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Old 09-13-2007, 02:00 AM   #1
jchambers
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Ubuntu vs Fedora Core | What is...


the difference between the two and is one better than the other for servers / desktops?

I use FC6 only because I started with FC and don't know anything else.

Also what is Debian?
I hear it a lot and don't what that is either.

Any thoughts?

[ do i sound like a newb... ]
 
Old 09-13-2007, 02:23 AM   #2
Junior Hacker
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That's a highly volatile question you asked there. If you look at my profile, you might think I know a little something.
Ubuntu is Debian with some customizations. In my arsenal, Debian is king, and the one I use the most because I don't have to install from source, and it is the fastest. I think it's because it doesn't have all the gold chains hanging around it's neck because that's how I designed it, which is something you can do with Debian, you can start with a running CLI system with around a hundred packages, then install xorg and the desktop of your choice etc. etc. etc.. Debian has a large repository of pre-compiled Debian packages, same as Ubuntu (obviously).

Fedora 7 is nice to look at, but can be like Fedora Core 6 was for the better part of it's cycle before 7 (quirky), but slightly better than Fedora Core 6. And Fedora is a little of a hog on resources compared to the other two, tends to install too much gold around the neck and too much fat around the waist.
I can't comment on Ubuntu too much because I don't wander there much, the look and feel seems more directed to a target market I don't belong to (kids). I'm sure it's an all around public pleaser though.
 
Old 09-13-2007, 02:50 AM   #3
jchambers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior Hacker View Post
Go for it, you can always just re-install
Oh and I have and then some...


I would say so!
Thank you for the response. Sounds like I need to dabble in some different flavors and see what I like.

Most of what I use them for are servers; dns, apache, mysql.
I do use one as a desktop to play with.

Are the commands fairly similar for each one?
 
Old 09-13-2007, 03:28 AM   #4
Junior Hacker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchambers View Post
Are the commands fairly similar for each one?
Yes, bash is the same bash in all of them, but some commands require the package associated with it to be installed. Like tar jxf ltmodem-2.6-alk-8.tar.bz2 which is the command to unpack the ltmodem-2.6-alk-8 package, because it was compressed with bzip2 (bz2), you need the bzip2 package installed.
All Linux distributions use the Linux kernel, and use mostly GNU software for the operating system and fancies. Just the combination and tweaks are different from one to the other.
EDIT: Some are more customizable than others.

Last edited by Junior Hacker; 09-13-2007 at 03:30 AM.
 
Old 09-13-2007, 06:37 AM   #5
salasi
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Ubuntu has achieved its fame by being an easy-to-use distro for the desktop. It is targeted at ordinary users who just want to get on with it, rather than geeks who want to fiddle. (Just because that is the target group, it doesn't mean that they are the only ones who will get anything out of it - but you may be better looking elsewhere).

In particular, in Ubuntu, by default, you don't use the root account, but use 'sudo command' to execute things as root. I feel this is a pita for a server (more typing!), and potentially there are security concerns with that, too. So while you could use Ubuntu for a server, there are probably better choices.

Debian, the parent of Ubuntu, would be one of those choices. Debian has always taken a fairly hard line on open source software and you may find that a good or a bad thing. As a pragmatist, I'm not completely in line with the Debian ethos, but if it is a problem, its a problem that is easy to fix.

One of the big advantages of Debian and the Debian-derived distros like Ubuntu, is the apt package management system. Assuming that you have the net bandwidth, apt, plus the front ends like synaptic, make it extremely easy to add new applications and update existing ones. RPM (& the updaters) should do the same for RedHat derived systems, but it can be more of a struggle (IMHO SuSE's YAST has often done a better job than RedHat itself, but there are reasons that a lot of people won't touch SuSE at the moment.)

One difference that you might find is that some distros hide commands in different locations from others. Not to difficult to use 'which', but a bit of a pain if you are moving a thousand scripts with hard-coded command references across.

