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zatriz 09-06-2004 11:46 PM

Poll: Best Linux Server Distro
What is the best linux distro to load up as a server/Firewall?

I have currently running Trustix Secure Linux but it will not longer have support updates after 2.2 so I must look for an alternate Server OS.
I know that i will be able to run Trustix for a few years but I would like others opinions

This is NOT a poll about your favorite distro. Its about what is best suited to run a Server with the following requirements.

Hardware specs
Pentium II 300 Mhz
192 Megs RAM
No Gui Required

Will be serving 4 clients
Services that will be running
Firewall - iptables based
Dns Server
Dhcp Server
Squid Proxy with Squidguard
Webserver ( for testing web design)
Ftp Server
Email - smtp/imap

If there is a Distro that would be better suited for my needs please post it below.

Thank you.

LavaDevil94 09-06-2004 11:59 PM

Slackware is stable, screams on old machines, and is meant for non-graphics work. Try that.

sether 09-07-2004 12:33 AM

even though openbsd technically isn't linux, it has my vote. there's a lot of people who would recommend it for a server. the openbsd people claim it's the most secure+stable OS out there, and reading any review on it will show you why.

TomaCzar 09-07-2004 12:51 AM

This takes me back to one of my first IT questions; what is a server?? Very broadly answered, I was told a server is anything that provides network services. I don't deal that much outside of my distro but I've built ... 10 Slack servers for various services (not all at the same site) and I can't imagine any other distro being easier. If what you're looking for is a "press here to make a server" button you certainly won't find that in Slack but if you're any type of serious admin whatsoever you know that that's exactly what you don't want. I would describe Slackware as the epitome of modularity lending itself to whatever goal you wish to achieve as long as you know what it is you're striving for. Oh yes, and it doesn't hurt that it's super-fast and ultra-stable (I have no hard evidence to back that statement up, that's just my fair-and-balanced opinion).

crane 09-07-2004 12:57 AM

I personally use Clarkconnect for a file server, router, firefall, http, ftp, and Q3 game server.
It's light (a lilttle ove r 600 megs. has http config and runs webmin as well.

zatriz 09-07-2004 01:10 AM

I have never tried slackware i'm downloading it right now.
Im trying to get a feel for it as far as i know im not going with fedora/suse/mandrake it just too bloated of an os to do just server stuff
as i guess since it will have no X server on there slack will be nice for that , i'll give it a try for sure.

fenderman11111 09-07-2004 01:51 AM

I dunno about slack , I need to try it sometime.

I'm gonna talk about debian. I think that the way they run it works equally well in any situation. I have done 3 types of debian installs: desktop (which is a REally hot machine, i use it as a server , a router, and a desktop) , server (webservr only, no X and on cheap hardware), and also an old laptop.

I like debian because it is super customizable. You can run as little or as much as you want. I also like how they haven't tried to write all their own little system administration apps, it's a lot of .conf work so if you aren't into that then you might as well go with redhat or something. But I also like debian because I can just do apt-get update and it updates all the software on my system.

oh and that's another thing i like, how they have stable, testing, and unstable releases. But if you aren't afraid of Vim or emacs (i'm afraid of emacs... *shudder*) then I would suggest debian.

though slack sounds pretty good too... but don't you have to compile everything by hand? that sound's like kind of a pain for anything other than a server... esp. if you like having the latest software like i do ;)

zatriz 09-07-2004 02:04 AM

To tell you the truth i've tried a lot of distributions and none of them has given me as much grief as deibian has. I need to try it out again. Last time i couldn't even get it installed before it would crash out, but it might have been a hardware problem.

pevelius 09-07-2004 03:56 AM

i believe bsd makes the best server distro.

scorbett 09-08-2004 01:42 PM

I agree with the comments about OpenBSD being more secure by default, but if you know your stuff, you can take pretty much any distro and lock it down well enough to use on a server or firewall. I've been running RedHat as my server/firewall for a couple of years, so that's what I voted for.

-Nw- neX 09-09-2004 02:25 AM

im kinda on the fence on this one.

NetBSD or Slackware

youre cpu power and ram are a bit low, and youre running a number of 'essential' network services like ssh, firewalling [IPF in the bsd world], DNS-BIND, DHCP, NAT, etc.. pretty much ideal for a NetBSD box. NetBSD is designed spsifically to pump out data with very little overhead. it does, however, have a higher learning curve. but you can pretty much strip down the os to have JUST what you need, and if you have a fair amount of experince with linux already, you shouldnt have too many problems.

the reason i say slackware, is because of samba. i have run into some problems running samba on BSD based systems in the past. all character translation problems. i would also STRONGLY caution you from running a samba system on something that is sitting at the edge of your network, accessable from the outside world. user data should be hosted on a seperate system inside the network. not only for security reasons, but in light of the other services that you are running [proxy and sql, see below].

im not spesifically familliar wiith SQL and Squid, but i think your disk space might be a bit lacking. proxy caching and DB read/write can be very disk and memory intensive, and DB sizes can get large quite quickly depending on what the DB is used for. this combined with a samba server and potentially critical user data could be a disater waiting to happen.

zatriz 09-09-2004 02:31 AM

disk space is not an issue i can slap on a 80 gig drive no probs.
I understand that its a security risk running all those services, but i have not other choice this box has to be on 24/7 not only because its provides internet for the house but also because i need to be able to ssh home anytime i need. Its more for learning than anything else. i'll have tripwire on there also just in case :)

mipia 05-05-2005 06:57 PM

slackware *bsd or debian, in that order

phishtrader 05-06-2005 11:16 AM

Rat ba$tard! You stole my server! Really, the specs are almost the same. It wouldn't happen to be an old HP Vectra would it?

ClarkConnect installs fairly painlessly, is RPM/Redhat based, and makes use of apt-get.

Sort of depends on mostly on what you're familiar with, how much work you're willing or want to do, and if you need to do any funky custom tweaking. If you're a Redhat/Fedora person, Redhat/Fedora/Whitebox will work and ClarkConnect is really geared towards set it up and go. Kind of a Redhat/Fedora customized distro just for servers.

If you want to squeeze the last little bit of speed out of that rig, you could go with Gentoo. Of course it might take you a week or more to finish compiling everything . . .

stabile007 05-06-2005 11:31 AM

Slackware install with the SEKernel

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