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Old 12-01-2003, 03:07 AM   #1
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Registered: Dec 2003
Location: DFW, Texas
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Question An easy to use server distro?

Since this is the newbie forum I won't appologize for what may be considered a stupid question...

I haven't used any Linux distro in a very long time, so I'm basically a total newbie. That said I'm a very competant computer user and I'm not afraid to do anything with any OS, as long as I can find some documentation.

I'm looking to set up a Linux system to accomplish two goals. First, I want to learn the OS for fun and so that I have experience with it if I need it in the future.

Second, I've spent a number of years doing web development off an on, but the last significant work I've done was with ASP running on Microsoft platforms. I want to build a system where I can play around with setting up a personal website using phpNuke (or something similar), MySQL, phpBB, etc. in preparation for building an online community website in the future.

I'd like to find a distro that will be userfriendly enough that I can get it up and running and start learning my way around without beating my head against too many walls just trying to do simple things, but I also want it to be a stable platform for a web development system so that I can use the same distro if I build a web server later on.

I've played around with Redhat 9 and it seems nice, but since it's not going to be supported I don't want to get too used to it.

Last, one of the most important things to me is being able to find documentation and support through a user community for the OS, since I'm a total newbie I'll need it a lot, and I don't want to frustrate myself trying to get help where there is little to be found.

Thanks for any advice you can offer!
Old 12-01-2003, 03:54 AM   #2
Registered: Sep 2001
Location: India
Distribution: Red Hat 9
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Red Hat has stopped supporting desktop users but has spawned the Fedora Linux which desktop users can use. If the only reason you want to abandon RedHat is the problem of support, I think you should double check the Redhat website. It has mailing lists which is quite active and you will usually have answer to your questions.

I have used RedHat so I am a bit (?) biased toward it, however Debian also seems to be quite good. They come with a lot of documentation.

However, if you are palnning on using phpB,B MySQl etc, they have good mailing lists too. So I think whatever distro you choose will hardly matter

Old 12-01-2003, 04:44 AM   #3
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: England
Distribution: Ubuntu 9.04
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Both SuSE and Mandrake have good server support tools (e.g. YaST2 in SuSE) which make life easier for the beginner. Both are widely used. SuSE in particular is renowned for shipping with the best documentation of any distro.
Old 12-01-2003, 08:53 AM   #4
Registered: Mar 2002
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Distribution: Suse 7.2, Gentoo 1.4, Solaris 9
Posts: 661

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I agree with iainr, SuSE chop down many trees to bring you good manuals And so long as you do things "the SuSE way" it will be good to you

I don't do things the SuSE way and my SuSE server is rather messy, but it still works well enough, things can just get a bit complicated when you want to upgrade to packages without upgrading the entire OS... You have to figure out where stuff is installed and such and haggle with dependency issues.

I think the daddy of server distro's is debian, buy you have to configure every facet of every server software package from scratch...which just sounds painful,

Gentoo is a totally holy distro, you can opt for stable packages only, which would probably be wise if it's going to be a server, and all package deps are sorted for you and you get nice *functioning* configuration files, that you can tweak at your leasure.

Any linux would make a worthy server though, except Lindows, which deserves recognition for doing battle with "The Beast" but not much else.

Have fun


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