For command line/server type apps, I would definitely consider Debian and maybe Slackware and derivatives (not really my cup of rat poison, but for server apps...). Personally, I have never been all that fond of RedHat/Fedora on the desktop, but people tell me that they have improved of late.

You could look at http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/ (or www.distrowatch.org), but you'll find that you have too much choice, not too little, so only do that if you fancy wasting a bit of time.
 
Old 09-13-2007, 09:14 AM   #6
Wim Sturkenboom
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Ubuntu does not come with ftp and ssh daemons (something that I consider crucial for a server) and maybe other daemons are missing as well.
FC might have these.

I like Slackware for servers as
  • it comes with all services (daemons) that I need
  • it is quite simple to configure using the command line
 
Old 09-13-2007, 09:20 AM   #7
bryantrv
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I probably wouldn't go with Fedora for a server, simply because of the fairly short end of life for the releases, but if you are comfortable with Fedora, check out CentOS, which is basically Red Hat EL without the support.

I really like them all- started on Red Hat, but now I'm a Debian guy .
 
Old 09-15-2007, 12:11 AM   #8
jchambers
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Great input !

Thanks for all the information.
Reading up a bit more on all the distributions here.
I think this will take some time to go through.

This should be eye-openning...

 
Old 09-15-2007, 12:41 AM   #9
jay73
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Did you know that Ubuntu can be downloaded in two versions: desktop or server? The server comes without X but has LAMP pre-installed. As for the remark made by one of the previous posters: sudo is in fact safer than su because it doesn't mess with root configuration files; and if that's what you want to do you can either use gksu/gksudo/kdesu (with X) or set up su yourself (that's a one-time sudo passwd).

As for Fedora, I have to say that the love may cool down some once you get familiar with the ease of maintaining an apt system (no punning intended). Nothing like the dependency morass you frequently sink into with rpm systems. And far from being more "free", I find Ubuntu/Debian to be more pragmatic than Fedora, which still doesn't offer Sun's java and pushes you in the direction of (frequently conflicting) third-party repositories for much that is worthwile.

In case you couldn't tell, I'm an Ubuntu guy who also runs Debian sid just to see where things are heading.

Last edited by jay73; 09-15-2007 at 12:50 AM.
 
Old 09-15-2007, 08:54 AM   #10
AwesomeMachine
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I use Debian exclusively, because it works, is fast, lean, easy, and it installs programs in the user's path. Compiling a kernel is simple in Debian, and it's the largest Linux project. Debian is cutting edge for stability with the latest packages. I've tried everything, and I continue to seek the perfect Linux, but that's like seeking the perfect woman. You always think you've found her, until you're absolutely sure, and then she shows her bad side.

Debian is a command line operating system with a gui, not a gui operating system with a command line. You have to read to use Debian. Fedora is Redhat's test version. Fedora is always great, but it's a hardware hog. Ubuntu, as said earlier, is Debian. There are many distros based on Debian. Debian probably has the most packages, with over 17,000 in stable, or etch.

I like Ubuntu, but it's a little much gui gook for me. It's like a girl who wears too much make-up. Not nearly every program has a gui. All the great ones don't. MPlayer is the best media player on the planet, and it's command line. ImageMagick is a blow your mind media editing and enhancement suite for the command line. Every basic linux tool is command line. The twinky guis people make for some of these tools are pathetic because you lose 90% of the functionality of the program. Netshark is a notable exception to the rule, as is Eclipse, Celestia, Stellarium, Evolution, and a few others.

If it were me, I'd learn on something really easy, like OpenSuse 10.1 or 10.2. I don't know why so many people use Ubuntu. I see more problems with it posted on line than practically any other distro. Fedora has about 1/100 the calls for help on the Internet that Ubuntu does.

I would say, of all distros, there is no best. Suse is easy, but it's not at all like standard linux. Debian is fairly easy, but it's fairly hard too. Fedora needs hardware muscle power to run, and Ubuntu has a reputation for easy installs, but poor upgrades. To me the idea is to learn a distro that is pretty straight linux, not one of the radical departures from the true linux format.

