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Old 02-17-2011, 10:37 PM   #1
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Debian server vs Ubuntu server vs Slackware for Quad Xeon DL580 G3

Hi experts,

I'm very new to Linux and I'm looking for some guidance on which version of Linux server I should install. I read several posts that try to compare Slackware, Debian server, and Ubuntu but the message I got is that each version has its pros/cons. The version that you end up using should ultimately be the best for what you are trying to do. I'll try to explain what I'm trying to do to see if it helps in making a recommendation.

I purchased a HP Proliant DL580 G3 with the following configuration:

(4) Intel Xeon 3.0Ghz CPU's W/ 8mb Cache/667mHz FSB
16GB RAM @ 16 x 1GB ELPIDA PC2-3200-333
(2) 36.4GB 15k U320 SCSI Hard Drives
(2) Power Supplies
DVD Drive

This server will be configured as my web server and database server. I will use Apache and MySQL.

I want the server to be as secure as possible and will be following the recommendations on the book "Hacking Linux Exposed" to configure Linux.

I would like to install a version of Linux that will utilize all of the server's resources - the 4 x Xeon Processors and the 16 GB of RAM. As for the RAID configuration I plan to just have the hard drives mirrored. And lastly someone recommended that I cache my website in the RAM for faster load times. I have not researched this yet but would like the Linux version suggested to allow me to do this. I assume any Linux version would allow me to do this but I thought it would be safer to include it in this list.

Thank you in advance for your guidance.

Last edited by pocketazes; 02-17-2011 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:02 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

The short answer to your question is that any of the major Linux distributions will meet your needs very well. The 3 distros you name (Debian, Ubuntu, Slackware) are all highly regarded as Apache/MySQL servers.

The various distros are more alike than different, therefore most skills you learn with one distro will easily transfer to other distros you may use in the future. Therefore, all other factors being equal, I recommend you base your decision on the educational resources available to you. What teachers, mentors, books, courses, web communities, etc. will you rely upon as you learn the ins and outs of Linux? If your teachers/colleagues/friends use a particular distribution, then there is a strong argument for using that same distribution yourself.

If your plan is to use as your primary resource, then there's a strong argument for Slackware as this is a Slackware-centric forum. You'll find active Ubuntu and Debian communities at and respectively. I'd suggest visiting those sites to get a sense of the user community and evaluate where you think you'll "fit in" the best. This, to me, is as important as any technical considerations. Good luck!
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:47 PM   #3
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Just a side note: In your list you have forgotten one of the most used distributions for servers: Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or its free counterpart CentOS.
The book you mentioned shows the security features of Red Hat, Debian (Ubuntu Server shouldn't differ that much), Suse and Slackware, so I would go for snowpine's recommendation. Have a look at all of them (and their community) and take the one that fits you the best.
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:45 PM   #4
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Thank you for the feedback guys. I'm leaning towards CentOS since most of my colleagues have experience with this OS.
Old 02-19-2011, 04:30 AM   #5
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This discussion continues in another place:

Please post all further responses there. This thread is closed.
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