[SASAG] Linux Server Distro Recommendations

Abinadi Rendon azuretek at gmail.com
Wed Aug 5 11:05:46 PDT 2009

On Aug 5, 2009, at 10:54 AM, Glenn Stone wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 05, 2009 at 10:07:18AM -0700, Atom Powers wrote:
>> I'm a BSD guy but I have come to realize that the rest of the world  
>> is
>> mostly Linux. Not really a problem, except that some vendors'  
>> software
>> required Linux. (Linux compatibility mode doesn't always work.)
>> My question to y'all is: Which Linux distro currently provides the
>> most functionality with the smallest footprint.
> That would be Debian.
>> What do you use, and why?
> Deb, for precisely that reason.  It's the smallest fully-functional
> distribution that doesn't require compilation of updates.
> As Ski said, it does tend to lag, but they're working on that... and  
> between
> checkinstall, backports, and alternative repos, you can quite often  
> get what
> you need without getting too far outside of package management.  It  
> also
> depends on what you're going to do with it; if you're just plopping
> something on top of bog-standard LAMP, you'll be fine.  It's when  
> hotshot
> devs get happy with the latest mumblety-peg version of  
> whosiwhatsis.pl that
> us sysadmins want to scream....
> Ubuntu does tend to be kinda fluffy when you're doing desktoppy  
> things; I
> haven't messed with it as a server much.  Red Hat tends to drop a  
> lot of
> extra stuff even in server mode.

I use Debian for my production systems but on my dev and bleeding edge  
projects I like to use Ubuntu server, just because their updates and  
package repos are so much more up to date. I don't really ever have to  
custom compile anything because it's got everything I need on the  
version I need with just a simple apt-get.

> Does anybody still run SUSE anymore by choice?

At work I'm forced to use SLES for our production servers, for some  
reason they decided on it over RHEL which personally I don't think  
makes a whole lot of sense. Especially considering we're not really  
saving any money by doing that.

All that being said, I'd never use Linux on my desktop, not because it  
doesn't have the features and not because it can't do everything I  
need. But because the amount of time it takes me to make it work and  
look how I want is just too much. With OSX or even Vista I can pretty  
much just pop open a terminal (or putty) and make a few changes and  
I'm good to go, all my usability features are there and they just work.

My suggestion would be CentOS or Ubuntu Server for dev and RHEL or  
Debian for production.

- Abi

Abi Rendon
Web Developer and Systems Administrator

Email 1: azuretek at gmail.com | Email 2: abi at azuretek.com
Web: www.azuretek.com
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