Debian will always be heavily supported by almost every program for Linux, because it's been around so long, and people are willing to go out of their way to contribute to Debian, because it is totally free, and it's the real original. I don't know if you heard, but Google runs on Debian. Google is also one of the largest consumers of electrical power in The United States. I just had to tell someone that.
 
Old 09-15-2007, 02:26 PM   #11
jay73
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Quote:
Debian probably has the most packages, with over 17,000 in stable, or etch.
Is that all? I have 21000+ for Lenny/sid and even more for Ubuntu... Aren't you missing some repositories?

Quote:
I don't know why so many people use Ubuntu.I see more problems with it posted on line than practically any other distro. Fedora has about 1/100 the calls for help on the Internet
Maybe because Ubuntu has 100 times as many users, many of whom are absolute Linux novices?

Last edited by jay73; 09-15-2007 at 02:30 PM.
 
Old 09-16-2007, 02:25 AM   #12
chrism01
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I haven't had a great range of exp with different distros, but it is worth pointing out that Ubuntu is frequently recommended as very good for newbies, so you would get a lot of qns about it, even if it was (nearly) perfect.
 
Old 09-16-2007, 10:27 AM   #13
oskar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior Hacker View Post
I can't comment on Ubuntu too much because I don't wander there much, the look and feel seems more directed to a target market I don't belong to (kids). I'm sure it's an all around public pleaser though.
Don't be ridiculous. I think most users don't care so much about the inner workings of linux, and just want an Operating system that works as intuitively as possible... and this is where Distributions like Suse, Fedora, Ubuntu, PClinuxOS score. I mean what's the point of using a distribution.
What I need is Gimp, Bluefish, Python IDLE, Nvidia driver, media codecs, flash9, Nexuiz, Skype, Virtualbox, Wineasio, and a couple of DAW's for testing, a low latency kernel, Open Office, listen-gnome, gtkpod... I think that's pretty much it. The distribution that lets me set up those things with as little hassle as possible scores. I don't care if it's bloated... My pc is 5 years old, but it can handle any kind of OSS 'bloatware' you throw at it.

The point is I need to WORK on that PC. Is working for kids nowadays... and configuring is for grown ups... What are you trying to tell us?

Last edited by oskar; 09-16-2007 at 10:33 AM.
 
Old 09-16-2007, 11:59 AM   #14
cmnorton
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I am starting to settle on Ubuntu for server and desktop. As a server, it is running Informix SE with a test copy of our forms-based collection application.

I use Knoppix for diagnostics, and overall I like its look and feel.

We do have RH EL systems due to license requirements from a commercial vendor.

I don't have much experience with Fedora -- using Fedora Core 6 -- other than to use it first as a workstastion/server, and now just a server platform.

In my experience, Ubuntu has been the easiest to configure, especially with things like pptpconfig. I did have to install vsftp for my servers, but I seem to remeber not having to install sshd. My Ubuntu laptop (Acer TravelMate 630) spends its life in DHCP-land, and is not big enough to qualify for a server, but makes an excellent portabable workstation.
 
Old 09-16-2007, 05:08 PM   #15
Brad.Scalio@noaa.gov
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hey it's all Gnu/Linux to me ... I am just glad this question is one that can be posed these days --- I think competition leads to better development, more applications, and in the end, unfortunately, an eventual winner...much like Windows ... let's just bask in the capitalistic splendor and watch the different ditros improve to try and one-up each other in certain areas and then wait for one to incorporate it all under one hood ...

oh and Fedora is my favorite just because I started on RedHat3 back in the day ... once you get used to a distro, stick with it, there is no point in becoming a jack-of-all and master-of-none ... once you strip away the unique names and dirs, they all just use files to configure the system, and if you don't know, one word - GOOGLE
 
  


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