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Old 07-01-2005, 01:58 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Canada
Distribution: Debian Etch/Sid, Ubuntu
Posts: 529

Rep: Reputation: 32
Question New distribution for a server

I have been running Fedora Core 2 on a server for the past year, but a few recent (and some not-so-recent) problems with rpm's and updates are pushing me to find a new distribution. Here are my main requirements:
  • no rpm-based distributions
  • continuous updates
  • not having to go through the install process ever again in order to update the distribution (apt works nicely for this, with testing added to your sources)
  • The main use of the server is Samba and NFS. I won't need to install new programs often.
  • Fairly recent software (less than 6 month old versions)
  • No GUI
  • Stability is not a big issue, though I don't want completely broken software packages.
  • Performance is not an issue (current average load: 1%)
I thought about the following distributions:
  • debian-testing (I like apt. I already run a debian-testing server, but I would like to try something new. )
  • Slackware (Many people say it's the best, but nobody has given me any reasons. I looked at the pros listed in the reviews section, but most just say something like: "pros: it's Slackware")
  • Gentoo (I used it once, and I liked it, but I am a little concerned, as the server is an old P3-733Mhz/256mb. Can anyone give me an idea of the compile times?)
I would like some information about the pros and cons of these distributions, as well as general recommendations about the upgrade process (what to back up; should I restore backups, or just rebuild the settings; should I format /home and restore from backups, or just mount the old /home, etc.)
Old 07-01-2005, 02:51 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Espoo, Finland
Distribution: Gentoo, 2.6.16-gentoo-r11
Posts: 108

Rep: Reputation: 15
I think Gentoo sounds like a good idea. The install might take a while, but if you don't want to optimize everything you can get it installed from binaries. Updating is simple:
# emerge -u world
and you will have the newest versions on your computer.

I changed from Mandrake 10.1 to Gentoo on my desktop last winter, and I kept my home partition intact. All the settings were usable as such when I mounte dmy old /home-directory once I had everything installed. Of course something can alwasy go wrong, so backup is a good idea. Another directory you might want to save is /etc with all the settings. It might not be usable as such, but at least you can look up old working configurations.

Good luck with whatever you choose!
Old 07-01-2005, 03:33 PM   #3
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Registered: May 2005
Location: Paraguay
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Re: New distribution for a server

Originally posted by stefan_nicolau
Gentoo (I used it once, and I liked it, but I am a little concerned, as the server is an old P3-733Mhz/256mb. Can anyone give me an idea of the compile times?)
It should run really good on there, just might take a while to install.
Old 07-01-2005, 03:42 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2005
Distribution: LDIOS
Posts: 4

Rep: Reputation: 0
well i say slackware is good and i will say why...

1. Simple internals
2. Very responsive compaired to every other distro ive tried
3. Easy to configure (at least for me, since u used gentoo then configuration shouldnt be hard for u)
4. Slackware is very stable. I've used fedora core 3 and some other lesser known distros and ive never had slackware crash or freeze on me although fedora core 3 froze on me about 3 times in a week (i tend to abuse my OS, lol)
5. u can easily get slackware setup with the bare minimum.

id suggest u check out the server distro im working on. it isnt fully finished but it would be a good base for you to start with (LDIOSse).

its based on slackware 10.1 but has recent packages and kernel and the update process will be simple:
netpkg applicationname

if a package isnt available in the repository, u could check out the slackware package browser for a lot of packages. could also check

install a package with:
installpkg /path/to/file/packagename.tgz

NOTE: LDIOSse automatically starts apache, mysql and others at startup. to stop this (you might in ur situation) just edit /etc/rc.d/rc.local to remove the startup command and remove the server package (all one package for easy use and removal as needed.

Last edited by lone-warrior; 07-01-2005 at 03:45 PM.


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