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Old 07-06-2012, 09:48 AM   #1
dilettante9
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Use Debian for my home server?


My project this summer has been to set up a home server that does DHCP serving, dynamic DNS serving using Bind, and web serving of my personal, non-commercial website. It's taken me some time and effort, but I have succesfully done this on a computer running Mint.

Now, I'm thinking of switching over to Debian for my home server. The reason is that some of the customizations that Mint has done to make a great desktop distro made it slightly harder for me to configure Bind and Apache. Also, I downloaded Debian and played with it in a VM and I really like its look and feel. By the way, I'm only moderately experienced with Linux--not quite a newbie but still learning.

So first, I'm wondering if people think it's worth making the switch from Mint to Debian for my server. I want a server that is going to run for years with minimum hassles.

Second, I have two specific concerns: (a) if I install Debian Squeeze today, how likely is the server to break when I try to upgrade it to Wheezy in the future (since Squeeze will only be supported with updates for another year or so); and (b) how hard will it be in the future to get drivers if I go with Debian?

More specifically on the question of drivers, right now the server box only has 10/100 ethernet, which is fine for DHCP, DNS, and web serving. However, in the future, I might want to install a gigabit NIC and do file serving (currently, I use a Windows box for file serving), and I'm wondering how hard it will be to get drivers for a NIC in Debian (whereas Mint, being based on Ubuntu, is one of the easiest distros to get drivers for).

Sorry for the long post, but it's a complicated decision, and one I'll have to live with for years to come. Any advice or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by dilettante9; 07-06-2012 at 09:50 AM.
 
Old 07-06-2012, 11:29 AM   #2
Dutch Master
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a) not very likely, assuming you take the upgrade path the dev's propose in the release file.
b) drivers are part of the kernel, a newer kernel usually fixes driver issues on new hardware.

I've been running Debian Stable on my home server for the last 6 years, having just upgraded some essential hardware. Debian is better suited for servers then Mint...
 
Old 07-06-2012, 11:55 AM   #3
62chevy
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Debian is probable one of the best choices for servers. My personal server does firewall/routing/DNS/repository/backup duties with a 1 gig networking cards. I did have to go to Intel for the e1000e driver but was easy to install. Before the 1 gig setup downloads from the Internet would average about 600 to 800 MB now 1,200 MB or higher depending on the site. from my server to desktop 20 - 40 MB for a lot of small files and around 80 MB for files over a gig in size.

For you web site I would highly recommend a second computer with a DMZ setup on the server. This will Isolate your home computers from anyone on the WWW.
 
Old 07-06-2012, 01:18 PM   #4
dilettante9
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to switch over from Mint to Debian for the server, since the switch will be easier to do now than later on.

62Chevy, as for your suggestion that I use a second computer with a DMZ for the web server, I don't believe that's necessary in my setup, because I have an appliance firewall, the Linksys WRT610 (which runs some type of Linux under the hood), and my entire home LAN is behind it. I have the appliance firewall port forward ports 80 and 443 to my Apache web server, so I think I'm good to go on security.
 
Old 07-06-2012, 03:54 PM   #5
Bazzaah
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Going by my desktop use of Debian, I would think it'd be a great server choice, as would Slackware. You could always try CentOS too. All three would provide a rock solid base for your endeavours.
 
Old 07-06-2012, 09:39 PM   #6
62chevy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dilettante9 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to switch over from Mint to Debian for the server, since the switch will be easier to do now than later on.

62Chevy, as for your suggestion that I use a second computer with a DMZ for the web server, I don't believe that's necessary in my setup, because I have an appliance firewall, the Linksys WRT610 (which runs some type of Linux under the hood), and my entire home LAN is behind it. I have the appliance firewall port forward ports 80 and 443 to my Apache web server, so I think I'm good to go on security.

Sounds like you are close to a DMZ setup as is.
 
  


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