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Old 01-16-2004, 01:10 PM   #1
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Stillwater, OK
Distribution: Slackware, RedHat, Fedora, Knoppix
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Question Good distro for long term server support

I'm looking to upgrade several RedHat servers to an up-to-date (and free) distro and I need some advice. I need something that has good long term availability of updates/patches so I don't have to contstantly upgrade to get the latest security fixes, etc. I'm totally open to suggestions, but please back up your statements with some logical argument. brandX sucks/rulez just doesn't help!

All of my recent experience has been with RedHat, but with their recent moves to M$ style pricing, and the fact that they have cut off free support for everything up to 8.0, I can't keep using it. I have previous experience with Slackware, but haven't used it lately. (Downloaded 9.1 yesterday, though, and will play with it over the weekend).

Specifically, I will be running two samba file servers, one sendmail server, and one apache server. I guess I could run the Samba and Apache on just about any distro since I'm accustomed to building my own binaries for those, so the mail server is the big issue.
It doesn't necessarily have to be sendmail either, but it has to be compatible with majordomo and the procmail scripts that I use for spam filtering, etc. I need the mail server to support ssl authentication and I would prefer not to have to build it myself.

From what I have read Debian has good long term stability and has tools that make it easy to update. Can anyone confirm/refute this? Does it meet the criteria above?

I feel that Fedora is probably not the way to go since it's basically a test bed for new stuff (my impression). true / false ?

How about SuSE?

Thoughtful answers will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Old 01-16-2004, 02:07 PM   #2
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: UK
Distribution: Debian SID / KDE 3.5
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Debian is very good at updating, Once installed thats it. You can update Debian indefinitely. And it will take you through versions as well. ( You don't need to change versions you can carry on upgrading. ) You can also choose How stable a system you want.

Stable - Bullet proof
Testing - Works fine, no major problems. But not completely tested.
Unstable - Latest stuff but may have problems.

I've run unstable now for over a year, without a problem. Experience is still needed for installation ( You should have no problem ) but you only ever do it once.

Also Debian probably has the widest selection of software of any Distro. Its used quite widly on a lot of servers.

Last edited by leonscape; 01-16-2004 at 02:09 PM.
Old 01-20-2004, 11:04 AM   #3
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Stillwater, OK
Distribution: Slackware, RedHat, Fedora, Knoppix
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Thanks for your reply. I kind of had the feeling Debian would be a good choice from what I had read/heard before and I guess no-one disagrees since there have been no more replies. I have downloaded Debian and installed it on a couple of machines to try it out. So far, I'm impressed.

Thanks again,


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