off with your code. Running your applications server just locally, not as a service, will help much as well. Then again, I don't know what kind of code you are writing that you should be that concerned. Most hackers really don't bother with hacking into a computer just to read some java code - unless you are working with state secrets or banking accounts. In which case I'd be glad to have a go at your computer myself