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I'm trying to figure out which distro of Linux I should use, since I've never used any of them at all. I'm leaning toward Slackware or Debian, but only because I've heard good things about them.
What I'm wanting to do is run a hosting service for web sites, muds, and gaming servers. I don't need a gui, I don't even plan to have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse dedicated to my linux box. I'd rather just telnet in and work on it that way.
Any comments that would help me choose the best distro for me would be much appreciated.
Well to be frank, any distro will do, it's just a matter of picking the one that you are comfortable with and that has a good security update mechanism, especially if you are using the distro on a server.
I've had great experiences using RedHat - I'd recommend FC3. I still use Rh9 at home and worked for two years with Rh7 at my previous job. I find the RedHat distros logical, user-friendly and very easy to use. Any RedHat version should easily do the job you want.
As snatale1 said, this question is asked a lot. It's also a bit like asking what car should you buy, and like most car owners would recommend their own make and model, most linux users will recommend what they use.
If you want a stable server, choose slackware, gentoo or debian, and btw, use ssh instead of telnet.
All I want is a unix-based os that I can easily add in apache with support for php, mysql, cgi, asp, and other common web protocols. I don't want a gui or anything, command line interface is perfectly fine. Also, I pick up on things really fast so I don't need a newbie friendly distro.
Atrox - all of the major distros will do what you want, as far as I know. I know that Fedora does all of that and comes with SELinux. I read an NSA article on it and, althought I don't fully understand it, it will make your server stronger against crackers.