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Old 03-07-2012, 07:45 PM   #1
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Which distribution should I use?


I am about to set up a new server. It's meant to be stable and mainly used as web/file/mail server. I used to use Fedora Core which I have to constantly upgrade. I'd prefer not to have to do that often and only upgrade when it's necessary. Also, an easy to use a package management is important as well.

Which distribution should I use?

Old 03-07-2012, 09:16 PM   #2
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Since you are used to Fedora, I'd suggest taking a look at CentOS as a first step.

Given your concern about package management and upgrades, you might also look at Debian, which is what I currently use for my home server.
Old 03-07-2012, 09:22 PM   #3
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:26 PM   #4
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:01 AM   #5
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  • Slackware - for being stable, UNIX-like and simple - in the meaning of not being overloaded with extra scripts and config files. But not so much packages in the official distribution (no Squid, no Postfix and Dovecot) and no dependency resolvings.
  • Debian - for being stable (the stable brunch of the distribution) and having a great collection of precompiled packages (AFAIR 25 000) with dependency resolving.
  • Ubuntu (especially Server edition) - something like Debian, but with more up-to-date software (and that's why not so stable in general, but quite suitable for home/small office server) and some small but pleasant enhacements, making work simplier.
  • Zenwalk - for being based on Slackware but with larger packages collection and dependency resolving (while installing).
  • OpenBSD - for being stable and having a good pre-compiled package base. But some differences from running Linux-systems.

As for me, the package management of all these distributions are easy enough to use.

Last edited by Lexus45; 03-08-2012 at 01:17 AM.
Old 03-08-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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CentOS is the most frequently used Linux on web servers, according to on-line searches. It also has a long support period. And if you're used to Fesora, you'll like CentOS: I've just switched myself. Get the full 2 DVD set, not the live CD. That way you can specifically ask for a web server setup, and add anything extra you want from the DVD then or post-installation.

Ubuntu has too short a support period. Slackware lacks the simple package management you wanted. Debian's OK, but if you're used to yum why switch to aptitude?
Old 03-08-2012, 02:26 PM   #7
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centOS is the best choice
Old 03-08-2012, 04:28 PM   #8
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Either CentOS or Debian
Old 03-08-2012, 06:27 PM   #9
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First question I would ask is whether you have any specific vendor software you need to install? Those requirements will drive your choice of distribution.

Like others have said you can't really go too wrong with most Linux distributions. My fav is Debian, however, CentOS is very popular as it can support many RHEL applications and has that enterprise feel and reliability.
Old 03-09-2012, 03:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cheerful View Post
I used to use Fedora Core which I have to constantly upgrade.
Many people try to use a desktop-focussed distro for server duty (...because I can...) and find out that this is exactly why they can, but shouldn't.

Ubuntu has too short a support period.
True of 'ordinary' releases; not really true of LTS releases. Not really recommending, eg, Ubuntu Server, just sayin... That said, unless you can wait a month or so for the 12.04 LTS release, you might feel that the timing is unfortunate.
Old 03-11-2012, 07:21 AM   #11
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I do have some special software to run. But they are always built from source code so I'd think it should not be a factor.

I've heard others talking about Ubuntu. But since I am more used to Fedora, I'd guess CentOS will be a much easier move for me. Will give it go.

Thanks a lot!


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